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NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Naperville’s North Central College will defend its Division Three football title.

The Cardinals will try to win its second straight national title Friday in the Stagg Bowl in Canton, Ohio against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders.

A sendoff party got started early in Naperville, ahead of the departure of charter busses around 7 a.m.

The NCC Cardinal marching band did not take the morning off before heading to Ohio for tonight’s game, and they know their role well.

The audience Friday morning was the dance and cheer squads, along with the media, but tonight they will be playing on national television and getting the fans along with the team fired up.

The Cardinals left on Tuesday to bring their 13-0 record to Ohio to defend their title.

Kick-off for tonight’s championship game is at 6 p.m.