Smithburg, Dunbar playing for national title
CEDAR FALLS — Former Fairfield High School football players Mike Smithburg and Jake Dunbar will be suiting up for top-ranked Iowa Western in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s National Football Championship.
The title game, pitting Iowa Western vs. second-ranked Butler Community College (Kan.), is scheduled for Sunday at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.
As members of the Iowa Western Reivers, Smithburg and Dunbar have played crucial roles in the perfect 11-0 campaign. Smithburg was recently named to the Midwest Football Conference’s all-conference team at offensive right guard after paving the way for more than 7,000 yards total offense. The Reivers have eclipsed 3,000 yards on the ground and scored 42 rushing touchdowns. Dunbar, the team’s punter and placeholder, has punted 27 times for 980 yards, including a long punt of 80 yards.
Iowa Western has grown into one of the NJCAA’s marquee teams in just its fourth season. Based out of Council Bluffs, the Reivers are playing in their first ever national championship game. Most recently, they captured their second MFC championship with a 54-7 rout of rival Ellsworth.
The Butler Grizzlies, meanwhile, are making their sixth trip to the national title game following an 11-0 regular season. The Grizzlies are 3-2 in the title game historically, and their last appearance came in 2010 when they fell 13-12 to No. 2 Navarro. Butler has claimed five outright national championships and was named co-champions in 2007.
For tickets to the game, call the Reiver athletics office at 712-325-3418 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $13 for adults and $8 for students.