NUMBER TWO TAKES A FALL – The AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY COUGARS, in their first official game as a full member of NCAA Division 2 after their move over from the NAIA, pulled off a seismic upset last night! The Cougars welcomed the storied NUMBER TWO TEAM IN THE NATION – the GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS – and defeated them in a Double Overtime Instant Classic. APU trailed the Lakers 3-0 after the 1st Quarter and 10-7 at Halftime but the Cougar defense limited Grand Valley State to just 3 points in the 2nd Half. RB Terrell Watson put the Cougars up 13-10 with 4:20 to go in the 3rd Quarter but a Laker Field Goal in the 4th tied the game at 13-13. In the SECOND OVERTIME PERIOD the Cougars emerged with a 26-23 victory that laid low the most famous D2 football dynasty and rocked the rankings!
THE CHAMPS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS – To check in down at the 2-year college level for a moment the top-ranked defending champions of NJCAA football – the EAST MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE LIONS – were in action last night. The Lions – sporting their stylish skull and crossbones helmets – played host to the NUMBER THREE team, the COPIAH- LINCOLN COLLEGE WOLFPACK. East Mississippi led 14-7 after one Quarter of play but QB Chad Kelly led his team to a 31-7 advantage by Halftime. The 2nd Half was more of the same and in the end the Wolfpack went back home reeling from a 46-10 beatdown.
SOME PAIN FOR PAINE’S GRIDIRON DEBUT – The SHORTER UNIVERSITY HAWKS took on the visiting PAINE COLLEGE LIONS, who were playing in their VERY FIRST GAME of intercollegiate football in five decades. The spectators were treated to a game for the ages as it turned out. Things were tied up at 7-7 after the 1st Quarter but the Hawks held a comfortable 21-10 lead at the Half. The Lions made it a 21-17 game headed into the 4th Quarter but Hawks Head Coach Phil Jones stayed cool all night and navigated his squad to a 28-24 win.
BATTLES OF RANKED TEAMS – The number 3 CSU- PUEBLO THUNDERWOLVES spanked the visiting 13th ranked WEST TEXAS A&M BUFFALOES by a score of 35-6. ### Meanwhile the number 5 team in the nation – the MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY MAVERICKS – shut out the 12th ranked SAINT CLOUD STATE HUSKIES in a 31-0 home stand of their own.
THAT 70’s SHOW – The TUSCULUM COLLEGE PIONEERS were on fire offensively last night against their guests the COLLEGE OF FAITH MIGHTY BELIEVERS. TC came out on top SEVENTY-ONE to NOTHING making Head Coach Frankie Debusk very happy. ### And for their part the number 21 FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS logged a SEVENTY-FIVE to FOURTEEN road victory over the MCKENDREE UNIVERSITY BEARCATS.
DEFENSIVE EPIC IN THE SHOW-ME STATE – The 4th ranked MISSOURI WESTERN GRIFFONS clashed with their in-state rivals the UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL MISSOURI MULES. Bone-crushing defense was the order of the day as these two familiar foes had at each other through a scoreless 1st Quarter and beyond. A Touchdown for the Mules was followed by the Griffons’ Mike Jordan blocking the PAT making it just a 6-0 Central Missouri lead at Halftime. As the 4th Quarter started the score stood at Mules 6 Griffons 3 which became 9-3 after a UCM Field Goal. An Arbanus Elliot interception with less than 2 minutes to play set up a Raphael Spencer TD that gave the Griffons a 10-9 win.
OTHER RANKED TEAMS GETTING IT DONE – D2’s top-ranked defending champions the NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS easily dispatched their guests, the UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT KEARNY LOPERS to the tune of 31-7. ### Meanwhile the number 16 CARSON- NEWMAN EAGLES won a 38-24 home stand over the EDINBORO FIGHTING SCOTS. ### And at number 19 the EMPORIA STATE HORNETS nearly doubled-up on the visiting MISSOURI SOUTHERN LIONS in a 53-28 rout.
INSTANT CLASSICS – The LIVINGSTONE COLLEGE BLUE BEARS, led by Head Coach Daryl Williams, took it on the road against the MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY MARAUDERS. Despite trailing by 18 at one point the Blue Bears came back to take a late 46-44 lead then held on defensively for the win! ### And the AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE YELLOW JACKETS managed a tight road victory themselves, topping the ASSUMPTION COLLEGE GREYHOUNDS by a final score of 27-25.
BLUEGRASS BATTLEGROUND – The KENTUCKY STATE THOROBREDS welcomed the KENTUCKY WESLEYAN COLLEGE PANTHERS for a gridron grudge match last night. With RB Justin Williams leading the way on the ground with his 192 rushing yards the Thorobreds led the Panthers 10-7 after the 1st Quarter before taking control with a 20-7 Halftime advantage. The score stood at 34-14 KSU to start the 4th Quarter and when all was said and done the Thorobreds had notched a 41-21 victory.
LION-HEARTED – The TEXAS A&M- COMMERCE LIONS were on the road against Division 3’s EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY TIGERS. The Lions eviscerated the Tigers by a score of NINETY-EIGHT to TWENTY! ### Meanwhile the LINDENWOOD UNIVERSITY LIONS won a road game of their own, topping the WASHBURN UNIVERSITY ICHABODS 44-38. ### And the LINCOLN (PA) LIONS defeated their guests the CHEYNEY WOLVES in a 30-18 affair.
BATTLE OF THE FALCONS – In a battle between the NOTRE DAME COLLEGE FALCONS and the homestanding FAIRMONT STATE FALCONS the visitors emerged triumphant. Notre Dame College forced 7 turnovers and for the 3rd year in a row won their season-opener. NDC held a 21-0 lead but in the 2nd Half had to survive a fierce comeback attempt on the part of Fairmont State. When all the dust had settled QB Ray Russ had led his team to a 42-35 triumph.
VARYING DEGREES OF BLOWOUTS – Raymond Monica’s ARKANSAS TECH WONDER BOYS played host to the NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE RANGERS last night and inflicted a 33-14 loss on them. ### The SHIPPENSBURG UNIVERSITY RED RAIDERS won a 55-30 road game against the SETON HILL UNIVERSITY GRIFFINS. ### And the WINONA STATE WARRIORS smacked down the homestanding NORTHERN STATE WOLVES by a score of 47-13.
Helmets courtesy of The Helmet Project.