Oct. 26, 2010

EYE OF THE TIGER: DePauw University claimed the first automatic berth to the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship by winning at least a share of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title with a last-minute victory at Trinity (Texas) on Oct. 23.

Quarterback Michael Engle's two-point conversion pass to Nathan Evans with 20 seconds remaining in the contest lifted the Tigers to a 32-31 win, improving DePauw to 7-0 on the season for the first time since 1951 and 5-0 in SCAC play. The Tigers earned their second straight NCAA bid.

Senior wide receiver Alex Koors caught 10 passes for 170 yards and three TDs, including the Tigers' final touchdown to set up the two-point conversion. Koors, who also became the league's all-time leader in receptions, was named SCAC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.

The Tigers cracked the latest AFCA Division III Top 25 at No. 24 following the victory. They look to remain unbeaten in a non-conference contest versus Birmingham-Southern on Oct. 30.

IN CONTROL: Alfred University returned to the national rankings at No. 25 after upending then-No. 17 St. John Fisher, 42-31, to move into first place in the Empire 8 Conference last weekend.

Ryan Thon grabbed seven passes for 69 yards and two TDs as the Saxons handed Fisher its' first loss of the season. The native of Victor, N.Y., also tossed a 47-yard TD pass in the second quarter, earning Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Week honors.

The Saxons can clinch at least a share of the league title with a win against Ithaca on Nov. 6, which would give Alfred its' second consecutive NCAA playoff berth.

RECORDS FALL: Two NCAA Division III records went down in Lewis & Clark's 68-64 victory over Puget South on Saturday, in addition to several school and Northwest Conference marks.

The two squads combined for 14 touchdown passes, surpassing the previous Division III single-game mark of 12. They also combined for 16 extra point kicks in a game that had 19 TDs for another NCAA record, demolishing the previous mark of 13.

Lewis & Clark also set a school record with their 68 points in the contest, while the 132 points scored by both squads was a Northwest Conference record for combined points in a game.

Puget Sound quarterback Duncan White's performance of 625 yards passing and eight touchdowns were two of 13 school records broken during game for the Loggers.

STILL PERFECT: No. 5 St. Thomas remained the lone unbeaten team in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as the Tommies downed Bethel, 10-6, in a defensive clash on Oct. 23.

Senior linebacker Tommy Becker led the charge with 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and a game-clinching interception. The native of Wayzata, Minn., was named MIAC Defensive Player of the Week for his contributions.

The Tommies are 8-0 for the first time since 1956, and if they can pull off a victory over Gustavus on Saturday, UST will move to 9-0 for the first time since 1923.

QUICK HITS: Linfield won its fifth straight game with a 35-20 victory over then-No. 22 Pacific Lutheran last Saturday as the Wildcats secured their 55th consecutive winning season, extending the nation's longest continuous string of winning campaigns at any level ... Senior linebacker Brad McKinley posted a season-high 22 tackles to help spark the Tigers to a 27-21 overtime win over Carnegie Mellon, earning North Coast Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. The No. 7 Tigers have won 18 consecutive regular season games, moving to 8-0 on the year ... No. 2 Mount Union claimed its' 50th straight regular season win with a convincing 38-0 shutout of Capital as the Purple Raiders held the Crusaders to just 72 total yards ... Montclair State improved to 7-0 for just the fourth time in program history and first time since 2001 with a 31-3 defeat of Western Connecticut State on Oct. 23 behind a stellar performance by junior QB Tom Fisher. The native of Livingston, N.J., tossed four TDs to lead MSU to the squad's 15th consecutive win over a New Jersey Athletic Conference foe. The No. 13 Red Hawks will face second-place Cortland State on Oct. 30 in a battle for the top spot in the NJAC standings.