First round road warriors

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St. John Fisher gave up its share of yards but intercepted quarterback Hewitt Tomlin five times in defeating Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins athletics photo

On a day where most home teams rolled through the first round of the Division III football playoffs, Monmouth, St. John Fisher and McMurry won on the road to keep their seasons alive, while Cal Lutheran had two game-tying attempts fail.

Monmouth advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in Alex Tanney's career, surviving a triple-overtime game at Illinois Wesleyan with a 33-27 win.

After regulation ended with a 17-17 tie, the Scots and Titans traded touchdowns on their first overtime possessions and field goals on their second. The Titans pushed inside the Monmouth 10 on their next overtime possession, but fumbled the ball away. Monmouth running back Trey Yocum did the rest, carrying the ball four times for 30 yards and the game winning touchdown to vault the Scots past Illinois Wesleyan 33-27 in overtime.

Monmouth will play St. Thomas next. Colin Tobin ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries with the snow falling and the Tommies rolled past St. Scholastica 48-2. The Saints, making their first playoff appearance in the fourth year of the program's history, managed just four first downs and 73 yards of total offense.

The last team into the playoffs advanced through the first round. St. John Fisher, the Empire 8's runner-up, knocked off Centennial Conference champ Johns Hopkins 23-12. Ahmed Hassanien came off the bench for the Cardinals after Ryan Kramer got hurt and completed eight of 13 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. St. John Fisher will head to Delaware Valley, where the Aggies rolled past Norwich 62-10. Delaware Valley ran for seven touchdowns, including three by Isaiah Hall.

North Central jumped out to an early lead against Dubuque.
More photos from this game.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

McMurry kept its run as a Division III football program going with a 25-16 win at Trinity (Texas). The War Hawks, who will transition to Division II next season, were bolstered by a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown by D.J. Baiza and leaned on their defense in the absence of star quarterback Jake Mullin. McMurry's next opponent will be a familiar one. Conference mate Mary Hardin-Baylor awaits after eliminating Redlands 34-13 behind 336 rushing yards, 112 by quarterback LiDarral Bailey. The Cruasaders beat the War Hawks 28-27 in Week 3 of the regular season.

Cal Lutheran couldn't convert on a 49-yard field goal attempt that would have tied the game midway through the third quarter, then had a 33-yarder blocked in the final minute as Linfield survived and advanced 30-27. Cal Lutheran finishes the season 9-2, with both losses to Linfield.

Centre ran for 302 yards and Tyler Osterman passed for five TDs in just 13 completions in a 51-41 shootout win against Hampden-Sydney. Travis Lane was 32-for-60 passing and had two 100-yard receivers but the Tigers, who gave up 48 last week and 49 on Oct. 29, gave up a season-high in points. The Colonels go on to face Mount Union, which rolled past Benedictine 47-7.

Travis Nehowig
Travis Nehowig was held to 1 yard rushing and 8 all-purpose yards by the St. Thomas defense.
More photos from this game.
Photo by Scott Pierson, d3photography.com

Wabash had Illinois College well in control before going on to win 38-20 as the Blueboys scored twice against the Little Giants backups. The Blueboys rushed for just 29 yards and were held 277 yards below their average on offense. "I think they did a lot of the things we saw on film, what we prepared for," Wabash senior linebacker CJ Gum said. "We did have guys flying around."

The Little Giants will try to slow down North Central (Ill.) which ran for 411 yards in a 59-13 win over Dubuque. Cardinals backs Jordan Tassio and Nick Kukuc combined for 252 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Zweifel finished his career with a 13-reception game for 135 yards and was also Dubuque's leading tackler, with seven total stops.

Tom D'Ambrisi completed 17 of 27 passes for Kean and the Cougars rolled past Christopher Newport 34-10. Kean will face Salisbury, which rolled up 28 second-quarter points to take a 62-24 lead on Western New England. Dan Griffin threw for just 29 yards but ran for 174 and three touchdowns on just 11 carries for the Sea Gulls.

Reece Craig
Franklin's Reece Craig looks for running room against Thomas More defender Adam Kovacs.
Photo by Ralph Greenslade for D3sports.com

Franklin jumped out to an early lead and held on to defeat Thomas More 24-21. Logan Worley's 16-yard touchdown catch from Jonny West proved to be the game-winner.

The Grizzlies will play defending national champion UW-Whitewater after the Warhawks cruised past Albion 59-0. UW-Whitewater jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead and rolled, with backup running back Byron Stanford leading all rushers with 114 yards on nine carries. Photo gallery. UW-Whitewater beat Franklin 45-0 in Week 2 of the regular season.

Hobart saw its potential game-tying drive sputter at the 5-yard line with 1:38 left in the game and Wesley held on to win 35-28. The Statesmen had a chance to win or tie the game late despite not having No. 1 quarterback Nick Strang or starting wide receiver Yosh Karbowniczak. The Wolverines will host Linfield.

Maintenance in progress.
Dec. 9: All times Eastern
Mount Union 43, at UW-Oshkosh 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Brockport 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 15: All times Eastern
Mount Union 12, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 0
@ Salem, Va.
Video Box Score Recap Photos