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SIOUX CITY -- Bob Roe's Point After was standing room only Saturday night. 

Morningside fans from far and wide packed into the bar and grill to watch Morningside College in the NAIA Football National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida against Benedictine College, from Kansas. 

The bar's namesake, 80-year-old Bob Roe, was on hand to watch the game with the bar patrons. Like everyone, the longtime Morningside fan (who took classes at the school in 1959 and 1960) was excited about how well the team has done this season. 

"If they're going to get beat, I'll be disappointed, because I think this is the best team they ever had," Roe said. 

As Roe spoke, a bar patron turned to him and asked if the game was playing on every television screen in the bar. 

"Yeah," Roe said. 

"God bless you!" the man replied. 

Roe's daughter, Terri Rexius, said the limited availability of the game broadcast -- it was shown only on ESPN3, which many viewers don't have access to -- worked in the bar's favor. 

"ESPN3, you cannot get it on any cable or DirecTV package, you have to stream it through a computer," she said. While this can make it tough for fans to watch away games, Rexius said "It's great for us!" 

Rexius said she's been a Morningside fan her whole life. 

"When I was a kid, my dad took me up to the basketball games, they were in a different division, they played a great big holiday tournament in Sioux Falls, and we always went there as a family," she said before being interrupted by rapturous cheers throughout the bar. 

Morningside had scored, leveling an early lead held by Benedictine. This also meant dollar shots were available to patrons. 

Waitresses raced this direction and that with beer pitchers and order sheets in their hands, scooting past people who couldn't find a seat. Rexius said Saturday was an all-hands-on-deck operation at the bar, which has long been popular among Morningside people. 

"It's hard to do better than being undefeated!" she said of the team's 14-0 record prior to Saturday's game. 

Nearby, Morningside superfan Tim O'Connor and his wife Jean kept a close eye on the game. Like most everyone in the bar, the O'Connors said they were very impressed by wide receiver Connor Niles. 

"Connor Niles used to come and play in our cellar with my grandson!" Jean O'Connor said. 

Though health troubles make it hard for Tim to make it to some Morningside games, he follows the team "as much as I can" and often goes to the field to watch the team practice. 

"He was sitting there watching them one day, and these people were going to call the cops, they thought he was scouting for the other team," Jean said. "And the players came up and go, 'No, no! He's one of us!'"

Tim wished he could've made it to Florida to watch the game in person. An estimated 400 or 500 Morningside fans made that journey, skipping the hassle of streaming and opting to watch the game live.  

Frank and Darlene Moss and their friends Bill and Linda Prescott were part of the standing crowd. The group had followed Morningside throughout the season.

Frank Moss said the team was heading to a victory. 

"They've got a great defense, and a very fast operating offense," he said. 

Other watch parties were held throughout town, as well as in Des Moines and Kansas City. 

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Lifestyles Reporter

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