St. Francis football

St. Francis head coach Chris Villarrial walks the sideline during a Sept. 13, 2018, game against Richmond in Loretto.

LORETTO – The St. Francis football program will open its 2021 fall campaign on the road with the first game in program history at an Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent. The Red Flash will travel to Eastern Michigan on Friday, Sept. 3.

The Red Flash will kick off their return to action this fall against a 50-year member of the Mid-American Conference, under the lights in Ypsilanti.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to open the 2021 season with a great test and a historic first for our program," St. Francis coach Chris Villarrial said. "It is also exciting to have a gameday on our calendar in September as we return to campus and begin preparation for spring practices."

The meeting between the Red Flash and Eagles is St. Francis' first against an FBS opponent and adds to an impressive list of nonconference competition for SFU during Villarrial's tenure. Previous September opponents for St. Francis over the last decade have included James Madison, North Dakota State, Richmond, Towson, Albany and former Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) members Georgia Southern and Liberty.

Eastern Michigan went 2-4 in a MAC-only 2020 season while averaging 33.2 points per game. The Eagles closed the season with wins over Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, scoring a combined 94 points in those two contests.

St. Francis is scheduled to begin spring practices later this semester for Villarrial's 11th season as head coach in Loretto. A spring practice schedule will be announced later this winter.

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