North Dakota St. surges to MVFC title
Top 25: Towson bounces No. 7 NHU; Top teams stopped vs. FBS
NORMAL, Ill. -- Sam Ojuri and John Crockett each rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown, Marcus Williams returned a kickoff a career-long 98 yards for a score and North Dakota State won the Missouri Valley Conference title Saturday, beating Illinois State 38-20 in both teams' regular-season finale.
Ojuri had 118 yards on the ground, including a 1-yard TD that capped a 21-point fourth quarter for the Bison (10-1, 7-1). Crockett scored on a 5-yard run and totaled 109 yards rushing.
Brock Jensen added two short rushing scores for NDSU, which improved to 11-0 on the road the past two seasons. Jensen had just 96 yards passing, but NDSU rolled up 274 yards on the ground.
Matt Brown threw for 212 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown to Jordan Neukirch, and ran for a score for the Redbirds (8-3, 5-3), who could have claimed a share of the title with a victory.
No. 2 Montana State 16, Montana 7 --Box Score
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Denarius McGhee threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kruiz Siewing, Rory Perez made three field goals and Montana State beat Montana 16-7 on Saturday for a share of the Big Sky Conference title.
McGhee was 26 of 47 for 247 yards for the Bobcats (10-1, 7-1) in front of a record crowd of 26,210 fans at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Perez gave Montana State a 13-7 lead with a 38-yard field goal midway through the third quarter, and completed the scoring with a 22-yarder with 2:32 left in the game.
Montana State took a 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter on McGhee's 16-yard scoring pass to Siewing. The Bobcats opened the scoring on Perez's 42-yard field goal, and Montana (5-6, 3-5) made it 7-3 on Peter Nguyen's 47-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
McGee also had 10 carries for 46, Cody Kirk led the Bobcats in rushing with 55 yards on 22 carries and Brian Flotkoetter had seven catches for 84 yards.
Nguyen ran for 112 yards on 13 carries and Shay Smithwick-Hann was 24 of 43 for 190 yards.
Montana State won for only the third time in Missoula since 1986.
Texas A&M 47, No. 3 Sam Houston State 28 -- Box Score
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Johnny Manziel threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 100 yards and two more scores in a bit more than a half as No. 9 Texas A&M beat Sam Houston State 47-28 Saturday.
The redshirt-freshman threw an 89-yard touchdown pass to Uzoma Nwachukwu on A&M’s first offensive play of the second half. The dual-threat quarterback then attempted the extra point, but it sailed wide right, ending the Heisman hopeful’s day with A&M (9-2) leading 40-0.
He broke the NCAA freshman quarterback rushing record of 1,029 set by Missouri’s Brad Smith in 2002, and the freshman record for total offense of 3,827 set in 2000 by Jared Lorenzen on A&M’s first drive. He also became the fifth player and first freshman in FBS history to pass for at least 3,000 yards with at least 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
His 4,161 yards are a school record for total offense in a season.
No. 4 Old Dominion 38, No. 14 James Madison 28 --Box Score
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Taylor Heinicke's four second-half touchdown passes helped Old Dominion come back from a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat James Madison 38-28 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Old Dominion finished 7-1 atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings but is ineligible for the title due its move to Conference USA next season. Four teams - Towson, Villanova, Richmond, New Hampshire - finished 6-2.
Heinicke finished with 357 yards passing.
The Monarchs (10-1, 7-1) climbed back in the game on Heinicke's 9-yard scoring pass to Nick Mayers to close to 21-17 midway the third quarter.
Justin Thorpe rushed 5 yards for a score and a 28-17 lead for The Dukes (7-4, 5-3), but Old Dominion bounced back with Heinicke's 59-yard strike to Antonio Vaughan to make it 28-24.
The Monarchs finally took the lead, 31-28, on Heinicke's 17-yard TD pass to Larry Pinkard with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
No. 5 Eastern Washington 41, Portland State 34 --Box Score
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Kyle Padron's game-winning 1-yard touchdown run with 1:25 remaining capped an eight-play, 94-yard drive, giving Eastern Washington a share of the Big Sky title in a 41-34 victory against Portland State.
It was Padron's second rushing touchdown of the night. He completed 26-of-38 passes for 381 yards and two more touchdowns, adding his total to four for Eastern Washington (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky).
Portland State (3-8, 2-6) took a 26-14 lead with 6:23 to go in the third quarter when D.J. Adams scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, his third of the night, but the Eagles answered with three consecutive scoring drives including Padron's 18-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Edwards. Edwards and four catches for 77 yards and two scores.
The Vikings took a 13-0 lead when Adams scored two touchdowns in the first quarter but were outscored 41-21 the rest of the way.
Eastern Washington earns the Big Sky's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs with the victory.
Georgia 45, No. 6 Georgia Southern 14 -- Box Score
ATHENS, Ga. -- Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes, Todd Gurley became only the second true freshman in Georgia history to rush for 1,000 yards and the No. 5 Bulldogs bounced back from a sluggish start to blow out Georgia Southern 45-14 Saturday.
Georgia (10-1) reached 10 wins for the eighth time in Mark Richt's dozen seasons as coach. Georgia Southern (8-3) had a shot at the halftime lead, only to get scuttled by a penalty, and Murray took control from there.
He completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell with just 4 seconds left in the half, sending Georgia to the locker room with a 17-7 lead. In the third quarter, Murray hooked up with Chris Conley on a pair of scoring passes, sandwiched around a 43-yarder to Tavarres King.
No. 16 Towson 64, No. 7 New Hampshire 35 -- Box Score
DURHAM, N.H. -- Terrance West rushed for 236 yards and two touchdowns, and Grant Enders passed for 245 yards and a pair of TDs to lead Towson to a 64-35 rout of New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.
Enders also rushed for two touchdowns for the Tigers (7-4, 6-2 Colonial Athletic Association). Ten receivers caught passes for Towson, with Aaron Banks and Emmanual Holder on the receiving end for TDs. Enders also caught a pass.
Towson led 30-28 at the intermission but exploded with 34 second-half points, including 21 in the fourth quarter for its fourth consecutive victory.
Towson gained 660 yards in total offense, which included 415 yards rushing, to easily outdistance New Hampshire (8-3, 6-2) with 335.
For the Wildcats, Andy Vailas rushed for 110 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown run on the game's first play from scrimmage.
New Hampshire also lost two fumbles and threw an interception.
No. 8 Appalachian State -- Idle
South Carolina 24, No. 9 Wofford 7 -- Box Score
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Kenny Miles rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown and No. 2 South Carolina pulled out a closer-than-expected 24-7 win against FCS opponent Wofford 24-7 on Saturday.
The victory gave Steve Spurrier his 64th win in eight seasons with the Gamecocks (9-2), tying him with Rex Enright for most in program history. But it wasn't until a 17-point fourth quarter that Spurrier and South Carolina could rest easy in this one.
Adam Yates' 23-yard field goal broke a 7-all tie with 11:57 to go. After the Terriers (8-3) failed on a fourth-and-1 at their 34, Connor Shaw threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Ace Sanders to widen the lead.
Moments later, Wofford's Eric Breitenstein fumbled and Akeem Auguste returned it 31 yards for a touchdown, making it 24-7.
It was the Gamecocks 11th consecutive win at Williams-Brice Stadium and completed their first perfect run at home (7-0) since 1987.
No. 10 Central Arkansas 48, No. 25 Eastern Illinois 30 --Box Score
CONWAY, Ark. -- Wynri Smothers threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns as Central Arkansas defeated Eastern Illinois 48-30 in a battle of conference champions on Saturday night.
Smothers completed 35 of 49 passes and had TDs of 26, 14, 37 and 6 yards for the Bears (9-2), who finished the regular season with six consecutive victories and won the Southland Conference.
Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo also threw for four TDs, completing 19 of 33 passes for 228 yards. Garoppolo had scoring throws of 17, 37, 14 and 74 yards for the Panthers (7-4), who won the Ohio Valley Conference.
Erik Lora had nine receptions for 52 yards and a TD for Eastern Illinois, giving him 124 catches to break the Football Championship Subdivision single-season record. He also holds the Ohio Valley Conference record for receiving yards in a season with 1,531.
Both teams had already qualified for the FCS playoffs.
No. 12 Lehigh 38, Lafayette 21 -- Box Score
EASTON, Pa. -- Michael Colvin passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score as Lehigh overcame a strong first-quarter performance by Lafayette to win 38-21 Saturday, closing out the regular season for both teams.
The Mountain Hawks (10-1, 4-1 Patriot League), who are hoping to receive an at-large berth into the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, achieved their third consecutive double-digit win season.
They had to fight for it, though, trailing 21-10 at the end of the first quarter after giving up 185 yards.
Colvin, who tied his career high for yardage, threw a 75-yard touchdown to Lee Kurfis in the first quarter. His 16-yarder to Ryan Spadola made it 21-17 at halftime.
Colvin threw a 14-yard TD to Keith Sherman and ran for an 11-yard score in the third quarter, then hit Tyler Coyle for 5 yards in the fourth.
Andrew Shoop's two TD passes led Lafayette (5-6, 2-3).
No. 13 Stony Brook -- Idle
No. 18 Cal Poly 42, No. 15 Northern Arizona 34 --Box Score
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Quarterback Andre Broadus scored on a 3-yard run with 3:14 to play and Cal Poly held off a late rally by Northern Arizona for a 42-34 victory on Saturday.
Cal Poly (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky) grabbed a share of the conference title with Eastern Washington and Montana State. However, Eastern Washington claims an automatic playoff spot as the result of tiebreakers. Cal Poly and Montana State could earn at-large berths, but NAU (8-3, 6-2) might find itself on the outside looking in after dropping its last two conference games.
NAU pulled to within 42-34 on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cary Grossart to Jesse Brantley with 1:33 left, but the Lumberjacks ran out of time.
Broadus completed just 6 of 9 passes for 180 yards. Two of those connections went for TDs, 51 yards to Cole Stanford and 5 yards to Willie Tucker.
No. 17 Eastern Kentucky -- Idle
Youngstown State 27, No. 19 Indiana State 6 -- Box Score
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Kurt Hess completes 20 of 28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, and Jermaine Cook runs for 124 yards and score as Youngstown State pulled away late to beat Indiana State 27-6 Saturday.
After Tanner Fritschle's 32-yard field goal tied the game for Indiana State (7-4, 5-3) at 6 apiece early in the third quarter, Youngstown responded by scoring the final 21 points of the game.
Youngstown (7-4, 4-4) broke a 6-6 tie when Hess found Andrew Williams for a 30-yard touchdown and a 13-6 lead.
Cook extended that lead to 20-6 with 14:18 left in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard touchdown run.
Youngstown's final touchdown came with 8:17 left when Hess and Williams connected again, this time for 43 yards to push the final margin of victory to 27-6.
Williams finished with four catches for 91 yards.
No. 20 Richmond 21, William & Mary 14 -- Box Score
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Kendall Gaskins rushed for one touchdown and caught a pass for another to lead Richmond to a 21-14 win against William & Mary on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
With the victory and Towson's 64-35 win against New Hampshire, Richmond (8-2, 6-2 Colonial Athletic Association) claimed a share of the CAA title. It's the Spiders' 11th overall conference championship in program history and the third CAA title (2007, 2009).
The Spiders' Michael Strauss threw for 222 yards, and Ben Edwards caught a career-high 13 passes, pushing his season total to 80 this season, which ties for the second-most in school history. Edwards' 13 receptions were also a CAA-high this season.
DeShawn Holmes recovered Drake Kuhn's fumble in the end zone to give Richmond (8-3, 6-2) a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
Michael Graham passed for 196 yards and two TDs for the Tribe (2-9, 1-7).
NEWARK, Del. -- Kevin Monangai ran for 146 yards and quarterback John Robertson added 134 on the ground as Villanova routed Delaware 41-10 Saturday in each team's regular season finale.
The Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 Colonial Athletic Association) clinched a tie for the CAA title with the win.
Villanova led 14-10 at halftime and 17-10 after three quarters, then erupted for 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Mark Hamilton kicked off the fourth with a 37-yard field goal, then Robertson ran in an 11-yard score. The Wildcats then buried the Blue Hens (5-6, 2-6) with a pair of interception returns for TDs - a 45-yarder by Ronnie Akins and a 42-yarder by Eric Loper.
Monangai finished the season with 1,190 yards, the third most in Villanova history, trailing only Brian Westbrook in 2000 (1,220 yards) and 2001 (1,603). His seven 100-plus yard games trail only Westbrook's eight in 2001 for most in program history.
No. 22 Bethune-Cookman 21, Florida A&M 16 -- Box Score
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Quentin Williams threw for 120 yards and one touchdown and Bethune-Cookman held off Florida A&M 21-16 on Saturday.
Williams also rushed for 86 yards for the Wildcats (9-2, 8-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), who won their seventh consecutive game and 13th in conference play dating back to last season. Bethune-Cookman had already clinched the conference championship and a berth in the FCS playoffs.
Bethune-Cookman scored on consecutive possessions to take a 21-10 lead. Isidore Jackson scored on a 34-yard run with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter and Andronicus Lovette added a 1-yard rushing score with 11:30 left.
Florida A&M (4-7, 4-4) cut the lead to 21-16 when Damien Fleming connected with Dewayne Harvey for a 37-yard score with 8:04 remaining. The Rattlers had the ball in Bethune-Cookman's territory late in the game, but a fumble by Fleming gave the ball back to the Wildcats who ran out the clock.
No. 23 South Dakota State 31, South Dakota 8 --Box Score
BROOKINGS, S.D. -- South Dakota State earned a chance at the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Saturday afternoon with a 31-8 win against in-state rival South Dakota in the teams' first gridiron matchup in nine years.
The Jackrabbits (8-3, 6-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference) were led by running back Zach Zenner, who gained 164 yards on 28 attempts with one touchdown. It marked the eighth time he gained more than 100 yards this season.
SDSU quarterback Austin Sumner was 20 of 30 for 272 yards with one touchdown.
South Dakota got its only score on a blocked punt and 27-yard return with just under 8 minutes left in the game. USD (1-10, 0-8 MVFC) ends its season without a conference win.
Receiver Will Powell led the Coyotes with seven catches for 110 yards.
No. 24 Harvard 34, Yale 24 -- Box Score
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard quarterback Colton Chapple scrambled 18 yards for one touchdown and had a 61-yard run to set up another on Saturday to lead the Crimson to a 34-24 victory against Yale and their sixth consecutive victory in The Game.
It is the first time in a rivalry that started in 1875 that Harvard (8-2, 5-2 Ivy League) has beaten Yale six times in a row. Yale (2-8, 1-6) won six in a row from 1902-07 and eight in a row in the 1880s.
A game that was 3-3 at halftime broke open in the second, as emergency Yale quarterback Henry Furman -- who's on the roster as a wide receiver -- led the Elis to three second-half touchdowns.