A MILESTONE FOR SIOUX FALLS – The UNIVERSITY OF SIOUX FALLS COUGARS won their first gridiron victory since leaving the NAIA for D2 after last season. Yesterday they logged a road win over the MINOT STATE BEAVERS, themselves recently moved over to D2 from the NAIA. The final score in this game that will live on in USF history was 38-23.
THE WALSH CAVALIERS RULE THE WORLD – The NAIA’s WALSH CAVALIERS took it on the road yesterday and brought down D2’s URBANA BLUE KNIGHTS in a very memorable 22-20 gridiron epic.
NUMBER ONE TAKES A FALL – The SCFA’s top-ranked team, the MT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES, who are also the defending champs in that division, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten following a 29-26 loss to the RIVERSIDE TIGERS.
STAGG BOWL IS READY FOR PRIME TIME – It may not be a game result from yesterday, but it’s a significant development in NCAA Division 3 football. The D3 championship game, better known as the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, is moving from Saturday to Friday night. This year the game will be played at 7 pm ET on December 16th. This marks the first prime time airing of the Stagg Bowl since 2001.
TOP 25 UPSETS – NAIA – The 11th ranked MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS, still smarting from being toppled from the 3 spot last week after being upset at home by the NEBRASKA WESLEYAN PRAIRIE WOLVES, took down the 9th ranked MIDLAND WARRIORS. The Mustangs earned this bounce back win on the road in a 28-27 Instant Classic that spoiled Midland’s Homecoming … The unranked BETHEL (TN) WILDCATS defeated the 15th ranked CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS in their own house by a tight score of 35-28 … At number 17, the ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BATTLING BEARS suffered their 2nd loss of the season at the hands of the unranked road warriors, the MONTANA STATE- NORTHERN LIGHTS in a 35-32 game for the ages.
TOP 25 UPSETS – D3 – Just one week after needing overtime to polish off the OTTERBEIN CARDINALS, the 9th ranked OHIO NORTHERN POLAR BEARS struggled against another unranked team, the MUSKINGUM MUSKIES. The Muskies wound up totalling the Polar Bears 27-7 … At number 10, the WARTBURG KNIGHTS fell at home to the up-and- down COE KOHAWKS in a very tight 27-24 contest … The 22nd ranked HAMPDEN- SYDNEY TIGERS suffered a 34-27 road loss to the HUNTINGDON HAWKS … At 23, the MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE CHOCTAWS just snuck back into the rankings, but their stay was short-lived. They were dismembered by the LOUISIANA COLLEGE WILDCATS by a score of 52-17.
TOP 25 UPSETS – D2 – The 15th ranked TAMK JAVELINAS continue to see their potential dream season suffering setbacks. Yesterday they lost to the unranked MIDWESTERN STATE MUSTANGS in a 44-38 heartbreaker, while the MARS HILL LIONS defeated the number 24 NORTH GREENVILLE CRUSADERS 38-28.
DYNASTIES IN FREEFALL – Two former powers in D2 football, the dynastic GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS and the CARSON- NEWMAN EAGLES continue to see their glory days fade into the past. The Lakers fell at home to the FINDLAY OILERS 26-20 and the Eagles were stifled in their own house by the resurgent NEWBERRY WOLVES in a 24-3 result.
ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS – Two NAIA institutions in their first year of intercollegiate football squared off yesterday, still looking for the first win in their programs’ brief history. The home team, the ROBERT MORRIS (IL) EAGLES won a very close 12-7 match against the AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY GYRENES.
THOROBREDS AND CIRCUSES – The KENTUCKY STATE THOROBREDS continue to make strides in their ongoing effort to turn around their football program. The Thorobreds (love that name) notched their third win of the season by taking down the KENTUCKY WESLEYAN COUGARS by a score of 23-7.
CAREER DAY FOR HOSKINS – PIKEVILLE BEARS quarterback Trevor Hoskins, Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: Two-Gun Trevor, racked up 481 passing yards in yesterday’s 51-34 win over the FAULKNER EAGLES. A consolation for Faulkner is the fact that they still have the oldest football player in college sports history as a feel-good story.
“AND THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING” – The JAMESTOWN COLLEGE JIMMIES bounced back after last week’s embarrassing outcome against the DICKINSON STATE BLUE HAWKS by going on the road and spanking the the MAYVILLE STATE COMETS by a score of 35-13. That sound you hear is the Frontier Conference still trying to woo the Jimmies away from the disintegrating Dakota Athletic Conference.
THE SCOREBOARD OF THE BEAST – The IOWA WESTERN REIVERS moved to 5-0 on the season when they decimated the HARPER COLLEGE HAWKS 66-6. The Reivers hope to be slouching towards the playoffs yet again!
VICTORY AT LAST – The NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE RANGERS got their first win of the 2011 season by trouncing those loveable losers the TEXAS COLLEGE STEERS in a 44-7 setback for the home team. Say what you will, the Steers have that 1962 Mets or mid- 1990’s Prairie View A&M charm about them.
THE GLADNESS OF THE GLADIATORS – The CHABOT COLLEGE GLADIATORS proved once again that they are nobody’s patsies by slapping around the HARTNELL PANTHERS in a 44-14 laugher that drew a big thumbs up from the Gladiator faithful.
HIGHLAND HOMECOMING – The UVA-WISE HIGHLAND CAVALIERS celebrated homecoming yesterday with a 34-24 win over the hard-fighting UNION (KY) BULLDOGS.
“OUR DIVISION CAN BEAT UP YOUR DIVISION” DEPARTMENT – In my ongoing chronicle of the football rivalry between the NAIA and NCAA Division 3, the NAIA continues to own D3 so far this season. The NAIA won both head-to- head matchups yesterday, with the home- standing AZUSA PACIFIC COUGARS embarrassing the CHAPMAN PANTHERS by a score of 43-7 and the MENLO OAKS once again defeating a D3 team on the road in a very memorable 24-17 win over the WHITWORTH COLLEGE PIRATES.
IN-“SPIRE”- ING WIN – The SAINT MARY SPIRES went on the road and trashed the TABOR COLLEGE BLUEJAYS by a score of 34-13. More and more teams are learning not to sleep on the Spires this season.
HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON? – It took two overtime periods to decide the game between the SANTA ANA DONS and the PALOMAR COLLEGE COMETS. The Dons (as in Old California Dons like Don Diego, not Mafia Dons like Don Corleone) emerged with a 52-45 win in the end.
UNDER THE RADAR CLASSICS – The 3rd ranked DELTA STATE STATESMEN won a squeaker over the HENDERSON STATE REDDIES 34-31 … The CUMBERLAND BULLDOGS survived a very tight 31-26 road game against the WEST VIRGINIA TECH GOLDEN BEARS … The 9th ranked EASTERN OREGON MOUNTAINEERS snagged a win over Frontier Conference rivals the MONTANA- WESTERN BULLDOGS 45-39 to keep climbing in the polls … The GOLDEN WEST COLLEGE RUSTLERS were defeated in overtime 29- 26 by the FULLERTON HORNETS … IOWA’S WEBBER INTERNATIONAL WARRIORS fell on the road to the SOUTHERN OREGON RAIDERS by a score of 15-10 … The LIVINGSTONE BLUE BEARS won a home stand against football newcomers the VIRGINIA- LYNCHBURG DRAGONS 24-21 in overtime … The NORTH DAKOTA STATE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE WILDCATS took down the COLLEGE OF DUPAGE CHAPARRALS in an unforgettable 21-20 matchup and the SHASTA KNIGHTS were defeated by the MENDOCINO EAGLES by a score of 21-19.