Dec. 6 - John Bowenkamp led North Dakota to the NCAA Division II championship game Saturday, throwing three touchdown passes in the Sioux’s 29-22 victory over North Alabama.
InsertArt(2086902)JEFF GLAS KICKED field goals of 27, 45 and 32 yards help North Dakota (12-1) advance to the title game next week in Florence, Ala., against defending champion Grand Valley State, a 31-3 winner at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Bowenkamp had scoring passes of 30 yards to Travis Lueck, 5 yards to David Wisthoff, and 15 yards to Matt Vanderpan. The scoring pass to Vanderpan came on a fake field goal midway through the fourth quarter, giving North Dakota a 26-9 lead.
Will Hall, a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy awarded annually to the top player in Division II, threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score for North Alabama (13-1).
I-AA COLGATE, DElaware win in snow
In near-blizzard conditions, Colgate added another chapter to its storybook season.
Jamaal Branch ran for a one-yard touchdown with 1:50 remaining as the undefeated Red Raiders rallied for a 28-27 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Division I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history.
With a game-time temperature of 21 degrees and the field blanketed by several inches of snow, Colgate (14-0) stretched the nation’s longest current winning streak to 20 games.
After winning two playoff games at home, the Red Raiders will be on the road next week, facing Florida Atlantic, a 48-25 win over Northern Arizona.
Florida Atlantic’s 10th straight win kept coach Howard Schnellenberger on track to join Ohio State’s Jim Tressel as coaches who have won national titles at the I-AA and I-A levels. Schnellenberger’s 1983 Miami team won that school’s first championship.
Colgate’s win was special.
“This has got to be one of the biggest things to happen to Colgate since I’ve been here,” said coach Dick Biddle, who is in his eighth season. “These kids never give up. I am absolutely speechless. I’m dumbfounded.”
Second seed Delaware advanced with a 37-7 victory over Northern Iowa in a game that was delayed 30 minutes to prepare the field after nearly eight inches of snow fell Friday night.
The Blue Hens (13-1) tied a school record for wins and reached the semifinals for the first time since 2000, when they were coached by Tubby Raymond.
Delaware will take on Wofford (12-1), which ousted defending champion Western Kentucky, 34-17. Making their first appearance in the Division I-AA playoffs, the third-seeded Terriers posted their 12th straight win. The Hilltoppers finished 9-4 under first-year coach David Elson.
Branch, who came into the game with a school-record 2,085 rushing yards, had trouble with his footing in the elements and was held to 56 yards on 22 carries.
Western Illinois (9-4), which lost in the quarterfinals for the second straight year, took a 27-21 lead with 7:04 remaining on quarterback Russ Michna’s dive over the top and his conversion pass to Terrence Hall.
But a 28-yard punt return by J.B. Gerald gave Colgate a first down at the Leathernecks’ 25-yard line and Branch scored four plays later.
NCAA DIVISION III
Mount Union 56, Wheaton 10
At Alliance, Ohio, Zach Bruney threw four touchdown passes to help Mount Union (12-0) to its 54th straight victory, matching the NCAA record it set from 1996-99.
Bruney completed 11 of 18 passes for 185 yards and had touchdown passes of 31 and 6 yards to Randell Knapp, 17 yards to John Healy and 3 yards to Brian Miller.
Jeff Strauch ran for 128 yards on 23 carries and had a 7-yard TD run for Mount Union. Wheaton finished the season 12-1.
Mount Union will face the winner of the Bridgewater-Lycoming game Sunday in the semifinals.
St. John’s 31, Linfield 25
At Collegeville, Minn., Ryan Keating ran for two touchdowns and passed for another for St. John’s (12-0).
The victory was the 412th for St. John’s coach John Gagliardi, who passed former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson’s career record of 408 this season to become college football victory leader.
The Johnnies will play RPI at home next week in the semifinals. Linfield finished 11-1.
RPI 21, Ithaca 16
At Troy, N.Y., Dan Cole threw for 268 and three touchdowns to lead RPI (11-1) past Ithaca (10-3).
RPI scored on its first two possessions, with Cole throwing a 59-yard TD pass to Pat Hughes and a 37-yarder to Jon Branche.
Bridgewater-Lycoming game ppd.
Lycoming College’s NCAA Division III quarterfinal game against Bridgewater of Virginia was postponed Saturday because of snow.
The game was pushed back to Sunday, with the winner advancing to face Mount Union in the semifinals. Mount Union beat Wheaton 56-10.
Bridgewater is 11-1, and Lycoming 9-1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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