2008 NCAA Division II football season

Last updated
2008 NCAA Division II football season
Regular seasonAugust 30 – November 8, 2008
PlayoffsNovember 15 – December 15, 2008 [1]
National Championship Braly Municipal Stadium
Florence, AL
Champion Minnesota–Duluth
Harlon Hill Trophy Bernard Scott, Abilene Christian

The 2008 NCAA Division II football season, part of college football in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division II level, began on August 30, 2008, and concluded with the NCAA Division II Football Championship on December 15, 2008 at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Alabama, hosted by the University of North Alabama. The Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs defeated the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats, 21–14, to win their first Division II national title. [2]

Contents

The Harlon Hill Trophy was awarded to Bernard Scott, running back from Abilene Christian.

Conference and program changes

SchoolFormer conferenceNew conference
Augustana Vikings NCC NSIC
Brevard Tornadoes Independent SAC
Bryant Bulldogs NE10 Independent (FCS)
Central Washington Wildcats NCC GNAC
C. W. Post Pioneers NE10 PSAC
Chowan Hawks Independent CIAA
CSU Pueblo ThunderWolves New program RMAC
Dixie State Trailblazers Independent GNAC
Gannon Golden Knights GLIAC PSAC
Humboldt State Lumberjacks Independent GNAC
Lake Erie Storm New program Independent
Lincoln Lions New program Independent
Mercyhurst Lakers GLIAC PSAC
Minnesota State Mavericks NCC NSIC
Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs NCC NSIC
Nebraska–Omaha Mavericks NCC MIAA
North Dakota Fighting Sioux NCC Great West (FCS)
St. Cloud State Huskies NCC NSIC
South Dakota Coyotes NCC Great West (FCS)
Southwest Baptist Bearcats MIAA Independent
Tiffin Dragons GLFC GLIAC
Western Oregon Wolves Independent GNAC
Western Washington Vikings NCC GNAC

Brevard, Central State, Dixie State, and Seton Hill completed their transitions to Division II and became eligible for the postseason.

Regional realignment

The geographic names of the four super regions gave way to numerical names. The Northeast Region, with the addition of the CIAA, became Super Region 1; the Southeast Region minus the CIAA became Super Region 2. The Northwest Region, with the addition of the RMAC and loss of the defunct NCC, became Super Region 3, while the Southwest Region, minus the RMAC and with the addition of the GNAC (sponsoring football again after a two-year hiatus) became Super Region 4.

Conference standings

Super Region 1

2008 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Eastern
Elizabeth City State xy 70    74 
Bowie State  43    54 
Virginia State  43    55 
Saint Paul's  34    55 
Virginia Union  34    55 
Western
Shaw xy$ 61    83 
Fayetteville State x 61    82 
St. Augustine's  34    46 
Johnson C. Smith  25    37 
Livingstone  25    28 
Chowan  16    28 
Championship: Shaw 36, Elizabeth City State 7
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
  • Lincoln (PA) played a full CIAA schedule as a provisional Division II member.
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 Northeast-10 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 25 American International $^ 70    92 
Southern Connecticut ^ 61    83 
Merrimack  43    64 
Bentley  43    56 
Pace  34    46 
Stonehill  25    46 
Saint Anselm  16    28 
Assumption  16    19 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
East
No. 17 West Chester xy^ 70    94 
No. 11 Bloomsburg ^ 61    112 
East Stroudsburg  52    92 
Kutztown  43    56 
Shippensburg  34    47 
C. W. Post  25    38 
Millersville  16    110 
Cheyney  07    011 
West
No. 6 California (PA) xy$^ 70    122 
No. 20 Edinboro  52    92 
No. 21 Indiana (PA)  52    82 
Mercyhurst  52    74 
Slippery Rock  34    56 
Gannon  25    47 
Clarion  16    38 
Lock Haven  07    011 
Championship: California (PA) 47, West Chester 36
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Glenville State $ 71    83 
No. 24 Seton Hill ^ 62    103 
West Liberty State  62    74 
West Virginia State  53    73 
Charleston (WV)  53    74 
Shepherd  35    55 
Fairmont State  35    56 
West Virginia Wesleyan  17    110 
Concord  08    011 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll

Super Region 2

2008 Gulf South Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 7 Delta State $^ 80    102 
No. 3 North Alabama ^ 71    122 
No. 12 Valdosta State ^ 62    93 
Ouachita Baptist  53    73 
Arkansas–Monticello  53    74 
Henderson State  44    55 
Arkansas Tech  44    55 
West Alabama  26    47 
Southern Arkansas  26    28 
Harding  17    29 
West Georgia  08    010 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 South Atlantic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 16 Tusculum +^ 52    94 
No. 18 Carson–Newman +^ 52    74 
Newberry + 52    64 
Wingate  43    83 
Mars Hill  43    74 
Catawba  43    64 
Lenoir–Rhyne  16    38 
Brevard  07    19 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA poll
2008 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 14 Tuskegee $ 90    101 
Albany State ^ 63    74 
Morehouse  63    64 
Fort Valley State  63    65 
Clark Atlanta  54    65 
Benedict  45    56 
Lane  45    47 
Stillman  27    38 
Miles  27    28 
Kentucky State  18    38 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 NCAA Division II Super Region 2 independents football records
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
UNC Pembroke      81 
North Greenville      29 
Lincoln (PA) #     09 
  • # – Provisional Division II member
Rankings from AFCA Poll

Super Region 3

2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 4 Grand Valley State $^ 100    111 
No. 15 Ashland ^ 82    94 
Michigan Tech  73    83 
Wayne State (MI)  73    83 
Saginaw Valley State  73    73 
Hillsdale  64    74 
Ferris State  55    65 
Indianapolis  46    56 
Northern Michigan  28    28 
Northwood  28    28 
Findlay  19    29 
Tiffin  19    110 
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA poll
2008 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
North
No. 1 Minnesota–Duluth $^ 100    150 
St. Cloud State  73    74 
Bemidji State  46    56 
Mary  46    47 
Minnesota State–Moorhead  28    29 
Minnesota–Crookston  19    29 
Northern State  19    110 
South
No. 23 Minnesota State ^ 91    93 
No. 19 Wayne State (NE) ^ 82    93 
Augustana (SD)  73    84 
SW Minnesota State  64    65 
Winona State  64    65 
Concordia–St. Paul  37    47 
Upper Iowa  28    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 9 Chadron State $^ 90    112 
Colorado Mines  72    84 
Nebraska–Kearney  72    74 
Mesa State  63    65 
Adams State  54    56 
CSU–Pueblo  36    46 
New Mexico Highlands  36    38 
Western New Mexico  27    28 
Western State  27    28 
Fort Lewis  18    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 Great Lakes Football Conference standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Missouri S&T $ 31    74 
Kentucky Wesleyan  21    46 
Central State  21    27 
Saint Joseph's (IN)  12    55 
Lincoln (MO)  03    28 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 NCAA Division II Super Region 3 independents football records
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Lake Erie #     38 
  • # – Provisional Division II member
Rankings from AFCA Poll

Super Region 4

2008 Great Northwest Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 13 Central Washington $^ 80    102 
Western Oregon  53    74 
Western Washington  53    65 
Dixie State  26    47 
Humboldt State  08    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 Lone Star Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
North
Central Oklahoma  63    74 
SE Oklahoma State  63    65 
Texas A&M–Commerce  54    55 
East Central  27    38 
SW Oklahoma State  18    38 
Northeastern State  09    110 
South
No. 5 Abilene Christian $^ 90    111 
No. 10 W. Texas A&M ^ 81    112 
Tarleton State  63    83 
Texas A&M–Kingsville  63    74 
Midwestern State  54    64 
Angelo State  36    38 
Eastern New Mexico 18    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
  • † – Eastern New Mexico vacated both wins.
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 2 NW Missouri State $^ 90    132 
No. 8 Pittsburg State ^ 81    112 
No. 22 Nebraska–Omaha ^ 63    74 
Central Missouri  54    74 
Missouri Western  54    66 
Washburn  45    65 
Truman  36    47 
Emporia State  27    47 
Missouri Southern  27    47 
Fort Hays State  18    29 
  • $ Conference champion
  • ^ NCAA Division II playoff participant
Rankings from AFCA Poll
2008 NCAA Division II Super Region 4 independents football records
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Southwest Baptist      56 
OK Panhandle State      37 
Rankings from AFCA Poll

Conference summaries

Conference Champions

Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association – Shaw
Great Lakes Football Conference – Missouri S&T
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Grand Valley State
Great Northwest Athletic ConferenceCentral Washington
Gulf South Conference – Delta State
Lone Star Conference – Abilene Christian
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association – Northwest Missouri State
Northeast-10 Conference – American International
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference – Minnesota–Duluth
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference – California (PA)
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference – Chadron State
South Atlantic Conference – Carson-Newman, Newberry, and Tusculum
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Tuskegee
West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – Glenville State

Postseason

2008 NCAA Division II Football Championship
Teams24
Finals Site
Champion
Runner-up
Semifinalists
Winning coach
  • championship
Attendance6,219

The 2008 NCAA Division II Football Championship playoffs involved 24 schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division II college football. [3]

The tournament began on November 15, 2008 and concluded on December 13, 2008 with the 2008 NCAA Division II National Football Championship game at Braly Municipal Stadium near the campus of the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. [3]

In the championship game the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs defeated the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats, 21–14.

Participants

SchoolConferenceSeason Record
Abilene Christian University Lone Star Conference 100
Albany State University Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 73
American International College Northeast Ten Conference 91
Ashland University Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 83
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 101
California University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 101
Carson-Newman College South Atlantic Conference 73
Central Washington University Great Northwest Athletic Conference 101
Chadron State College Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 101
Delta State University Gulf South Conference 91
Grand Valley State University Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 100
University of Minnesota Duluth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 110
Minnesota State University, Mankato Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 92
University of Nebraska at Omaha Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 73
University of North Alabama Gulf South Conference 101
Northwest Missouri State University Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 101
Pittsburg State University Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 101
Seton Hill University West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 92
Southern Connecticut State University Northeast Ten Conference 82
Tusculum College South Atlantic Conference 83
Valdosta State University Gulf South Conference 82
Wayne State College Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 92
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 83
West Texas A&M University Lone Star Conference 101

Bids by conference

ConferenceTotalSchoolsSuper Region
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 2 Ashland University
Grand Valley State University
3
Great Northwest Athletic Conference 1 Central Washington University 4
Gulf South Conference 3 Delta State University
University of North Alabama
Valdosta State University
2
Lone Star Conference 2 Abilene Christian University
West Texas A&M University
4
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association 3 University of Nebraska at Omaha
Northwest Missouri State University
Pittsburg State University
4
Northeast Ten Conference 2 Southern Connecticut State University
American International College
1
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference 3 Minnesota State University, Mankato
Wayne State College
University of Minnesota Duluth
3
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference 3 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
California University of Pennsylvania
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
1
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 1 Chadron State College 3
South Atlantic Conference 2 Carson-Newman College
Tusculum College
2
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 1 Albany State University 2
West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 1 Seton Hill University 1

Playoff format

The first-round games were conducted on the campus of one of the competing institutions as determined by the NCAA Division II Football Committee. Two teams in each super regional earned first-round byes. The first-round winners advanced to face a bye team in their super regional. Second-round winners met in the quarterfinals and quarterfinal winners advanced to play in the semifinals. [3]

First-round, second-round, quarterfinal and semifinal games were played on the campus of one of the competing institutions as determined by the NCAA Division II Football Committee. The home team at the championship was determined by the Division II Football Committee and the Shoals National Championship Committee.

National television coverage

The championship game was played at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Alabama and broadcast live on ESPN2 on December 16. [3]

The semifinal games were broadcast on ESPN2 (North Alabama vs. Northwest Mo., 4pm EST) and ESPN Classic (California (PA) vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 12pm EST) on December 6. [3]

The Superregional championship (quarterfinal) games were broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic on November 29. [4]

Tournament Notes

Final standings

PlaceSchool
1st University of Minnesota-Duluth
2nd Northwest Missouri State University
3rd California University of Pennsylvania
University of North Alabama
5th Abilene Christian University
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Delta State University
Grand Valley State University
9th Ashland University
Chadron State College
Pittsburg State University
Seton Hill University
Tusculum College
Valdosta State University
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Texas A&M University
17th Albany State University
American International College
Carson-Newman College
Central Washington University
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Southern Connecticut State University
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Wayne State College

Bracket and standings

Super Regional 1

First round
November 15
Second round
November 22
Super Regional finals
November 29
2 California (PA) 48
6 Seton Hill 14 6 Seton Hill 7
3 American International 7 2 California (PA)27
1 Bloomsburg 24
1 Bloomsburg 28
5 S. Connecticut 32 4 West Chester 21
4 West Chester 52

Super Regional 3

First round
November 15
Second round
November 22
Super Regional finals
November 29
2 Minnesota–Duluth 20
6 Wayne State (NE) 17 3 Chadron State 10
3 Chadron State 23 2 Minnesota–Duluth 2OT 19
1 Grand Valley State 13
1 Grand Valley State 40
5 Minnesota State 16 4 Ashland 7
4 Ashland 27

Super Regional 2

First round
November 15
Second round
November 22
Super Regional finals
November 29
2 North Alabama 37
6 Carson–Newman 20 3 Valdosta State 10
3 Valdosta State 24 2 North Alabama 55
1 Delta State 34
1 Delta State 27
5 Albany State 22 4 Tusculum 19
4 Tusculum 34

Super Regional 4

First round
November 15
Second round
November 22
Super Regional finals
November 29
2 Northwest Missouri Bearcats 38
6 Nebraska–Omaha 21 3 Pittsburg State 35
3 Pittsburg State 33 2 Northwest Missouri State45
1 Abilene Christian 36
1 Abilene Christian 93
5 Central Washington 42 4 West Texas A&M 68
4 West Texas A&M 49

Semifinals and championship

Semifinals
December 6
Championship
December 13
      
SR1 Champion California (PA) 7
SR3 Champion Minnesota–Duluth45
SR3 Champion Minnesota–Duluth 21
SR4 Champion Northwest Missouri State 14
SR2 Champion North Alabama 7
SR4 Champion Northwest Missouri State41

Individual game results

Round 1

Seton Hill vs. American International
1234Total
Seton Hill007714
American International00707

The Seton Hill Griffins deflected and intercepted a pass by the American International quarterback Rob Parent with 5:45 left and scored with 5:02 remaining for a 14–7 win over the Yellow Jackets' in the first-ever NCAA playoff game for both programs. [5]

S. Connecticut vs. West Chester
1234Total
S. Connecticut61201432
West Chester1414141052

West Chester defeated Southern Connecticut State, 52–32, as Jackson Fagan rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Fagan scored on runs of 61, 7 and 4 yards. QB Joe Wright threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns and the Golden Rams also scored on a 22-yard interception return by defensive tackle Scott Schiavo. [6]

Wayne State vs. Chadron State
1234Total
Wayne State1000717
Chadron State797023

Wayne State quarterback Silas Fluellen completed 17 of 40 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown, but could not overcome the 243 yards and three touchdowns by Chadron State quarterback Joe McLain who left the game with an injury as the Eagles defeated the Wildcats, 23–17. Wayne State had four turnovers inside the 10-yard line in the game. [7]

Minnesota State vs. Ashland
1234Total
Minnesota State670316
Ashland01301427

In its first ever home playoff game the Ashland University Eagles defeated the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks, 27–16. Quarterback Billy Cundiff threw a 66-yard scoring completion to Joe Horn with 11:56 remaining in the fourth quarter as the Eagles took the lead for good. Previously, Ashland was 0–3 in the school's playoff history. [8]

Carson-Newman vs. Valdosta State
1234Total
Carson-Newman770620
Valdosta State078924

The Valdosta State Blazers fell behind early, but rallied in the second half to defeat Carson-Newman Eagles, 24–20. Ronnye Nelson ran for 83 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards for the Blazers. The win was the fifth straight playoff win for the Blazers, the defending NCAA Division II Champions. [9]

Albany State vs. Tusculum
1234Total
Albany State3712022
Tusculum0772034

The Tusculum College Pioneers only led the final 3:31 of the game against the Albany State Rams, but scored on three fourth quarter drives to win 34–22. Senior quarterback Corey Russell finished the game with 87 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 15 carries and was 23-of-38 passing for 274 yards and three touchdowns for the Pioneers. Tusculum maintained its streak of no games lost at home in two seasons. [10]

Nebraska-Omaha vs Pittsburg State
1234Total
Nebraska-Omaha770721
Pittsburg State71301333

Quarterback Mark Smith scored a rushing touchdown that put the Pittsburg State Gorillas out of range of the late-surging University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in a 33–21 win. The 24th-ranked Mavericks took the lead in game, 21–20, with 13:05 left in the game, but the Gorillas took back the lead, 26–21 with 5:27 left in the game. Smith scored on a 32-yard touchdown with 2:10 left in the game to seal the win. Smith finished with 365 yards of total offensive, including 212 rushing yards for the Gorillas. [11]

C. Washington vs. West Texas
1234Total
C. Washington71414742
West Texas82714049

Keith Flemming put the West Texas A&M Buffaloes ahead for good with a 6-yard run late in the second quarter in a 49–42 victory over Central Washington Wildcats. Flemming ran for four touchdowns and Keith Null threw three touchdown passes (35 of 49 passes for 463 yards and one interception). [12]

Round 2

West Chester vs. Bloomsburg
1234Total
West Chester707721
Bloomsburg7071428

The West Chester Golden Rams got a late touchdown pass but failed to recover an onside kick as Bloomsburg held on for a 28–21 victory. A 62-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jesse Cooper in the fourth quarter gave the Huskies a 21–14 lead. Bloomsburg scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 3:41 left in the fourth to extend the lead to 28–14. [13]

California (PA) vs. Seton Hill
1234Total
Seton Hill07007
California (PA)141414648

California University of Pennsylvania's QB Kevin McCabe threw three touchdowns as the Vulcan's defeated Seton Hill, 48–7. McCabe completed 19 of 24 passes for 253 yards. Terrence Johnson ran an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Seton Hill's lone score came on a 30-yard fumble return for a touchdown. [13]

Chadron State vs. Minnesota Duluth
1234Total
Chadron State0010010
Minnesota Duluth0713020

Minnesota Duluth held Chadron State to just 8 yards rushing for the game in a 20–10 victory. The Bulldogs held the ball for nearly 40 minutes while gaining 388 yards in total offense. The Eagles gained 178 yards in total offense. [14]

Ashland vs. Grand Valley State
1234Total
Ashland00077
Grand Valley141031340

The Grand Valley State, the top seed in Super Region 3, defeated Ashland University, 40–7. The Lakers scored on their first two possessions and built a 24–0 halftime lead. Ashland's only score came on the first play of the fourth quarter as quarterback Billy Cundiff hit Christian Livingston with an 8-yard touchdown pass. Grand Valley answered on the next offensive play with a 62-yard touchdown run. The Lakers' defense ended with eight sacks and nine tackles for lost yardage. [15]

Valdosta State vs. North Alabama
1234Total
Valdosta State030710
N. Alabama7914737

North Alabama avenged last season's quarterfinal playoff loss to defending Division II Champion Valdosta State, 37–10, as QB A.J. Milwee threw for 167 yards and one touchdown and ran for another score. The Lions took a 16–3 halftime lead and scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Valdosta State only touchdown came as Dudley Spence returned a fumble 55-yard for a score in the fourth quarter. [16]

Tusculum vs. Delta State
1234Total
Tusculum067619
Delta State01010727

Delta State compiled 529 yards of offense as QB while Garrett DeWitt threw for 344 yards and backup quarterback Blake Barnes rushed for two touchdowns as the Statesmen defeated Tusculum, 27–19. The Statesmen defense held allowed 425 (310 in the air) but forced Tusculum into three turnovers. The win advanced Delta State to the Division II playoff quarterfinals for the third straight year. [17]

Pittsburg State vs. Northwest Mo.
1234Total
Pittsburg State7615735
Northwest Mo.7177738

Northwest Missouri State came from behind to defeat Pittsburg State 38–35. Pittsburg State took the lead with 3 minutes, 30 seconds remaining, but QB Joel Osborn threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright with 55 seconds left gave the Bearcats a victory. The Gorillas racked up 408 total yards of offense as QB Mark Smith rushed for 123 yards and passed for 185 yards. [18]

West Texas vs. Abilene Christian
1234Total
West Texas A&M1420201468
Abilene Christian2121371493

The Abilene Christian University Wildcats set a record for points in an NCAA playoff game (93) as they scored touchdowns on 13 of its 15 possessions in a 93–68 defeat of West Texas A&M. [19] [20] The Wildcats compiled 810 total yards as quarterback Billy Malone threw six touchdown passes, each to a different receiver, and completed 16 of 25 passes for 383 yards. Bernard Scott rushed for 292 yards on 19 carries and scored seven touchdowns. [19]

West Texas was led by quarterback Keith Null (42-of-63, 595 yards, seven touchdowns), and Charly Martin who had 14 catches for 323 yards and five TDs as the Buffs compiled 721 total yards of offense. [19]

The Wildcats will play Northwest Missouri State in the national quarterfinals, a rematch of ACU's 44–27 victory on Aug. 30. [19]

Super Regional finals

California (PA) vs. Bloomsburg
1234Total
California (PA)6714027
Bloomsburg773724

California of Pennsylvania eliminated Bloomsburg University, 27–24, to advance to the semifinals. The Vulcans scored two third-quarter touchdowns to take a 27–17 lead, but Bloomsburg scored on a 1-yard run by quarterback Dan Latorre to close the gap to 27–24. The Huskies were attempting a game-winning drive, but the Vulcans linebacker Darren Burns forced a fumble by Latorre on a 28-yard quarterback draw and Brandon Gordon recovered the fumble for the

Vulcans. The Vulcans then ran out the clock. [21]

Minnesota Duluth vs. Grand Valley
1234OTTotal
Minnesota Duluth0760619
Grand Valley3307013

Sophomore linebacker Kiel Fechtelkotter intercepted a pass from Grand Valley State quarterback Brad Iciek in the second overtime to seal a 19–13 double-overtime victory. UMD scored a touchdown in the second overtime, but the Lakers blocked the extra-point attempt. Two plays later, Fechtelkotter made the interception, ending the game. [22]

North Alabama vs. Delta State
1234Total
North Alabama72421355
Delta State7771334

The Lions avenged their only loss this season, defeating Delta State, 55–34. While defense gave up 541 yards in total offense to the Statesmen, they also forced six turnovers total and scored twice on defense (interception returns for touchdowns by Darron Dampier and Michael Johnson). Wide receiver Joemal Campbell caught two touchdown passes and blocked a punt for the Lions. [23]

Northwest Mo. vs. Abilene Christian
1234Total
Northwest Mo.141471045
Abilene Christian10107936

Northwest Missouri State secured their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Division II semifinals with a 45–36 victory against Abilene Christian. The Bearcats' quarterback Joel Osborn threw for 247 yards (19-of-28) and two touchdowns. Backup quarterback Blake Bolles finished with 69 yards through the air and one touchdown pass, and 51 yards rushing and one touchdown run. [24]

Semifinals

California (PA) vs. Minnesota Duluth
1234Total
California (PA)00707
Minnesota Duluth710141445

A week after upsetting Grand Valley State, the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs advanced to the National Championship game with a 45–7 victory over California (Pa.). The Bulldogs held the Vulcans to their lowest rushing total of the season, while forcing five turnovers. California had averaged nearly 200 yards rushing and 38 points per game this season. Isaac Odim rushed for 126 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Bulldogs. [25]

North Alabama vs. Northwest Mo.
1234Total
North Alabama07007
Northwest Mo.20714041

Northwest Missouri State Bearcats played turnover-free football while forcing two North Alabama turnovers en route to a 41–7 victory. The Bearcats defense held North Alabama to one touchdown as they advanced to their fourth straight national championship game. [26]

Championship

1234Total
Minnesota Duluth077721
Northwest Mo.0001414

The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs won the school's first NCAA Division II football championship in a 21–14 win over the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats. Minnesota Duluth's quarterback Ted Schlafke threw 38-yard touchdown pass to Tony Doherty with 14 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 7–0 lead. Later he threw a 5-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to Issac Odim for a 14–0 lead. Odim ran for a 4-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter for a 21–0 lead. Northwest Missouri's first score came on a 44-yard interception return by Aldwin Foster-Rettig cutting the score to 21–7. The Bearcats cut the lead to 21–14 as Raphael Robinson scored on a 2-yard touchdown catch with 1:36 left in the game. Minnesota Duluth recovered an onside kick attempt and ran out the clock. [27]

Minnesota Duluth finished the season with a 15–0 record. Northwest Missouri ended the season with a 13–2 record and suffered its fourth consecutive loss in the Division II championship game. [27]

See also

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