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Wayne Cavadi | | October 24, 2021

More upsets rock the DII football landscape ahead of Monday's first regional rankings

How last year's lacrosse player of the year became Ferris State's QB1

The upset train keeps rolling through the DII football season. After a week that shook the top-25 rankings, a pair of upsets highlighted the Week 8 schedule. These upsets will be under an even larger microscope with the first regional rankings since October 2019 being released on Monday, Oct. 25.

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As always, let’s try to shed some light on the wild weekend of DII football that was. 

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1. Tremaine Jackson didn’t get a full season in his first year with Colorado Mesa. Even the Mavericks' abbreviated 2020 fall season wound up being abbreviated further, but you could tell something special was brewing. That was on full display Saturday when the Mavericks took down No. 3 Colorado School of Mines 26-20. They held one of the top offenses in DII football to just 243 total yards in their first victory over a top-10 school in program history. Quarterback Karst Hunter led the way with 288 yards passing, a team-high 58 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Up next is nationally ranked Western Colorado and a chance to gain complete control of the RMAC.

SCOREBOARD: Check out Week 8 scores and stats

2. Bemidji State went into Duluth, Minnesota and did something it hadn’t done in 80 years. Win. The Beavers took down No. 16 Minnesota Duluth 42-35. It took a 21-0 fourth quarter run to pull off the upset. Brandon Alt was sensational for the Beavers, throwing for 269 yards and six touchdowns, including all three of those fourth-quarter scores. Wide receiver Malik Williams was the primary beneficiary, pulling in 10 receptions for 176 yards and three scores. The victory keeps Bemidji State undefeated in the division, giving them the slight edge… for now. 

3. Did someone say 21-point fourth quarter? That’s what it took for No. 5 Cal (PA) to stay undefeated and move past No. 23 Indiana (PA) in the Coal Bowl. It snapped a nine-game win streak for the home team in the Coal Bowl. Both quarterbacks played extremely well, but it was the Vulcans’ Noah Mitchell (359 yards, four touchdowns) who got the best of Harry Woodbery (305 yards, four touchdowns). The victory leaves the Vulcans the last remaining overall undefeated team in the conference (Kutztown remains undefeated in PSAC play) and gives them a tremendous edge in a conference full of top-25 teams. 

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4. The Statesmen finally got the signature win they have been looking for this season. Delta State took West Georgia to the wire, losing by one, and put a scare into West Florida which needed a second-half comeback to win by one score. This week Delta State finished the job, defeating No. 15 West Alabama 35-30. While freshman quarterback Cole Kirk deserves praise for keeping the Statesmen in the game, how about this defense. Sherrod Paige now leads the GSC with four interceptions with his clutch pick-six in this one while the special teams blocked its fourth kick of the season — third best in DII football.

5. With Hillsdale’s 34-29 victory over Findlay, four teams are now tied atop the G-MAC with a 3-1 conference record. Ohio Dominican and Tiffin have the edge, both with 6-2 records, but this should be a wild finish. Chargers quarterback Garrit Aissen led the assault, tossing for 382 yards and totaling four touchdowns, mainly to Isaac TeSlaa who reeled in 193 yards and three scores. But Alec Foos had quite the day. The receiver pulled in nine receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 10 yards and threw a touchdown pass as well. 

6. After an 0-2 start, Lindenwood is looking very much like the team we expected it to be this preseason. The Lions’ 48-24 win over Southwest Baptist was their sixth victory in a row and kept them undefeated in GLVC play. Speaking of GLVC play, how about that UIndy running game? Toriano Clinton had 234 yards rushing and three touchdowns for his third-straight 200-yard rushing day and fifth of the season of more than 197 yards. Fellow Greyhound Lenny Bennett ran for 150 more yards and scored three times himself. Of course, you can’t talk about rushing attacks in the GLVC without mentioning Truman’s Cody Schrader. Schrader had 172 yards rushing and three scores this weekend. It was his seventh 100-yard game in eight tries and fifth game scoring multiple touchdowns.

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7. That Henderson State catch-me-if-you-can offense came through in overtime as the No. 20 Reddies avoided their second-straight loss. Quarterback Adam Morse had a day, throwing for 522 yards while his wide receiver combo of L’liott Curry and Xavier Malone combined for 393 yards. It was Curry’s touchdown reception that sealed the deal for Henderson State. 

The best stats from the AFCA Top 25

There were plenty of juicy stat sheets on this past DII football Saturday. Here are the standout stat lines from those teams inside the AFCA Top 25 rankings.

Player School Position Stats
Adam Morse Henderson State QB 522 pass, 2 TD
Kyle Saddler Augustana (SD) QB 438 pass, 5 TD
Noah Mitchell Cal (PA) QB 359 pass, 4 TD
Harrison Frost West Georgia QB 315 pass, 1 TD
Austin Reed West Florida QB 314 pass, 5 total TD
Harry Woodbery Indiana (PA) QB 305 pass, 4 TD
Connor Desch Western Colorado QB 301 pass, 5 total TD
Jared Bernhardt Ferris State QB 289 pass, 45 rush, 4 total TD
Ja'rome Johnson Bowie State QB 112 pass, 100 rush, 2 total TD
Ty Hebron Shepherd RB 174 rush, 2 TD
Darryl Davis-McNeil Kutztown RB 148 rush, 1 TD
Calil Wilkins Bowie State RB 134 rush, 1 TD
Cazz Martin Minnesota Duluth RB 131 rush, 1 TD
Al McKeller Northwest Missouri State RB 130 rush
TJ Cole Ouachita Baptist RB 119 rush, 3 TD
Seth McGill Valdosta State RB 112 rush, 2 TD
Demetrius Battle West Alabama RB 111 rush, 1 TD
Michael Zeman Colorado School of Mines RB 108 rush, 1 TD
Xavier Malone Henderson State WR 200 receiving, 1 TD
L'liott Curry Henderson State WR 193 receiving, 1 TD
Jamar Moya Northwest Missouri State RB 22 receiving, 169 rush, 4 total TD
Tyriq Martin West Alabama WR 169 receiving. 1 TD
Derek Lockhart Cal (PA) WR 153 receiving, 2 TD
Irvin Charles Indiana (PA) WR 143 receiving, 2 TD
Armani Carmickle Minnesota Duluth WR 132 receiving, 2 TD
Jared Smith West Florida WR 113 receiving, 2 TD
Miko Maessner Nebraska-Kearney WR 109 receiving, 1 TD
Logan Uttecht Augustana (SD) WR 107 receiving, 3 TD
Xavier Wade Ferris State WR 106 receiving, 2 TD

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