Dec. 13, 2008

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) - Ted Schlafke threw for two touchdowns to lead Minnesota Duluth to its first NCAA Division II football championship Saturday with a 21-14 win over Northwest Missouri State.

The Bulldogs (15-0) had never won a Division II playoff football game before this season.

Northwest Missouri (13-2) lost in the championship game for the fourth consecutive season. The Wildcats turned over the ball four times and recovered four of its own fumbles.

Minnesota Duluth?s defense, led by linebacker Robbie Aurich?s 13 tackles, also sacked the Northwest Missouri quarterbacks six times.

Schlafke broke up a scoreless first half with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tony Doherty with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. He later connected with Issac Odim out of the backfield for a 5-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.

Odim?s 4-yard run gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Northwest Missouri?s Aldwin Foster-Rettig had a 44-yard interception return shortly afterward to provide his team?s first score. Raphael Robinson?s 2-yard touchdown catch with 1:36 brought his team to within 21-14 for the Wildcats, but Minnesota Duluth recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.