DULUTH, Minn. — Senior running back Zach Hulce and junor quarterback Chase Vogler each ran for a pair of touchdowns to lead Minnesota-Duluth to a 30-27 overtime victory against Saginaw Valley in the opening round of the NCAA division II playoffs.
In the first meeting between the two teams, Minnesota-Duluth (10-2) scored first on a nine-yard touchdown run by Vogler in the first quarter. The Cardinals (6-4) answered with a 76-yard scoring strike form Jon Jennigns to Jeff Jannis — the longest play from scrimmage against the Bulldog defense this season — to knot the score at 7-7.
Hulce, who grinded out 126 yards on 27 carries on the day — crossing the century mark for the fourth time this season — put the Bulldogs back ahead with a 10-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Minnesota-Duluth stretched its lead to 17-7 just before the half on a 40-yard field goal by David Nadeau.
Saginaw Valley State (6-4) gained a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on Jannis’ third receiving score of the day before Hulce responded with a 22-yard touchdown run. Down by three with just over a minute to play, the Cardinals strung together an impressive drive, but were ultimately forced to kick a game-tying 42-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
After surrendering a quick first down, the Bulldog defense regrouped in the extra session, holding the Cardinals to a field goal. That was enough for the UMD offense, which set itself up with first and goal from the one yard line after a 23-yard completion from Vogler to freshman wideout Aaron Roth on the second play of overtime. Vogler punched it in on a quarterback sneak on the ensuing play, giving the Bulldogs the victory in walk-off fashion.
Minnesota-Duluth advances to take on Colorado State-Pueblo next Saturday.
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