Thursday night saw the DII football season commence. With both the defending champion Texas A&M-Commerce and reigning national runners-up West Florida in action, along with quite a few top 25 teams, there was plenty of excitement to go around.
Let's take a look at some of our favorite moments from opening night.
No. 22 Carson-Newman carried a three-point lead into the half, but No. 2 West Florida's backup quarterback Sam Vaughn connected with Lee Walker for the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, sealing the Argos first win.
Unranked Texas A&M-Kingsville had the reigning champs on the ropes, up 16-0 in the third quarter. But, the Lions came roaring back and forced a double-overtime thriller to open the season 1-0.
For the second straight season, No. 4 Indiana (Pa.) and No. 15 Ashland played a thriller right down to the wire. Last season, a game-winning field goal as time expired gave the Crimson Hawks the win. This season, Ashland's late comeback was thwarted by some big D to preserve the 21-17 victory for IUP.
Ogi to the HOUSE! 😤— Ashland University Eagles (@goashlandeagles) August 31, 2018
We trail by four with 4:22 to play. pic.twitter.com/bGOEqKhsLi
SACK! DEANDRE EASTERLING! pic.twitter.com/HG4fsWaEAf— IUP Football (@IUPfootball) August 31, 2018
The Bulldogs are breaking it out early. Minnesota Duluth opened with a commanding 49-3 victory over Minot State and flashed some hardware early in 2018.
Turnover chain is in full effect pic.twitter.com/o1UNSnov02— UMD Football (@UMD_Football) August 31, 2018
No. 10 Grand Valley State avenged its 2017 opening night loss to No. 13 UIndy in dominating fashion. Bart Williams looked sharp, leading the Lakers to a 30-7 victory, with plays like this perfectly placed pass.
It was a back and forth battle in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association opener between No. 5 (tie) Fort Hays State and No. 18 Central Missouri. A timely interception sealed the deal for the Tigers, who haven't lost in the MIAA in over a year.
Speaking of the MIAA, how about this video-game-like punt return from Pittsburg State's Kiante Hardin?
KIANTE HARDIN!— Jacob Lenard (@j_lenard) August 31, 2018
The Webb City product had this 59-yard punt return TD for Pitt State in their season opener against UCO.@splitfacenation @PittStGorillas #miaafb @koamfox14sports pic.twitter.com/IlPUpDQxzs
Lenoir-Rhyne had upset on its mind, but a huge 22-point fourth quarter moved No. 12 West Alabama to 1-0.