Sight for sore eyes on
Chicago's North Side.
The days of futility are over for a handful of Division III also-rans, as North Park won for the first time in 90 conference games, and three teams that lost every game last season continued their hot starts.
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North Park, which last beat a CCIW opponent almost 13 years ago to the day, forced five Carthage turnovers in a 22-20 win on a rainy day in Chicago. The Vikings, who had gone 0-7 in conference play for 12 consecutive seasons plus another five games since winning 31-21 at Elmhurst on Oct. 7, 2000, sandwiched their scores around a 1-hour, 22-minute lightning delay, one of several in games in the Midwest.
T.D. Conway threw three touchdown passes, including one to his brother Dakota and another with to John Barnabee with 4:27 left. The North Park defense stopped Carthage twice, including once by Bennett Detlinger interception, to preserve the win.
One season after finishing 0-10, Olivet improved to 5-0 when it scored with 47 seconds left, watched Alma tie the game with three seconds left, then won in overtime, 20-13, on an 18-yard Javier Lara touchdown run.
Quarterback Braden Black capped a tense drive in the final minutes of regulation with a 12-yard touchdown for the Comets, who have won two of their games 14-10. Anthony Edwards missed the point after, leaving Olivet's lead at 13-10 and keeping the door open for Alma (0-5). Troy Gahm returned the kick to the 50, and Grant Wilson ran for 12 yards, but the Scots couldn't gain much more. Jack Pryde booted a 47-yard field goal for Alma, which was searching for its first win since beating Olivet last season.
The Comets scored first in overtime, however, and the defense held for the road victory. Olivet's 5-0 start is made all the more remarkable because it won just two games in the five seasons since it went 6-5 and won the MIAA in 2007. It marked Olivet's first win at Alma in 40 years.
St. Lawrence, which was also 0-10 last season, improved to 4-1 for the first time since 1985 with a 14-10 win against Rochester. Maurice Irby scored two touchdowns, and the Saints' defense held the Yellowjackets to just 10 points on five red-zone trips. It was St. Lawrence's first win over Rochester since 1998, and kept them tied atop the Liberty League at 2-0.
Western Connecticut, 0-10 in the NJAC the past two seasons, jumped on Bridgewater State, a 2012 playoff team, with a 28-point first quarter in a 49-26 victory. The Colonials, now 3-1, got 163 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Octavious McKoy. The defense forced five turnovers, falling on a fumble for a touchdown and intercepting a Bears two-point conversion pass.
Husson had won three games in the past three seasons, but earned its second win a row, beating Castleton State, 34-3. The Eagles outrushed the Spartans 356-10.
Gallaudet improved to 4-0, surviving the long drive from D.C. to Boston and a last-second field goal attempt that went wide, defeating Mount Ida 7-6. Gallaudet got all 317 of its yards on the ground and from just five rushers, led by B.J. Flores' 130 yards on 29 carries, including the only touchdown.
Hartwick improved to 4-0 as well, getting two John Garcia touchdown passes and a Jason Brown fumble return in an 21-9 upset of Ithaca. Union's first win of the season also came as a surprise, as the Dutchmen beat Springfield, 27-7.
King's held on in the second overtime, denying Misericordia a chance at its first win ever when a two-point conversation attempt failed. The Monarchs survived, 41-40. Kyle McGrath led the Monarchs with 151 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Misericordia has lost its first 15 Division III football games.
Bowdoin's Tim Wickstrom intercepted a Tufts pass at the 1-yard line in the final minute, sending the Jumbos to their 26th consecutive loss, 13-10. Tufts, which last won in the 2010 opener, nearly won at Bates last week, losing 20-16.
Endicott sent Maine Maritime to its 17th consecutive loss as Drew Frenette threw five TD passes in the 53-28 win.
Zach Drake hit a 27-yard field goal at the final gun and Morrisville State defeated William Paterson, 51-48. Lemar Johnson threw for 455 yards and four touchdowns on 32-for-52 passing and ran for 93 more, while Christian Pena ran for 218 yards and two scores and caught four passes for 62 yards and another touchdown.
ODAC teams did ODAC things, as the conference known for its parity had its defending champion, Washington & Lee, pass for just 16 yards in a 16-7 home loss to Guilford. The Quakers, who got three Tyler Hunt field goals, outgained W&L just 267-253. Shenandoah won its first game as an ODAC member, forcing four Bridgewater turnovers in a 29-20 win. It was the Eagles' first loss of the season. Will McGhee rushed for 216 yards, including a late 99-yard touchdown, in Randolph-Macon's 45-20 win against Emory & Henry. Hampden-Sydney beat Catholic, 39-27, as Nash Nance ran for three touchdowns and passed for two.
Coast Guard, fortunate to be able to play this week, survived, 41-38, in a wild one with Western New England. The Bears forced five Golden Bears turnovers, but committed five of their own, which meant they had to come from behind even after taking an early 24-7 lead. Derek Victory attempted 63 passes, 16 of which were completed to Collis Brown for 244 yards, but it took Victory's 1-yard TD run with 3:09 left to tie it at 38. A fumbled punt at the 5-yard line set up Tyler Henning's 22-yard game-winning kick with 54 seconds left.
Lakeland and Wisconsin Lutheran played their own wild shooutout, combining for 999 yards, every one of which mattered. Dylan Van Straten threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Kezlow Smith in overtime to lift the Muskies to a 40-34 win, their second dramatic victory this season.
Northwestern and Minnesota-Morris also found their offensive grooves, as nobody punted after the 6:32 mark in the second quarter of the Eagles' 50-45 win. The Cougars scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally from down 20 to up 45-44, before Jacob Fletcher hit Joe Sutton with a scoring toss with 46 seconds left.
First-year Hendrix threw a scare into Millsaps, leading 24-20 in the second half, but John McDowell returned the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown after the Warriors took the lead, Trevor King caught a touchdown pass and Taz Watson ran for two scores in the fourth quarter of the Majors' 48-37 win. Millsaps is now 4-0.
Maryville outrushed Averett, 411-12, with five backs rushing for 53 yards or more in improving to 4-1 with a 48-0 win.
Sewanee fell behind 21-2 against Birmingham-Southern, but Cortez Brown's 30-yard interception return for a score was part of a four-touchdown comeback as the Tigers won, 31-21.
Mississippi College gave up 28 points in the first quarter but just seven the rest of the way as it won its first game of the season, 49-35, against Hardin-Simmons.
Aurora scored 45 points in the first quarter and 63 in the the first half on the way to an 84-41 win over Maranatha Baptist. Lewis & Clark rolled up 697 yards of offense in a 60-30 win over Puget Sound.