It was a day of firsts on the DII football field this past Saturday. History was made in the MIAA, RMAC and SAC as all three conferences saw their first-ever matchups between black head coaches. And speaking of history, the DII football record book had a new chapter written in the kicking annals.
Surprisingly, upsets were at a minimum this past weekend. After three weeks of ranking-busting upsets, only one AFCA top-25 team fell with two from the D2football.com poll losing (more on that in a bit). That doesn’t mean we were deprived of any action.
What you missed in Week 6 of the DII football season
Historic days in the MIAA, RMAC and SAC
Three conferences made major strides on Saturday. The MIAA (which dates back to 1912), the RMAC (which began in 1909) and the SAC (which started as the North State Atlantic Conference and officially became the South Atlantic Conference in 1975) all saw the first matchup between two black head coaches in their respective conference histories. Here is how each game played out:
- MIAA: Atiba Bradley led his Missouri Southern Lions to a big 52-32 victory over Lincoln (MO)’s Malik Hoskins. It was Bradley’s second win of his coaching career since taking the reins in Joplin. Both quarterbacks had big days. The Blue Tigers’ Zamar Brake totaled 264 yards and four touchdowns while the Lions’ Dawson Herl threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns, all of which went to Brian Boyd Jr., who also had 169 yards receiving.
- RMAC: Colorado Mesa’s Tremaine Jackson’s squad had a big day over Adams State’s Jarrell Harrison. What started with a 28-point first quarter ended in a 49-14 victory for the Mavericks. Darick Holmes had himself a day to remember, rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns while leading the team in receptions and receiving yards and another score through the air. Jackson got his feet wet in DII with a 2-1 record last fall and is off to a 4-1 start in his first full season at the helm of Colorado Mesa. Harrison is searching for his first win in 2021.
- SAC: Not only was this the first matchup between two black head coaches, but both are also in the conference’s Hall of Fame. Catawba’s Curtis Walker got the best of Carson-Newman’s Mike Clowney ,33-27, to get the Indians to 4-0. The Eagles’ DeQuan Dudley had a pair of 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns, but running back Daniel Parker (127 yards, two touchdowns) and All-American linebacker Rondrow Peebles (11 tackles, one sack) were too much and propelled Catawba to victory.
FULL SCOREBOARD: Week 6 DII football scores
Chase Allbaugh kicks his way into the DII football record book… again
With his second extra point of the game on Saturday, Lenoir-Rhyne kicker Chase Allbaugh etched his name into the DII football record books for the second time in his career. Allbough first made DII football history when he converted 76 straight extra points in 2019 for the most in a single season. Now, his 128th consecutive extra point set the all-time mark, surpassing Jack Ruggieri’s (Kutztown, 2012) mark of 127. Allbough last missed at Carson-Newman on Nov. 3, 2018.
Will Bentley ever lose again?
The Falcons were at it again Saturday, shutting out Pace 26-0 to improve to 6-0 on the season. Dating back to its last full season (2019, as Bentley did not field a team in 2020), that makes 11 straight victories for the Falcons. They did it with a balanced ground attack as Andrew Brazicki (99 yards, one touchdown) and Anthony Doung (94 yards, one touchdown) led the charge. Next up is a road game at Southern Connecticut State.
Wayne State (NE): NSIC giant killers
The Wildcats are on quite the run. Now 5-1 and atop the NSIC, Wayne State (NE) has now defeated top-25 Minnesota Duluth, then-undefeated Winona State and — as predicted right here on NCAA.com — No. 11 Minnesota State — all in a row. The Wildcats held that Mavericks rushing attack in check, allowing 164 yards and one touchdown to one of the top rushing offenses in DII. Anthony Watkins, on the other hand, had a big day on the ground for Wayne State rushing for 115 yards and two scores. Who’s next for the Wildcats? That would be No. 25 Augustana (SD). If they come out victorious, we’re looking at the surprise team of 2021 and one that needs Power 10 consideration.
Quick hits from the DII gridiron
- Is Eugene Witherspoon the breakout star of the 2021 DII football season? The sophomore wide receiver now has 678 yards receiving through six games and leads DII with 12 touchdowns. He had two more this past Saturday, marking his fifth multi-touchdown game of the season.
- Northwest Missouri State had to clamp down in the second half this past Saturday. After not allowing more than a touchdown in any of their first four games of the season, the Bearcats trailed 13-0 at the half to MIAA rival Pittsburg State. The Bearcats, led by their smothering defense and quarterback Mike Hohensee’s three touchdowns, stormed back to win 20-19. Pittsburg State had a chance late to win but missed a field goal in the final minute.
- In a battle of two potent offenses, Bowie State and Chowan fought to a 14-3 final score with Bowie State coming out on top to move to 5-1. Chowan's Bryce Witt had been on a tear, but as has been the case through Witt's career, the Bulldogs' defense held him in check. This victory shows what we knew from the start: The path to the CIAA title still goes through Bowie State. We predicted Bowie State would be a top-10 team by season's end and this certainly helps its case.
- Kutztown, Shepherd and Shippensburg all won this weekend to improve to 5-1 in the PSAC East. Slippery Rock and Cal (Pa) both won to stay undefeated, while Indiana (Pa) also stayed perfect in the PSAC West (4-1 overall). Every one of those six teams received votes in the latest AFCA top 25 poll. After a year away from the gridiron, the PSAC is heading towards an insane finish. As one of the few conferences with an actual championship game, you can make the argument the playoffs have already started with every game quite significant in the standings.
- Morehouse got back in the win column against Tuskegee, winning 31-15 Saturday. It is the fourth oldest rivalry in DII football. Earnest Davis led the charge, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
The best stats from the AFCA Top 25
Harrison Frost set a career-high in passing yards as West Georgia got back in the win column. L'liott Curry showed why he is an All-American wide receiver. Here are the standout stat lines from those teams inside the AFCA Top 25 rankings.
|Harrison Frost||West Georgia||QB||415 pass, 3 TD|
|Noah Mitchell||Cal (Pa)||QB||382 pass, 4 TD|
|Kyle Saddler||Augustana (SD)||QB||377 pass, 4 TD|
|John Matocha||Colorado School of Mines||QB||362 pass, 4 TD|
|Adam Morse||Henderson State||QB||357 pass, 7 total TD|
|Tyson Bagent||Shepherd||QB||314 pass, 5 TD|
|TJ Cole||Ouachita Baptist||RB||193 rush|
|Seth McGill||Valdosta State||RB||186 rush, 1 TD|
|Cazz Martin||Minnesota Duluth||RB||141 rush|
|Jamar Thompkins||Valdosta State||RB||134 rush, 2 TD|
|Chantz Swartz||Shepherd||RB||131 rush, 2 TD|
|Michael Zeman||Colorado School of Mines||RB||116 rush, 46 receiving, 1 TD|
|Kendel Givens||Ouachita Baptist||RB||109 rush, 3 TD|
|Shomari Mason||West Florida||RB||108 rush, 2 TD|
|Demetrius Battle||West Alabama||RB||100 rush, 2 TD|
|Ronnie Brown||Shepherd||RB||90 rush, 86 receiving, 3 total TD|
|L'liott Curry||Henderson State||WR||169 receiving, 3 TD|
|Sean Engel||Augustana (SD)||WR||153 receiving, 3 TD|
|Xavier Malone||Henderson State||WR||134 receiving, 1 TD|
|Cam Tarrant||Cal (Pa)||WR||124 receiving, 1 TD|
|Rodney Coates||West Florida||WR||123 receiving, 1 TD|
|Kyle Belack||Frostburg State||WR||118 receiving, 1 TD|
|Quan Harrison||West Georgia||WR||118 receiving, 1 TD|
|Tristan Smith||Colorado School of Mines||WR||117 receiving, 1 TD|
|Tyriq Martin||West Alabama||WR||111 receiving, 1 TD|
|Jalen Sample||Minnesota State||WR||109 receiving, 1 TD|
|Mechane Slade||West Georgia||WR||108 receiving, 1 TD|
|Hunter Rison||Grand Valley State||WR||106 receiving, 2 TD|
|Tyson Hill||Cal (Pa)||WR||102 receiving|
|Jermaine Wynn Jr.||Slippery Rock||WR||102 receiving, 2 TD|
|Josh Johnston||Colorado School of Mines||WR||91 receiving, 3 TD|
|Cinque Sweeting||Slippery Rock||WR||47 receiving, 89 rushing, 3 total TD|