*** NJCAA ***
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – The GARDEN CITY COLLEGE BRONCBUSTERS did battle with the ARIZONA WESTERN COLLEGE MATADORS for the national title. The 2016 El Toro Bowl saw the Broncbusters grab a 7-0 lead in the 1st Quarter, then take a 19-14 edge into the locker room at the Half. Neither team scored in the 3rd Quarter and the Matadors went up 22-19 in the 4th. Garden City scored a TD with 30 seconds left in the game but muffed the 2-point conversion attempt. Arizona Western failed to score and the Broncbusters won their 1st National Championship 25-22!
*** NAIA ***
FIRST SEMIFINAL – The BAKER UNIVERSITY WILDCATS managed a very dramatic 4th Quarter comeback to advance to the NAIA National Championship Game. The Wildcats hosted the EASTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY MOUNTAINEERS and after a 7-7 1st Quarter tie held a 24-17 advantage at Halftime. The Mountaineers took a 27-24 edge in the 3rd Quarter and extended that to 41-24 in the 4th. From there Baker University scored TWENTY-ONE UNANSWERED POINTS to win this Instant Classic by a score of 45-41!
SECOND SEMIFINAL – The UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS traveled to face the REINHARDT UNIVERSITY EAGLES (should be the Rottweilers). Reinhardt struck a blow for boring Eagles teams everywhere with a 7-0 1st Quarter lead but by the break the Cougars were on top 21-10. Saint Francis made that a 35-17 advantage in the 3rd Quarter and in the 4th the two teams exchanged Touchdowns as the Cougars won the game 42-24.
*** NCAA DIVISION TWO ***
DEFENDING CHAMPS ADVANCE – The NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS – the Defending Champions of D2 football – moved on to the Semifinals over the bodies of the visiting HARDING UNIVERSITY BISON. There was no drama at all in this game as the Bearcats shoved the Bison around on both sides of the ball. Northwest Missouri State shut out Harding University by a final count of 35-0.
ROAD WARRIORS – The SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY RAMS were on the road against the CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA VULCANS yesterday. The Rams needed all 4 Quarters to engineer a comeback win. The Vulcans led 17-7 in the 1st Quarter, 24-21 at Halftime and 30-27 to end the 3rd. In the 4th Quarter Shepherd U put up 14 points while shutting out Cal-Penn for a 41-30 triumph.
IN THE LIONS’ DEN – The UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA LIONS welcomed the NORTH GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY CRUSADERS in this Quarterfinal clash. The Lions managed Defensive perfection while piling on the points themselves. When this thoroughly one-sided game was over the University of North Alabama advanced with a 38-0 smackdown of the Crusaders.
FERRIS WILL – The sheer will and talent of the FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS prevailed over the homestanding GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS in this battle for the final spot in next week’s Semifinals. The Bulldogs (should be the Rapids) got off to a 9-0 lead over the Lakers in the 1st Quarter but were clinging to just a 12-10 edge at the Half. From there Ferris State outscored Grand Valley State 35-22, winning the game by a final tally of 47-32.
*** NCAA DIVISION THREE ***
TITANS WITH THE UPSET – The UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AT OSHKOSH TITANS were on the road against the UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS TOMMIES on Saturday. The Titans were on top of the Tommies 24-10 by Halftime but nearly blew it in the 2nd Half. The 3rd Quarter ended in a 24-24 tie and in the 4th Oshkosh had to fight tooth and nail to consummate the upset by a score of 34-31.
NATIONAL SERVICE – The JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY BLUE STREAKS performed a national service by ensuring that the D3 title game would not lapse back into another Whitewater vs Mount Union matchup. The Blue Streaks took it on the road against the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AT WHITEWATER WARHAWKS and, after a 7-7 tie at the break, went on to overpower UW-Whitewater for a 31-14 upset victory.
NOT SO MOTLEY CRU – The UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR CRUSADERS aka the Cru played host to the WHEATON (IL) COLLEGE THUNDER yesterday. After a scoreless 1st Quarter the Crusaders led the Thunder 10-3 at the midpoint. From there UMHB flexed its muscle and its post-season experience to win handily by a final score of 38-16.
RAIDING NEW YORK – The UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION PURPLE RAIDERS – the Defending Champions of D3 football – traveled to Alfred, NY to face the ALFRED UNIVERSITY SAXONS. The Purple Raiders were keeping the Saxons at arm’s length most of game, leading them 21-7 in the 1st Quarter, 35-26 at Halftime and 42-33 to end the 3rd. In the 4th Quarter Mount Union got serious and pounded Alfred U for a SEVENTY to FORTY-FIVE blowout victory.
*** NCAA DIVISION TWO BOWLS ***
LIVE UNITED BOWL – This Bowl Game pitted the TEXAS A&M AT KINGSVILLE JAVELINAS against the SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY MULERIDERS. Neither team scored in the opening Quarter and Halftime found the Javelinas up 7-3 over the Muleriders. That became a 14-10 advantage in the 3rd Quarter before TA&M-Kingsville went on to win the game by a score of 24-17.
MINERAL WATER BOWL – The BEMIDJI STATE BEAVERS squared off against the WASHBURN UNIVERSITY ICHABODS in the 51st Annual Mineral Water Bowl yesterday. The opening Half was a tale of changing momentum as the Ichabods seized a 10-0 1st Quarter edge but the Beavers led 13-10 at the break. In the 2nd Half Bemidji state got more and more separation from Washburn, leading 27-20 to end the 3rd Quarter before emerging with a 36-23 victory when time expired. This was Bemidji State’s first-ever Bowl win.
HEART OF TEXAS BOWL – This Bowl event is a double-header. The opening game is between two NJCAA teams and will be covered under their Bowl results. The main event was this D2 clash between the FORT HAYS STATE TIGERS and the EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY GREYHOUNDS. The Tigers parlayed a 14-0 lead in the 1st Quarter into a 35-9 Halftime advantage and ultimately a 45-12 blowout for Fort Hays State’s very first Bowl victory.
*** NJCAA BOWL GAMES ***
SALT CITY BOWL – The EASTERN ARIZONA COLLEGE GILA MONSTERS did battle with the BUTLER (KS) COLLEGE GRIZZLIES yesterday. The opening Quarter ended in a 3-3 tie but by the break the Gila Monsters trailed the Grizzlies 24-17. The 4th Quarter started with Butler on top 38-24 but Eastern Arizona College set out to work some comeback magic. After pulling to within 38-31 the Gila Monsters scored another Touchdown with just 1:24 left to play. A swashbuckling decision to go for 2 paid off, putting Eastern Arizona up 39-38. That was also the final score as the Gila Monsters stopped the Grizzlies from scoring.
RED GRANGE BOWL – This Bowl pitted the COLLEGE OF DUPAGE CHAPARRALS against the CENTRAL LAKES COLLEGE AT BRAINERD RAIDERS (should be the Brainstorms). The Chaparrals were chasing the Raiders after a 7-6 1st Quarter but had taken a 12-10 lead by Halftime. In the 3rd Quarter College of DuPage went up 22-10 but let CLC-Brainerd force Overtime with a 22-22 tie to end Regulation. The Chaparrals won the game in OT by a score of 25-22.
VALLEY OF THE SUN BOWL – The MESA COLLEGE THUNDERBIRDS squared off against the LACKAWANNA COLLEGE FALCONS in this event. The Thunderbirds put together a comeback for the ages in a game in which the Falcons led 21-0 in the 1st Quarter and 21-7 at the Half. Mesa College made it a 28-21 game to end the 3rd Quarter, then forced Overtime with a 35-35 tie. The 1st OT session ended in a 42-42 deadlock but in Double Overtime the Thunderbirds shut out Lackawanna College before scoring a Touchdown to emerge with a 48-42 triumph.
HEART OF TEXAS BOWL – The opening game in this double header (see D2 results for the Prime Time game) saw the TRINITY VALLEY COLLEGE CARDINALS do battle with the NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE RANGERS. The Cardinals were out in front most of the game, leading the Rangers 10-7 in the 1st Quarter, 17-10 at Halftime and 31-10 in the 3rd. The 4th Quarter found Trinity Valley College thwarting a Northwest Mississippi rally to win the game 34-24.
MISSISSIPPI BOWL – This Bowl pitted the EAST MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE LIONS against the KILGORE COLLEGE RANGERS. A 14-0 1st Quarter lead for the Lions over the Rangers became a 14-14 tie at the midpoint of the game. In the 3rd Quarter East Mississippi College bolted out to a 27-14 advantage and then held Kilgore College to just a Field Goal in the 4th. The Lions won it 27-17.
GRAPHIC EDGE BOWL: EARLY GAME – In the opening game of this Bowl Double Header the ELLSWORTH COLLEGE PANTHERS did battle with the ROCHESTER TECHNICAL COLLEGE YELLOW JACKETS. The 1st Quarter ended with the Panthers clinging to a tight 14-12 edge but by Halftime that had grown to a 27-12 lead. In the 2nd Half Ellsworth outscored Rochester 28-20 for a 55-32 victory.
GRAPHIC EDGE BOWL: FEATURE GAME – The Double Header closed with this clash between the HOLMES COLLEGE BULLDOGS and the IOWA WESTERN COLLEGE REIVERS. After a 7-7 1st Quarter tie the Reivers took a 21-14 lead into the locker room at the break. From there the Bulldogs put up 14 unanswered points to win the game by a final score of 28-21.
*** CCCAA BOWLS ***
COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOWL – The LANEY COLLEGE EAGLES took on the CITY COLLEGE OF SAN FRANCISCO RAMS in this game on Saturday. A 14-14 1st Quarter tie between the two teams was still holding up at the Half, but the Eagles grabbed a 40-28 lead in the 3rd. From there Laney College coasted to a 49-35 victory over the storied Rams.
THE CCCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WILL BE NEXT SATURDAY BETWEEN AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE AND FULLERTON COLLEGE.