*** NCCAA ***
VICTORY BOWL – Each year the season-ending event in the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) is the Victory Bowl. This year’s edition pitted the CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY TIGERS against the SOUTHWESTERN ASSEMBLIES OF GOD UNIVERSITY LIONS. The Lions led this catfight 7-6 in the 1st Quarter and 21-19 at Halftime. The 3rd Quarter ended with the Tigers on top 32-21 before they went on to win it 41-28.
*** NAIA PLAYOFFS ***
UPSET IN BALDWIN CITY – The 11th seeded GEORGETOWN (KY) COLLEGE TIGERS visited the 6 seeds – the BAKER UNIVERSITY WILDCATS – in this First Round clash. A 14-13 1st Quarter lead for the Tigers became a 26-20 Wildcats edge by the Half. The 4th Quarter started with Georgetown College back on top 34-33, and a Safety gave them a 36-33 victory.
TOP SEEDS IN A THRILLER – The top seeds – the UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS – welcomed the 16th seeded BENEDICTINE COLLEGE RAVENS. After a lengthy lightning delay the Alpha and Omega of this year’s NAIA playoffs finally squared off. The Ravens gave the Cougars almost more than they could handle, but in the end the University of Saint Francis moved on to the Second Round with a 26-21 win.
TEN OVER SEVEN – Yes, it seems that no matter what the sport, 10 seed over 7 seed upsets are virtually a postseason tradition. In this particular game the 10th seeded NORTHWESTERN (IA) COLLEGE RED RAIDERS faced the 7 seeds – the LANGSTON UNIVERSITY LIONS. The Red Raiders proceeded to shock, then obliterate their hosts to the tune of FIFTY-FIVE to SEVEN!
SHOOTOUT IN KENTUCKY – The (4) LINDSEY WILSON COLLEGE BLUE RAIDERS played host to the (13) SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY FIRE yesterday. The two teams were deadlocked at 14-14 to end the 1st Quarter and 28-28 at Halftime. After the break the Blue Raiders started to get some separation and ultimately won the game 63-49.
COMEBACK COUGARS – This game saw the (8) SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS trailing their guests the (9) GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS by a score of 10-2 in the opening Quarter. By the midpoint the Cougars were on top 25-10 but nearly gave it all back as the Vikings pulled to within 25-23 to end the 3rd Quarter. Saint Xavier University kept their composure and emerged with a 39-23 triumph.
THEY CAN SCORE … FIFTY FIIIIIIIIVE! – It was the Frontier Conference versus the North Star Athletic Association as the (5) SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY RAIDERS took the field against the visiting (12) DICKINSON STATE BLUE HAWKS. The spirited Blue Hawks acquitted themselves well but the Raiders were just too much for them. Southern Oregon University won it 55-24.
A GAME FOR THE BIRDS – The (2) REINHARDT UNIVERSITY EAGLES welcomed the (15) CONCORDIA (MI) CARDINALS, who were making their very first Playoff appearance. The Cardinals briefly worried the Eagles fans with a 7-6 edge in the 1st Quarter but by Halftime Reinhardt University had asserted itself and led the game 26-10. After the break the Eagles coasted to a 39-10 victory.
STAMPEDED! – Wrapping up the First Round of the 2017 Playoffs in the NAIA was this clash between the (3) MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS and the (14) STERLING COLLEGE WARRIORS. The Mustangs dominated the Warriors on both sides of the field. After 4 Quarters of folding, spindling and mutilating their opponents, Morningside College advanced with a 63-7 win.
*** DIVISION TWO PLAYOFFS ***
MAVERICKS NEED OVERTIME – The MINNESOTA STATE MAVERICKS came in as the 2 seeds in their region, but were nearly upset by the 7th seeded COLORADO STATE AT PUEBLO THUNDER WOLVES. By Halftime the Mavericks were trailing their guests by a score of 10-3 but pulled to within 10-6 to end the 3rd Quarter. They tied the Thunder Wolves 13-13 to force Overtime and in that extra session Minnesota State won it 16-13.
BEGINNER’S LUCK OR PURE TALENT? – The 6th seeded UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA ARGONAUTS not only made this first playoff appearance just a few years after adding football, but they knocked off their region’s 3 seeds – the WINGATE UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS. The Argonauts led the Bulldogs 17-0 at the Half and kept up the intensity for a 31-0 shutout. UWF is the fastest startup to not only REACH the playoffs but WIN a playoff game.
SEVEN OVER TWO – In this game the 7 seeds – the UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY OILERS – took it on the road for an upset of the 2nd seeded SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY RAMS. The Rams led the Oilers 14-6 in the 1st Quarter and 17-9 by the break. The University of Findlay shut out Shepherd U in the 2nd Half while adding 20 points of their own for a 29-17 victory.
PLAY IT AGAIN – Another 7 over 2 upset here. The 7th seeded HARDING UNIVERSITY BISON visited their region’s 2 seeds – the UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS GREYHOUNDS yesterday. The Bison put the Greyhounds on Upset Alert with a 14-10 Halftime edge but found themselves trailing U of I 17-14 to end the 3rd Quarter. Harding University outscored the Greyhounds 13-7 in the 4th to win it 27-24.
MAKE IT THREE – I’d love to know the odds against THREE 7 seeds toppling their region’s 2 seeds on the same day. At any rate the 7th seeded UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA WOLVES faced the 2 seeds – the VIRGINIA STATE TROJANS. The Wolves hail from the Gulf South Conference, often called the SEC of D2 football. The GSC went 4-0 in this First Round and West Georgia did their part by dismantling the Trojans 35-9.
HEAD-BUTT – Next came a 5 over 4 upset. The 5th seeded WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY GOLDEN RAMS knocked off their hosts, the 4th seeded SHIPPENSBURG UNIVERSITY RED RAIDERS. The Golden Rams kept the Red Raiders off the scoreboard until the 4th Quarter while putting up 7, 14 and 6 points in the 1st, 2nd and 4th Quarters, respectively. The final tally was West Chester 27 Shippensburg 6.
ANOTHER FIVE OVER FOUR AFFAIR – This game pitted the region’s 5 seeds – the DELTA STATE STATESMEN – against the 4th seeded BOWIE STATE BULLDOGS. The Statesmen parlayed a 17-7 1st Quarter lead into a 31-14 advantage by Halftime. From there the Bulldogs went on top 35-31 to end the 3rd Quarter but Delta State came back in the 4th for a 45-35 triumph.
THE LIONS ROAR – The 5th seeded TEXAS A&M AT COMMERCE LIONS traveled to face their region’s 4 seeds – the WINONA STATE WARRIORS. The Lions forced the Warriors to chase them all game long, leading them 14-0 in the 1st Quarter, 14-3 at the break and 17-6 in the 3rd before heading back home with a 20-6 victory – the first road playoff win for TAMU-Commerce since 1990.
DEFENDING CHAMPS KNOCKED OFF – There WILL be a new champion in D2 football this year. The 3rd seeded ASHLAND UNIVERSITY EAGLES welcomed the dynastic defending champs, the 6th seeded NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS. The Eagles were on top 21-10 going into the 4th Quarter but had to hold on tight for a 21-18 victory.
HOUNDS WITH THE COMEBACK – Regional 3 seeds – the ASSUMPTION COLLEGE GREYHOUNDS – entertained the 6th seeded CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY IN PENNSYLVANIA VULCANS (as in the Roman god Vulcan). Despite trailing the Vulcans 17-10 at Halftime the Greyhounds turned things around in the action-packed 2nd Half to win by a final score of 40-31.
AND SPEAKING OF COMEBACKS – In this game the (3) MIDWESTERN STATE MUSTANGS did battle with the visiting (6) UNIVERSITY OF SIOUX FALLS COUGARS. The Mustangs shrugged off a 17-0 2nd Quarter deficit to make it a 17-14 game by Halftime. After the break Midwestern State went on top 24-17 in the 3rd Quarter before winning it 24-20.
FERRIS WILL – Yes, that groan-inducing play on words refers to yesterday’s clash between the (4) FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS and their guests the (5) OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY TIGERS. Another comeback figured into this game as the Bulldogs converted a 13-7 hole at the break into a 17-16 3rd Quarter lead and finally a 24-19 victory.
*** DIVISION THREE PLAYOFFS ***
TOP FOUR ADVANCE EASILY – The (1) UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR CRUSADERS crushed the CHAPMAN PANTHERS 50-6 ### The (2) MOUNT UNION PURPLE RAIDERS shut out the WASHINGTON & LEE UNIVERSITY GENERALS 21-0 ### Meanwhile the (3) UW-OSHKOSH TITANS obliterated the LAKELAND COLLEGE MUSKIES to the tune of SIXTY-THREE to NOTHING ### And the (4) UNIVERSITY OF SAINT THOMAS TOMMIES won a 47-8 laugher against the EUREKA RED DEVILS.
UPSETS – The FROSTBURG STATE BOBCATS traveled to face the WITTENBERG UNIVERSITY TIGERS and completely trashed them 35-7 ### Elsewhere the CASE WESTERN RESERVE SPARTANS notched a 28-0 road shutout of the ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY TITANS ### And the HUSSON COLLEGE EAGLES edged the SPRINGFIELD PRIDE in a 23-21 nailbiter.
SHUTOUTS – In addition to the two instances of Defensive perfection from the Top Four teams the DELAWARE VALLEY UNIVERSITY AGGIES inflicted a 35-0 Shutout on the WESTERN NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE GOLDEN BEARS ### And the COLLEGE AT BROCKPORT GOLDEN EAGLES utterly eviscerated their guests the PLYMOUTH STATE PANTHERS to the tune of SIXTY-SIX to NOTHING!
WORKING OVERTIME – This game pitted the WARTBURG COLLEGE KNIGHTS against the FRANKLIN COLLEGE GRIZZLIES. Though the Knights outscored the Grizzlies 14-7 in the 1st Quarter, Franklin College had come back to knot things up at 21-21 by Halftime. The 4th Quarter ended in a 28-28 tie. In the Overtime session a missed PAT let Wartburg College win it 35-34.
PRESIDENTS TRUMP THE BLUE JAYS – The WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON COLLEGE PRESIDENTS welcomed the JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BLUE JAYS to Cameron Stadium yesterday. A 14-3 1st Quarter lead by the Presidents became a 14-6 tally by the break. The Blue Jays pulled to within 21-14 to end the 3rd Quarter but Washington & Jefferson College ultimately held on for a 31-28 victory.
WIN IT BY FOURTEEN – The LINFIELD COLLEGE WILDCATS led the visiting HARDIN- SIMMONS UNIVERSITY COWBOYS 21-0 at Halftime on their way to a 27-13 triumph ### And the BERRY VIKINGS notched their very first NCAA playoff victory as they won a 34-20 affair against their guests the HUNTINGDON COLLEGE HAWKS.
NASTINESS IN NAPIERVILLE – The NORTH CENTRAL COLLEGE CARDINALS welcomed the SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY JOHNNIES to Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium yesterday. The Cardinals’ 7-0 1st Quarter edge remained unchanged by the break. From there they outscored the Johnnies 10-7 for a thrilling 17-7 win and a trip to the next round.
A TALE OF TWO HALVES – The WESLEY COLLEGE WOLVERINES were tied with the visiting RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE ENGINEERS 7-7 in the opening Quarter but trailed them 20-17 at Halftime. After the break the Wolverines came alive, clamping down defensively and ultimately routing the Engineers by a score of 45-27.
THUNDERSTRUCK – The TRINE UNIVERSITY THUNDER took the field against their First Round opponents the MONMOUTH COLLEGE FIGHTING SCOTS. The teams seemed evenly matched at first, with the Thunder sporting a mere 28-24 edge at the midpoint. But in the 2nd Half Trine University shut out the Fighting Scots and piling on the points for a 63-24 blowout win.
*** CCCAA PLAYOFFS ***
Many helmets courtesy of the Helmet Project.