* FRIDAY NIGHT *
CARRIER DOME BOWL – Friday night November 22nd saw the first Bowl Game of 2013. The ASA COLLEGE AVENGERS took on the COLLEGE OF DUPAGE CHAPARRALS in a duel of cool-named teams. The Avengers led 7-0 early on and never looked back, winning easily 23-3. It’s impossible to over-praise the Avengers. This still-young college football program just played in its second Bowl game in a row and with this victory logged the first Bowl win in program history.
* NCCAA CHAMPIONSHIP *
VICTORY BOWL – The Victory Bowl is the National Championship game in the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association). Rome, GA was the site of this game yesterday. The AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY COUGARS played the defending champions, the GREENVILLE COLLEGE PANTHERS. Despite being the incumbents, the Panthers were very heavy underdogs against the Azusa Pacific juggernaut. The final score in this lopsided title clash was Cougars 67 Panthers 0. Congratulations to Azusa Pacific University!
* NAIA PLAYOFFS *
BATTLE OF THE BIRDS – The TABOR COLLEGE BLUE JAYS traveled to take on the BENEDICTINE COLLEGE RAVENS as the playoffs kicked off in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). The Ravens led 7-0 after one Quarter but the Blue Jays made it 7-6 by Halftime. In the 3rd Quarter Tabor College got a Touchdown but failed on the 2-point conversion attempt, leaving the score at 12-7. Early in the 4th Quarter the Blue Jays forced a Safety out of the Ravens, making it 14-7 after all. Benedictine College pulled within one but ultimately got upset 14-13.
BAKE-OFF – Elsewhere in the First Round of the NAIA playoffs the BAKER UNIVERSITY WILDCATS welcomed the STERLING COLLEGE WARRIORS, who were making their very first playoff appearance. The upstart Warriors got on the scoreboard first, leading 7-0 at the end of the 1st Quarter. The heavily favored Wildcats tied it up at 7-7 by Halftime. The defensive struggle continued in the 2nd Half, not being resolved until the final seconds, when Baker kicker Clarence Clark redeemed himself for a missed Field Goal earlier in the 4th Quarter by lifting the Wildcats to a 10-7 victory!
FORT WAYNE ENCOUNTER – Perennial playoff team the UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS played host to the FAULKNER UNIVERSITY EAGLES (whom I say should change their name to the Faulkner Furies – get it?). Faulkner was making its first playoff appearance just like Sterling, and like them put up an incredible debut fight. The Cougars led 20-7 by Halftime but were shut out by the Faulkner defense in the 2nd Half. The Eagles made it 20-13 in the 4th Quarter but got no closer.
“PREPARE TO MEET KALI … IN HELENA!” – The CARROLL COLLEGE FIGHTING SAINTS are the most storied dynasty in NAIA football. Their guests, the GEORGETOWN (KY) COLLEGE TIGERS have proven to be the most overrated team in the nation in recent years. Helena, Montana’s Fighting Saints were tied up with the Tigers 21-21 at Halftime and 28-28 after three Quarters of play. In the 4th Quarter the CC defense stepped up big, shutting out the Tigers and setting up a 38-28 win for the Fighting Saints. Another 1st round loss for Georgetown.
MUSTANG STAMPEDE – The MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS were the 2012 runners-up in NAIA football and this year hope to go one victory further. Yesterday they greeted the ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BATTLIN’ BEARS and proceeded to kick them around. The Mustangs led 10-0 after the 1st Quarter and 33-14 by Halftime. RMC and Morningside added a Touchdown each in the 3rd and 4th Quarters respectively for a final score of Mustangs 40 Battlin’ Bears 21.
MARSHALL, MARSHALL, MARSHALL! – Marshall, MO was the site for the playoff game between the homestanding MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE VIKINGS and the NORTHWESTERN (IA) COLLEGE RED RAIDERS. The Red Raiders at first seemed fit to go blow-for-blow with the Vikings, keeping pace 7-7 after one Quarter of play. From there MVC flexed their muscles, leading 21-13 at Halftime, 28-13 by the end of the 3rd Quarter and adding 10 more points in the 4th to win the game 38-13.
TRUE VIKING WEATHER – It was just 18 degrees in Des Moines, IA for part of yesterday’s game between the GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS and the visiting OTTAWA (KS) UNIVERSITY BRAVES. As unlikely as it sounds BOTH Viking teams in the playoffs advanced to the 2nd Round by scores of 38-13. Grand View led 24-7 at Halftime and racked up 14 more points in the 2nd Half to the 6 scored by the Braves. Once again it was Vikings 38 and their opponents 13.
DOUBLING UP ON THE BEES – The top-seeded UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS welcomed the SAINT AMBROSE UNIVERSITY FIGHTING BEES for their First Round playoff game. The Fighting Bees actually led 12-7 at the end of the 1st Quarter but by Halftime the Patriot Mojo had kicked in and UC led 28-20. Beginning with the 3rd Quarter the Patriots began pulling further and further away, with the final score being Patriots 56 Fighting Bees 28.
* NCAA DIVISION 2 PLAYOFFS *
CATFIGHT – In Round One of the D2 playoffs the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA LIONS took on the visiting TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY GOLDEN TIGERS. This turned out to be the closest game of the day in the Division Two playoffs. When all the dust had settled the Lions had squeaked by with a 30-27 victory.
SAINT CLOUD INVADES HENDERSON STATE – The SAINT CLOUD STATE HUSKIES took it on the road against the HENDERSON STATE UNIVERSITY REDDIES. This nailbiter was a highly entertaining affair which kept you guessing all the way up until the very end! In the end the Huskies pulled off the upset by a final score of 40-35.
GET A PIECE OF THE ROCK – Another upset seemed to be in the making in the matchup between the WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY RAMS and their guests, the SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY ROCKETS. However the Rams seem very comfortable in their role as a D2 football power in recent years and managed a 27-20 triumph.
WOLVES DRIVEN OFF BY EAGLES – The CARSON-NEWMAN UNIVERSITY EAGLES seem determined to return to their championship ways of the past. The Eagles played host to the NEWBERRY COLLEGE WOLVES yesterday. Carson-Newman advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 37-27 victory over Newberry.
WIN IT BY THIRTEEN – The WEST TEXAS A&M BUFFALOES are once again relishing their roles as upset artists in the D2 playoffs. Yesterday the homestanding UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS GREYHOUNDS were the latest team to realize how dangerous WTAM is in the postseason. The final score in this game was Buffaloes 27 Greyhounds 14.
STINGING THE YELLOW JACKETS – The WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY GOLDEN RAMS and the visiting AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE YELLOW JACKETS clashed in a First Round game yesterday. This entirely one-sided affair saw the Golden Rams dominate on both sides of the ball on their way to an impressive 38-7 win.
NO KOBE BRYANT, NO PROBLEM – Yes, that title is a pretty lame joke even for me! Anyway the GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY LAKERS joined Carson-Newman in putting a certain retro feel into this postseason by returning to some of their old dominance. The Lakers beat up on the hapless SAGINAW VALLEY STATE CARDINALS, sending them home reeling from a 40-7 smackdown.
MAYHEM IN MINNESOTA – The UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA-DULUTH BULLDOGS seemed to consider their First Round opponents to be little more than a speed-bump. The visiting EMPORIA STATE UNIVERSITY HORNETS had no chance yesterday as the Bulldogs chewed them up and spit them out to the tune of 55-13.
* NCAA DIVISION 3 PLAYOFFS *
CALL IT AN UPSET, BUB – The WESLEY COLLEGE WOLVERINES were on the road against the JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BLUE JAYS, who once again found themselves bounced in the First Round of the playoffs. The Wolverines led 17-14 at Halftime then after a scoreless 3rd Quarter for both teams outdid the Blue Jays 12-10 in the 4th for a thrilling 29-24 upset win.
PROFESSOR SHUTOUT – The ROWAN UNIVERSITY PROFS made short work of their opponents yesterday. The visiting ENDICOTT COLLEGE GULLS trailed the Profs by a score of 7-0 after the 1st Quarter, 14-0 at Halftime and finally by 24-0 at the end of the 3rd Quarter of play. That was the end of the scoring as Rowan advanced to the next round with this 24-0 shutout.
COMEBACK KIDS – The ITHACA COLLEGE BOMBERS seemed in danger of being upset by the visiting FRAMINGHAM STATE UNIVERSITY RAMS. The Rams saw a 17-3 Halftime lead melt to a 17-10 lead going into the 4th Quarter. The Bombers exploded in that final frame for a 20-17 comeback victory.
BEATING THE BLUE STREAKS – And speaking of comeback wins the SAINT JOHN FISHER COLLEGE CARDINALS pulled off an opening round upset with a comeback of their own yesterday. The Cardinals trailed the homestanding JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY BLUE STREAKS 13-7 at Halftime but stepped up big in the 2nd Half, holding the Blue Streaks to just 3 points while tacking on 18 of their own for a 25-16 win.
TIGERS OVER THE SCOTS – The HAMPDEN-SYDNEY COLLEGE TIGERS welcomed the MARYVILLE COLLEGE FIGHTING SCOTS yesterday. This very intriguing matchup saw the Tigers leading by 14-13 after one Quarter and 35-27 at Halftime. At the end of the 3rd Quarter their lead was just 35-34 before a 4th Quarter Touchdown of their own clinched the 42-34 victory.
URSUS DOMESTICUS – The FRANKLIN COLLEGE GRIZZLIES are back in the playoffs and yesterday played host to the WASHINGTON (MO) UNIVERSITY BEARS. Though favored the Grizzlies found themselves trailing 10-7 after three Quarters of play. The Franklin offense came alive in the 4th, propelling them to a 17-10 win.
NOT SO TITANIC AFTER ALL – The WARTBURG COLLEGE KNIGHTS played their way to an easy First Round upset of the ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY TITANS. The Knights clobbered their opponents on both sides of the ball, converting a 7-0 1st Quarter lead into a 41-7 blowout win on the road.
THE GENEVA MASSACRE – In Geneva, NY the HOBART & WILLIAM SMITH STATESMEN proved to be ungracious hosts, delivering an embarrassing beatdown to the visiting GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY BISON. The Bison were never truly in this game and didn’t even get on the scoreboard until the 4th Quarter. The final score was Statesmen 34 Bison 7.
DON’T THAT BEAT THE DUTCH(MEN)? – The WITTENBERG UNIVERSITY TIGERS folded, spindled and mutilated their first round opponents, the LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE FLYING DUTCHMEN. The Flying Dutchmen once again ended the year on an embarrassing note as the homestanding Tigers mauled them to the tune of 59-17.
BLAZING A TRAIL TO A BUTTKICKING – The UW-PLATTEVILLE PIONEERS joined the fun of beating your First Round playoff opponent to a pulp. The Pioneers welcomed the CONCORDIA (WI) FALCONS and proceeded to pluck every last feather off them. 14-0 turned into 28-7 at the half and ultimately into a 54-20 laugher.
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN – Last year the LINFIELD COLLEGE WILDCATS defeated the visiting PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY LUTES in the opening round of the D3 playoffs. This postseason presented a rematch of that First Round encounter. The end result was the same, however, as the Wildcats sent the Lutes home this time doubling up on them 42-21.
PERFIDIOUS ALBION FALLS – My fellow Napoleon geeks will get that title. At any rate the NORTH CENTRAL COLLEGE CARDINALS inflicted the kind of defeat on the ALBION COLLEGE BRITONS that the Emperor could only dream of. The visiting Britons meekly snuck onto the scoreboard with a 4th Quarter touchdown in a game that saw the Cardinals whip them 63-7.
A ROYAL DRUBBING – The BETHEL UNIVERSITY (MN) ROYALS administered a devastating loss on their guests the COLLEGE OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA SAINTS. The Royals led by a score of 22-0 after one Quarter of play and never looked back, finishing up with an unbelievable SEVENTY to THIRTEEN triumph.
NOT SO MOTLEY “CRU” – The UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR CRUSADERS AKA “THE CRU” treated the visiting UNIVERSITY OF REDLANDS BULLDOGS like their prison brides yesterday. The Crusaders shoved the Bulldogs around the field for all 4 Quarters, advancing to Round Two of the playoffs with an authoritative 35-7 win.
BEHEADING THE GREEN KNIGHTS – The UW-WHITEWATER WARHAWKS have been the only serious competition to the Mount Union football dynasty in D3. The Warhawks played the Purple Raiders in 7 straight championship games in recent years and defeated them in 4 of those. After a 1 year absence from the postseason Whitewater is back and yesterday demolished their guests the SAINT NORBERT COLLEGE GREEN KNIGHTS by a score of 31-7.
THESE PRESIDENTS WERE FAR FROM DEAD – The defending champion UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION PURPLE RAIDERS welcomed the WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE PRESIDENTS for their First Round game. The Presidents were much gamer than expected, giving the Purple Raiders a real fight. At one point in the 2nd Mt Union led by just 21-13, a much tighter score than their First Round opponents usually manage. In the end the champs pulled off a 34-20 victory.
* CCCAA PLAYOFFS *
NATIONAL BOWL – The CCCAA incorporates their playoffs into their Bowl format. The National Bowl served as one of the semifinals in the SCFA and pitted the FULLERTON COLLEGE HORNETS against the COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS COUGARS. The Hornets stung the Cougars to death by a final score of 56-17.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BOWL – The Southern California Bowl served as the other semifinal in the SCFA. The RIVERSIDE COLLEGE TIGERS battled the GOLDEN WEST COLLEGE RUSTLERS in this matchup. The Rustlers and Tigers played a much closer game with the score tied up 7-7 at Halftime and with Riverside up 14-10 after 3 Quarters of play. The Tigers pulled away in the 4th beating the Rustlers 27-17.
* NCAA DIVISION 3 BOWLS *
NORTH CENTRAL BOWL – The CORTLAND STATE RED DRAGONS did battle with the ALFRED UNIVERSITY SAXONS in this Bowl game. The Saxons were in control through most of the game and led 14-7 after the First Quarter and 21-7 at Halftime. In the 3rd Quarter the Red Dragons notched a Touchdown to make it 21-14 and seemed to be itching to tie the game up. Both defenses clamped down from that point on however and the Saxons won by that same 21-14 score.
NORTH ATLANTIC BOWL – This Bowl pitted the SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE PRIDE against the NORWICH UNIVERSITY CADETS. The Cadets seemed headed for a win at first, leading 14-7 after the 1st Quarter and 21-14 at Halftime. In the 3rd Quarter the Pride tied it up at 21-21 and when all the dust had settled in the 4th Quarter the final score was Pride 28 Cadets 27.
NORTHWEST BOWL – The BROCKPORT STATE GOLDEN EAGLES faced the WAYNESBURG COLLEGE YELLOW JACKETS in yesterday’s Northwest Bowl. The Golden Eagles turned a 6-3 lead in the 1st Quater into a 13-3 Halftime advantage. The Yellow Jackets pulled within one score in the 3rd by making it 13-6 but both teams put up 6 more points in the 4th to give Brockport State the 19-12 victory.
SOUTH ATLANTIC BOWL – The SALISBURY UNIVERSITY SEA GULLS traveled for this Bowl game against the MUHLENBERG COLLEGE MULES. These two teams went blow for blow throughout the game. The Mules led 7-0 after the 1st Quarter but the Sea Gulls tied it up 7-7 by Halftime and led 14-7 after the 3rd. The topsy-turvy 4th Quarter saw the most points in the game with the Sea Gulls holding on for a 21-19 win.
SOUTHWEST BOWL – The ALBRIGHT COLLEGE LIONS and the JUNIATA COLLEGE EAGLES played in one of the most thrilling D3 games of the day. The teams were tied at 21 apiece when Halftime rolled around. By the end of the 3rd Quarter Juniata led 28-24 but like the South Atlantic Bowl the 4th Quarter was a virtual orgy of offense. By game’s end the Lions won by a score of 45-34.
NORTHEAST BOWL – This Bowl matchup between the WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY COLONIALS and the SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY SEAHAWKS was a tale of two halves. The visiting Colonials got off to a 10-7 lead but trailed 14-13 at the Half. After that it was all WestConn with the Colonials winning easily 48-35.
SOUTHEAST BOWL – The 2013 Southeast Bowl found the FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE DIPLOMATS on the road against the DELAWARE VALLEY COLLEGE AGGIES. The Diplomats rather UN-Diplomatically added to the gridiron dissatisfaction Del Val has been suffering of late. This game was all Diplomats all the time and ended as a 38-14 slaughter.
* CCCAA BOWLS *
AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP BOWL – The PIERCE COLLEGE BRAHMA BULLS traveled to Rancho Cucamonga, CA to battle the CHAFFEY COLLEGE PANTHERS. This nailbiter saw the 1st Quarter end with a 7-7 tie but the Panthers leading 13-7 at Halftime. The Brahma Bulls took a 14-13 lead by the end of the 3rd Quarter and managed an addtional Touchdown in the 4th Quarter to secure a 21-13 victory.
GOLDEN VALLEY BOWL – The MODESTO COLLEGE PIRATES were at the SANTA ROSA COLLEGE BEAR CUBS for this Bowl. Despite a deceptively close final score the outcome was never in doubt in this contest. The Pirates led 36-13 by Halftime and then just coasted the rest of the way to win 48-39.
PATRIOTIC BOWL – This star-spangled affair pitted the SOUTHWESTERN (CA) COLLEGE JAGUARS against the SAN BERNARDINO VALLEY COLLEGE WOLVERINES. The Jaguars led 7-3 after one Quarter, 14-3 at the Half and 20-3 after three. The 4th Quarter exploded with points galore but the Jaguars had built up too big a lead and won by a score of 34-23.
LIVING BREATH FOUNDATION BOWL – Aptos, CA was the site of this wonderful game for a very worthy cause. The HARTNELL COLLEGE PANTHERS faced the CONTRA COSTA COLLEGE COMETS in a gridiron clash that did not disappoint. After a 13-13 tie at Halftime the Comets led 26-20 after 3 Quarters of play. The Panthers took over in the 4th emerging with a 37-26 win.
BEACH BOWL – No, not Beach Ball – the Beach Bowl. The CITRUS COLLEGE OWLS took it on the road against the SADDLEBACK COLLEGE GAUCHOS in this postseason brouhaha. The 1st Half was a defensive slugfest with the Owls leading the Gauchos just 3-0 at the break. The 3rd Quarter picked up a little and ended with a 10-7 Citrus College advantage. The Owls outscored the Gauchos 15-7 in the 4th to take home a 25-14 Bowl Victory.
CENTRAL DIVISION BOWL – The mighty CHABOT COLLEGE GLADIATORS took on the COLLEGE OF THE SISKIYOUS EAGLES in a battle of champions. The Eagles, champions of the Mid-Empire Conference held a 10-7 lead after 1 Quarter of play over the Gladiators, champions of the Golden Gate Conference. The Gladiators led 16-10 by Halftime and stayed on top the rest of the way to their 36-23 win.
BAY BOWL – In a rematch of last year’s Bay Bowl matchup the LANEY COLLEGE EAGLES welcomed the DIABLO VALLEY COLLEGE VIKINGS. This time the Eagles came out on top, building a 29-0 lead by the 2nd Quarter. The Vikings made vague rumblings of a comeback attempt but could not dig themselves all the way out of that big a hole. Laney won 29-14.
GOLDEN STATE BOWL – Walnut, CA was the site for this collision between the storied MOUNT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES and the VENTURA COLLEGE PIRATES. The Mounties are used to playing for the CCCAA title and took their anger out on the hapless Pirates. A 28-6 Halftime lead became a 42-14 blowout win for the Mounties when all was said and done.
WESTERN STATE BOWL – The CERRITOS COLLEGE FALCONS and the GROSSMONT COLLEGE GRIFFINS met up in Norwalk, CA for the 2013 edition of the Western State Bowl. This one turned into a joke early on as the Falcons led the Griffins 36-7 by the end of the First Quarter. Things didn’t get any better for Grossmont the rest of the way and the final score was Falcons 64 Griffins 33.
BOTHMAN BULLDOG BOWL – Try not to wear yourself out laughing at the previous score because this one is even more lopsided. The COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO BULLDOGS welcomed the AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE BEAVERS to be their appetizers, main course and dessert. If you think a Halftime score of 48-3 sounds bad then you’ll REALLY wince at the final score of 75-9.
* D2 REGULAR SEASON *
MARATHON IN THE BLACK HILLS – The last four teams in NCAA Division Two wrapped up their regular seasons yesterday. The BLACK HILLS STATE UNIVERSITY YELLOW JACKETS played host to the WESTERN STATE MOUNTAINEERS for a pigskin donnybrook that lasted through regulation and THREE OVERTIMES. The Yellow Jackets at last emerged with a 50-48 win following a missed two-point conversion by the Mountaineers.
THE NEWBIE BOWL? – The FLORIDA TECH PANTHERS and the ALDERSON-BROADDUS COLLEGE BATTLERS both played their very first season of intercollegiate football this year. This end of the season clash between the two was a very nice touch and is a tradition that I hope will continue. What could be a better basis for evaluating each other’s progress as a football program than a rivalry game to end each season? With both teams just starting out all things should be equal. Florida Tech took this intense game by a final score of 32-20.
Helmets courtesy of The Helmet Project.