DII Roundup: No. 5 North Alabama defeats Valdosta St. on last-second FG
FLORENCE, Ala. -- Taylor Pontius kicked a school-record 54-yard field goal as time expired to lift No. 5 North Alabama to a 31-29 win against No. 21 Valdosta State at Braly Stadium on Saturday.
UNA had taken a 28-22 lead with 5:28 left in the game but Pontius' extra-point attempt hit the left upright, leaving UNA’s lead at six points. Valdosta State then quickly drove 60 yards in seven plays to take the lead at 29-28 with just 2:02 left in the game.
The Lions drove to the VSU 37 before Pontius came on to hit the game-winner. The win was UNA’s seventh in the past nine games with the Blazers but it was the Lions’ first at home against VSU since 2008. The visiting team had won the past six meetings in the series.
The win was also the 100th win for Bobby Wallace at North Alabama. In 13 seasons with the Lions, Wallace now has a 100-44-1 record.
No. 1 Northwest Missouri State 36, Central Oklahoma 13
MARYVILLE, Mo. -- Northwest Missouri State defeated Central Oklahoma on Saturday 36-13 at Wantland Stadium. The win moves the Bearcats to 4-0 on the season while UCO drops to 3-1. Northwest has now won 19 consecutive games.
The Bearcat defense once again stepped up big, holding the Bronchos to just 169 yards of total offense and minus-14 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, the Bearcat offense had its highest yardage total (616) since the 2013 NCAA semifinal against Grand Valley State when Northwest recorded 521 total yards. The last time Northwest went for more than 600 total yards was against UCO last season, recording 687 total yards.
No. 2 Colorado State-Pueblo 45, Western New Mexico 7
SILVER CITY, N.M. -- Western New Mexico grabbed a quick 7-0 lead just 2:47 into Saturday's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest, but the Mustangs wouldn't score again on the Colorado State-Pueblo defense, as the No. 2 ThunderWolves posted a 45-7 road victory.
The Pack only led 14-7 at halftime versus host Western New Mexico, but used 10 third-quarter points to open a 24-7 lead and then scored 21 points in the first 3:12 of the fourth frame to take the 45-7 advantage all the way to the final horn.
Junior running back Cameron McDondle rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns for his second 100-yard game this season. He also added two receptions for 25 yards and a score for a total of 157 yards of offense and three touchdowns.
No. 3 Minnesota State Mankato 34, Bemdji State 16
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- No. 3 Minnesota State claimed its fourth win of the season behind a strong showing in the second half, defeating the Bemidji State Beavers 34-16. MSU has now won 26 consecutive NSIC contests.
The Maverick defense came up with four turnovers including three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Junior Rob Myers picked off two BSU passes, while senior Nathan Hancock recorded MSU's other interception. Junior Justin Otto recovered a fumble, as well.
Sophomore Ricky Lloyd threw for 200 yards and two touchdown passes. He also rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown.
No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth 28, No. 20 Winona State 21
Winona, Minn. -- For the second time in as many road games this season, Minnesota-Duluth found itself in need of a second-half comeback and for the second time in as many road games, it got it.
Sophomore quarterback Drew Bauer and freshman wideout Nate Ricci hooked up on a pair of touchdowns three minutes apart midway through the fourth quarter to erase a 21-13 deficit and send Minnesota-Duluth past host Winona State 28-21. The comeback victory kept the No. 4 Bulldogs' perfect 2014 record intact at 4-0 while No. 20 Winona State was knocked from the ranks of the unbeatens while falling to its longtime Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference rival for the sixth consecutive time.
Although all three of its touchdowns came via the air, UMD once again did the large majority of its offensive damage on the ground en route to extending the program's regular-season winning streak to 12 games going back to last fall. The Bulldogs amassed 273 yards on a season-high 57 rushes.
No. 6 Lenoir-Rhyne 47, Tusculum 9
Hickory, N.C. -- Lenoir-Rhyne scored the game’s last 38 points en route to a 47-9 victory against Tusculum in a South Atlantic Conference game at Moretz Stadium.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior fullback Chris Robinson rushed for a career-high 192 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears rolled up a season-high 622 yards of total offense in the win.
The Bears added 21 points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by two touchdown runs from Robinson, and matched their best start in 15 years.
No. 7 Henderson State 44, East Central 27
Ada, Okla. -- Henderson State scored 17 second-half points in a row to pull away from East Central and beat the Tigers 44-27.
"Any win on the road is a good win," said Scott Maxfield, who coached his 100th game at Henderson. "Our offense sputtered and we didn't play well, but we won and that is the main thing."
The Reddie offense finished with 465 yards on 87 plays, with East Central totaling 321 yards on 77 plays. Kevin Rodgers surpassed the 300-yard passing mark for the 22nd second time in his career, completing 30 of 45 passes for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Joseph Snapp ended the night with 10 catches for 119 yards to lead the Reddie receiving corps. It was Snapp's second consecutive 100-plus yard game.
Fort Hays State 7, No. 8 Pittsburg State 6
PITTSBURG, Kan. -- Fort Hays State managed just 141 yards of total offense but the Tigers defense came through time and time again in a 7-6 upset victory against No. 8 Pittsburg State before 11,489 partisan fans Carnie Smith Stadium on Saturday.
The Tigers held the Gorillas to their lowest home scoring output in 23 years as Pitt State managed just a pair of field goals -- from 37 and 33 yards -- from Connor Frazell in the first half. Pitt State was limited to minus-1 net yard in the third quarter and 80 total yards in the second half.
FHSU's Daniel Lindsey blocked Frazell's 55-yard field goal attempt with 2:59 to play in the game. The Gorillas drove 37 yards to the Tigers' 38-yard line but the drive stalled and Pitt State was forced to try the long field-goal attempt.
The Gorillas stuffed the Tigers on three consecutive running plays and got the ball back at their own 23-yard line with two minutes to play in the game, but quarterback Anthony Abenoja missed on three pass plays before completing a dumpoff pass to tailback Dre Holman on fourth down. Holman was corraled by Nate Simpson at the line of scrimmage to hold the Gorillas on downs.
FHSU got its only score on the opening drive of the game. Quarterback Traveon Albert heaved a 44-yard pass that was ruled intercepted by Pitt State's De'Vante Bausby at the Gorillas' 3-yard line and subsequently fumbled into the end zone as he battled with Tigers receiver Ed Williams for possession. Williams then recovered the loose ball for the score.
No. 9 Ohio Dominican 26, Walsh 8
CANTON, Ohio -- Ohio Dominican's defense limited Walsh to 212 total yards and had three takeaways as the ninth-ranked Panthers defeated Walsh 26-8 in GLIAC play.
The win extended ODU's regular-season win streak to 19 consecutive games as the Panthers moved to 4-0 (4-0 GLIAC) on the season.
Mark Miller finished 22-of-33 passing for 276 yards and the touchdown while Brandon Schoen tallied 143 yards on 36 carries, a school record for rushing attempts.
The defense held Walsh to 76 yards and shut it out through the first three quarters, then held off a late charge by the Cavaliers as junior Billy Eakins had an interception in the back of the end zone with the Panthers holding on to a 19-8 lead midway through the fourth.