DII Football Championship: The most interesting numbers from the semifinals
Thirty two teams started this journey to Kansas City, Kansas three weeks ago, and just two are left in the hunt for the DII Football Championship. West Florida and Texas A&M-Commerce will play for the national championship, Saturday, Dec. 16.
How did the Argos and Lions get to Kansas City? Let's go beyond the box score and break down the semifinals by the numbers.
0 -- Total championship games in which these two program's have been. Not only will we see a new champion for the first time since 2014, we'll see history in Kansas City.
12 -- Average margin of victory by the winning teams. West Florida won 27-17 and the Lions won 31-17.
5, 6 -- Original seeding of the two teams remaining. Texas A&M-Commerce opened as the 5-seed in Super Region 4 and West Florida was No. 6 in the Gulf South Conference-stuffed Super Region 2. The Lions earned the two seed, while the Argos were the four when the semfinals were reseeded. Only Texas A&M-Commerce found themselves in the AFCA Top 25, entering the postseason at No. 8.
86 -- Yards passing for Indiana (Pa)'s star quarterback Lenny Williams, Jr. It was the lowest output of his season, showing just how strong the West Florida defense has been this postseason.
60 -- First half yards the Argos allowed to the Crimson Hawks, allowing West Florida to jump out to a 17-0 lead. Indiana finished with just 242 yards, after averaging 471.8 yards per game as DII football's 12th-best offense.
25 -- Total games it took West Florida to make a national championship game. The Argos were 5-6 in their debut season, and currently sit at 11-3 with one game left.
45 -- Years since Texas A&M-Commerce's last championship (NAIA). The Lions locked up their first trip to a DII championship game on the very same field they won their last championship 45 years ago.
This one is special... Coach Hawkins and the Lions #CallTheRoll on the 45th anniversary of the 1972 National Championship at Memorial Stadium! And now, one more step #ToTheTop! pic.twitter.com/4ts18rMzJh— Lion Athletics (@Lion_Athletics) December 10, 2017
90 -- Yards Lions quarterback Luis Perez and wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan hooked up on for the touchdown that iced the game for Texas A&M-Commerce. Harding was still very much alive, down a touchdown, but the 90-yard strike put the game out of reach with under four minutes to go.
3 -- Passes completed by redshirt-freshman Preston Paden, who was called into his first action for Harding since November 18. That matched the total number of passes Terrence Dingle had completed in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
9 -- Consecutive games won by Texas A&M-Commerce, the longest winning streak left in DII football.
3 -- Running backs who went over 100 yards. West Florida's Chris Schwartz led the way with 175, IUP's Samir Bullock capped a terrific season with 108 yards, and Harding's Grant Kimberlin rushed for 107 yards.
2 -- Quarterbacks who tossed two touchdowns on Saturday. West Florida's Mike Beaudry threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Luis Perez threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
1 -- Receiver who went over 100 yards. D'Arthur Cowan was the only one to eclipse the century mark, and 90 came on one play. Texas A&M-Commerce's star receiver Vincent Hobbs fell just short with 97 yards and a touchdown.