Just three games into the college football season and the Berry Vikings are already getting recognition as one of the top teams in Division III.
After opening the season with three straight wins, the Vikings will head into Week 4 ranked 10th in the D3football.com and American Football Coaches Association polls.
The No. 10 spot is the highest the Vikings have been ranked in the D3football.com poll in team history, while last season, the Vikings’ peak in the AFCA poll was No. 9. The Division III Board of Coaches has 42 voters representing all Division III conferences in the AFCA poll. Monday’s AFCA poll was the first of the season.
The Vikings topped out at No. 11 in the 2018 D3football.com poll.
Last week’s 14-10 win against Southern Athletic Association foe Trinity (Texas) avenged the Vikings’ loss to the Tigers last season, which snapped Berry’s winning streak of 24 straight regular-season wins.
Berry’s Devin Grier intercepted a pass from Trinity’s Wyatt Messex with just over four minutes left in the game to secure the win.
The win improved the Vikings to 3-0 on the year and 1-0 in SAA play, while Trinity dropped to 1-2 and 0-1 in conference.
The Vikings’ defense has gotten the season off to a strong start allowing only 9.7 points per game. Berry’s Cullen Carlin is tied for the lead in sacks in the conference with four, and Brandon Palmer is third with 3.5.
On offense, senior receiver Mason Kinsey leads the SAA with five touchdowns.
No other SAA school made the top 25, but Centre received votes in the D3football.com and AFCA polls, and Trinity and Millsaps received votes in the AFCA poll.
Mary Hardin-Baylor — the Division III defending champion — is the top team in both polls.
The Vikings continue conference play Saturday when they host Millsaps at 2 p.m. in a matchup of unbeaten teams. Millsaps is coming off a 14-0 win against conference foe Rhodes this past week.