Purple powers advance

UW-Whitewater held Salisbury to 244 yards rushing and returns to the national semifinals.

Mount Union and UW-Whitewater remained on pace for a seventh consecutive meeting in Salem, as each won its national quarterfinal on Saturday.

Next Saturday's semifinals are at noon (Wesley at Mount Union) and 3:30 p.m. ET (St. Thomas at UW-Whitewater) to accomodate ESPN3 broadcasts.

Levell Coppage ran for 213 yards for UW-Whitewater and Matt Blanchard threw for 134 and ran for 62 more as UW-Whitewater defeated Salisbury 34-14. The Warhawks, who won their 43rd consecutive game overall, held the Sea Gulls' option offense to 244 yards rushing and 293 yards overall.

Jeremy Murray returned for Mount Union and carried 25 times for 152 yards and two touchdowns as the Purple Raiders defeated Wabash 20-8. Mount Union has been in the semifinals 17th consecutive years. Neal Seaman got back on the field at quarterback this week, but didn't last long completing six of 10 passes for 36 yards. He ended the game on the sidelines with his pads off. Matt Piloto was 6-for-8 for 40 yards and freshman Kevin Burke was 2-for-4 for 24. Mount Union held Wabash to 31 yards rushing.

St. Thomas defeated St. John Fisher 45-10 to advance to play UW-Whitewater, reaching the national semifinals for the first time. The Cardinals were held to just 82 yards of total offense after a 51-yard drive to open the game gave St. John Fisher a 3-0 lead. But the Tommies got two touchdown catches from Fritz Waldvogel and Colin Tobin ran for 159 yards.

Wesley held off a second-half comeback to win 27-24 at Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Wolverines rolled out to a 21-3 halftime lead before the Cru came back. UMHB's final drive was stopped on an incomplete pass at the Wesley 41-yard line. Shane McSweeny completed 15 of 22 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 114 yards in the win.