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Wayne Cavadi | | October 23, 2022

Angelo State climbs the DII football Power 10 rankings as the first regional rankings near

DII football 2022 midseason review, postseason predictions

We are more than halfway through the 2022 DII football season, so any undefeated matchup this late in the season is one to watch. Angelo State delivered, utterly dominating Lone Star Conference rival Texas A&M-Kingsville, 34-7.

That wasn't the only big game that will affect this week's rankings around the nation. And let's not forget the first DII football regional rankings drop Monday, Oct. 24. Remember, these first rankings are "under consideration" in alphabetical order, so we can't predict any seedings just yet.

DII FOOTBALL HUB: News, rankings, stats for 2022

Let's get to it.

Angelo State's defense delivers in victory

This was a good ol' fashioned top-20 battle from the Lone Star Conference. Entering the game, the Javelinas not only had the best scoring defense in the LSC, but were tied for a top-5 spot in all DII. The Rams didn't care one bit as they rolled to a complete 34-7 victory.

Angelo State was led by its two stars as Zach Bronkhorst threw for 183 yards and two scores and running back Nate Omayebu III rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown, but it is the Rams' defense we need to talk about. After the Javelinas tied the game with 58 seconds remaining in the first quarter... they never found the end zone again. They struggled to get anything going against the Rams' defensive front, posting just 145 total yards while turning the ball over twice and allowing five sacks. The Rams left homecoming leaving no doubt — this is one of the most well-rounded, complete teams in the nation. 

A wild fourth quarter propels Newberry to a big win

A pair of top-25 teams met in Hickory, N.C., in a matchup that had tremendous South Atlantic Conference implications on the line. A win for Lenoir-Rhyne would leave them the lone undefeated team in SAC play, but a win by Newberry would make the Piedmont Division a total cluster at the top. An utterly chaotic fourth quarter left Newberry on top 38-24 and the Piedmont Division in utter chaos.

Newberry jumped out to a 17-0 lead at the half and a Kelin Parsons touchdown for the Bears made it 17-7 heading into the final 15 minutes. Then, the Mario Anderson Show took over. Anderson, who has been on my Harlon Hill Hopeful list since the preseason, went off, with three big rushes of 49, 58 and 75 yards, the latter going for a touchdown. He also plowed in a nine-yard score in the final stanza. In all, he ran for 201 yards in the fourth quarter and 243 on the day — his second week in a row with a 240-yard day. He is explosive and only has to make the first person miss because once he is in the open field... he's gone. Not to be overlooked, Lenoir-Rhyne battled as well as Bears' quarterback Sean White led two touchdown drives including an incredible 16-yard touchdown reception by Ryan Carter. It simply wasn't enough in the end.

The NSIC is Upset City 

There were a pair of upsets in the NSIC on Saturday, both of which will shake things up a little bit. Both Augustana (SD) and Sioux Falls entered the weekend as part of the "First five out" in the Power 10 rankings, but both left with losses — the Cougars with one larger than what was on the scoreboard.

Winona State had a big Homecoming weekend, downing nationally ranked Sioux Falls 20-17. The big story here was that Cougars star running back Thuro Reisdorfer left the game injured early and Sioux Falls simply never recovered. Reisdorfer, who was averaging seven yards per carry before leaving injured, did help the Cougars get out to a lead, and Sioux Falls led 17-7 halfway through the fourth quarter. However, the Warriors' defense clamped down, scoring the final 13 points of the ball game and delivering the upset celebration to its loyal fans. The win puts Winona State atop the South Division with a 3-0 record in division play. 

Minnesota State looked like the Mavericks of old and kept themselves alive in a stacked South Division. The Mavericks dominated both sides of the ball, controlling the ground game with four rushing touchdowns and limiting Augustana (SD) to just 228 total yards of offense and its lowest-scoring output of the season while sacking the quarterback seven times. Minnesota State is now one of five teams with a 6-2 record or better in the division. It's going to be a wild finish. 

The 2022 DII football Power 10 rankings: Week 8

No. 1 Grand Valley State | Previous: 1: The Lakers entered the No. 1 spot for the first time in the history of the Power 10 rankings last week and responded with a 56-3 win over Northern Michigan. All three quarterbacks were responsible for a score. This team is so deep it's scary. Michigan Tech gets the chance to see if it can slow down the Lake Show next week.

No. 2 Angelo State | Previous: 4: The Rams are the big movers of the week, and quite frankly, the resume speaks for itself. They have dominated the Lone Star Conference and now have a pair of top-25 wins, one over Colorado School of Mines. This week, the Rams have Simon Fraser but have a pair of very tough games remaining in Central Washington and Midwestern State to close out the season.

No. 3 Shepherd | Previous: 3: This was a much-need win for the Rams and they left making a statement. Shepherd downed West Chester 47-14 and now have wins over Cal (Pa), Kutztown and the Golden Rams. Tyson Bagent and Ronnie Brown both did their things as two of the most explosive players in the nation right now. Next up is Bloomsburg.

No. 4 Ferris State | Previous: 2: The Bulldogs struggled a bit this week, but a win is a win. Carson Gulker took to the air a bit more than usual, throwing a crucial pick-six late in the game, but responded with a 75-yard touchdown pass, splitting two defenders for the clinching score. He also punched in three more rushing touchdowns and has 16 on the season. Northern Michigan is up next.

No. 5 Ouachita Baptist | Previous: 5: It's no longer a question of whether the Tigers won, it's by how much. This week, Ouachita Baptist piled on 63 points in a 32-point blowout win. TJ Cole piled on 230 yards and six — SIX — rushing touchdowns, outscoring Southern Arkansas all by himself. A surprisingly tough East Central awaits next week. 

No. 6 Pittsburg State| Previous: 6: Quarterback Chad Dodson Jr. tossed three touchdowns to three different receivers in another well-balanced victory. The Gorillas have two tough matchups in a row against Central Oklahoma and Washburn, but right now, it looks like they have a very good shot at winning the tough MIAA.

No. 7 Delta State | Previous: 7: The Statesmen had this one well in hand, as three different players scored a touchdown in the first quarter. Patrick Shegog remains a must-watch quarterback as the Statesmen improve to an impressive 6-0 on the road. Next week is the DII road warriors' final road game of the season against Mississippi College. 

No. 8 West Florida | Previous: 8 Speaking of Mississippi College, West Florida downed the Choctaws 45-17. It is the third week in a row that this offense has scored 42 or more points, so it's safe to say Byron Jarrett has settled in as quarterback. A pair of running backs eclipsed the 100-yard mark in this one, so it is no one-trick pony. West Alabama is up next.

No. 9 Ashland | Previous: 9: This was the win the Eagles needed. Ashland is now all alone atop the G-MAC standings with a big 28-20 victory over Tiffin. The Eagles top-ranked scoring defense got the job done, especially when it was needed in the closing minutes. Running back Larry Martin helped Ashland play keep away and control the clock, reeling off 124 yards and two scores. A matchup with Hillsdale is on tap for next week.

No. 10 Colorado School of Mines| Previous: 10: That's six in a row for the Orediggers, this one coming in shutout fashion against Black Hills State. Quarterback John Matocha had another big day with 377 yards and three touchdowns as did running back Michael Zeman. The defense sacked the quarterback nine times. Next week is a huge showdown against Western Colorado and should be the game that decides the RMAC.

First five out (in alphabetical order)

  • Benedict
  • Indiana (PA)
  • Northwest Missouri State
  • Slippery Rock
  • Virginia Union

Harlon Hill Hopefuls, 2022: Stats that stood out

There was a slew of some of the best performances of the season all in one week this past Saturday. It was another big day for running backs as Jada Byers had another 187 yards to put him at a college football-best 1,560 yards to go along with 18 rushing touchdowns. 

The goal of this list is to track the contenders throughout the season. Now that we are through eight weeks of the season, there were some serious cuts this week and will continue throughout the remaining weeks. 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW: The essential guide to the Harlon Hill Trophy

Brandon Alt Bemidji State QB 287 pass, 2 TD, 1 Int
Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB 296 pass, 31 rush, 4 total TD
TJ Davis Nebraska-Kearney QB 82 pass, 48 rush, 2 total TD
Ivory Durham Valdosta State QB 227 pass, 7 rush, 2 total TD, 1 Int
Braden Gleason Emporia State  QB 211 pass, 25 rush, 3 TD
Jayden Johannsen South Dakota Mines QB 238 pass, 6 TD, 21 rush
Turner Pullen McKendree QB 320 pass, 11 rush, 3 total TD, 1 Int
Patrick Shegog Delta State QB 233 pass, 3 total TD
Kellen Simoncic Washburn QB 211 pass, 9 rush, 3 total TD, 2 Int
Mario Anderson Newberry RB 246 rush, 4 TD
Ronnie Brown Shepherd RB 98 rush, 54 receiving, 2 total TD
Jada Byers Virginia Union RB 187 rush, 4 TD, 38 receiving
Toriano Clinton UIndy RB DNP
TJ Cole Ouachita Baptist RB 230 rush, 6 TD
Shomari Mason West Florida  RB 137 rush
Dwayne McGee Lenoir-Rhyne RB 45 rush
Nate Omayebu III Angelo State RB 124 rush, 1 TD
Thuro Reisdorfer Sioux Falls RB 35 rush (one quarter)
Emanuel Wilson Fort Valley State RB 163 rush, 3 TD, 31 receiving
Michael Zeman Colorado School of Mines RB 74 rush, 2 TD, 19 receiving
Duane Brown IUP WR  86 receiving, 3 TD
Jeremiah Bridges  South Dakota Mines WR 82 receiving, 3 TD
David Durden West Florida WR 42 receiving
Marquis Gray Southeastern Oklahoma St. WR 125 yards, 3 TD
Keilahn Harris Oklahoma Baptist WR 30 receiving
Danny Kitner UMary WR 131 receiving, 2 TD
James Letcher Jr. Washburn WR 67 receiving, 9 rush, 2 total TD

What else you missed in Week 8 of DII football

  • How about that offense from Quincy over the past few weeks? Though it was a loss to nationally ranked UIndy, quarterback Tionne Harris threw for program-record 503 yards and three touchdowns. This comes one week after throwing for 469 yards and three scores in the thrilling shootout against McKendree. You don't even need to be good at math to know that is a lot. 
  • Davenport football remains undefeated, now a perfect 7-0 after a 58-15 romp of Lincoln (CA). It will be interesting to see how the surprise Panthers fare in the regional rankings. This win was out of DII and they have a modest strength of schedule, but undefeated is undefeated eight weeks in.
  • Speaking of undefeated, it's time to shower some love on Benedict. Now 8-0, the Tigers are just steamrolling opponents, this week defeating Morehouse 35-0. The key for Benedict in the regional rankings is that it has handed Fort Valley State (7-1) and Albany State (GA) (6-2) and should have a clear path to the SIAC. 

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