Albion, Mount Union, Hampden-Sydney and more punch tickets
|Albion athletics file photo|
|Automatic bids clinched:|
CC: Johns Hopkins
CCIW: North Central
MAC: Lebanon Valley
MWC: St. Norbert
OAC: Mount Union
PAC: Washington and Jefferson
UMAC: St. Scholastica
There were 10 automatic bids left to be handed out coming into Saturday, with several of them to be decided in head-to-head games.
One of those was in the MIAA, where Albion survived as Evan Finch's 31-yard field goal attempt for Hope hit the left upright as time expired to give the Britons the MIAA automatic bid with a 34-31 win. Dominic Bona was 20-for-37 passing for 193 yards for the Britons.
Mount Union won its 25th consecutive game, holding off John Carroll as the Blue Streaks rallied from a 31-10 deficit before falling to the the top-ranked Purple Raiders 42-34. John Carroll drove to the Mount Union 15 before turning the ball over on downs thanks to three consecutive incomplete passes.
Hampden-Sydney stuffed a two-point conversion attempt in the final two minutes to defeat archrival Randolph-Macon 28-26 and win not only bragging rights but the ODAC title.
Lebanon Valley backed into the playoffs, winning the MAC automatic bid despite losing to Albright. That's because Delaware Valley outscored Widener 33-0 in the second half as Kyle Schuberth ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns in a 50-28 victory. Delaware Valley's win gives the automatic bid to Lebanon Valley, even though the Flying Dutchmen lost to Albright 40-25.
St. Norbert needed help to get into the postseason as well. After the Green Knights got pummelled by Lake Forest in a 31-3 defeat, Illinois College lost as well, as the Blueboys were edged at Carroll 23-21. IC scored with 2:10 left in the game to cut the deficit to two but could not recover the onside kick and Lamont Williams got the Pioneers the first down they needed to secure the win. St. Norbert managed just 181 yards of total offense in the loss. For Illinois College, it was the second loss in as many weeks, when a win in either game would have given them the conference title.
Franklin rolled out to a 49-14 halftime lead and cruised to the 59-21 win at Hanover, winning the Victory Bell and the HCAC automatic bid. Grizzlies quarterback Jonny West went over 10,000 career passing yards in the contest.
On Friday night, Rowan beat archrival TCNJ 45-21 to clinch the NJAC's automatic bid. Rowan might end up sharing first place in the conference with Brockport State, but has already beaten the Golden Eagles this season.