December 7, 2013

Three No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 advance to semis


Sherman Wilkinson caught touchdown passes of 23, 57 and 41 yards from Kevin Burke in the win.
Photo by Dan Poel, d3photography.com
For a second consecutive week, Ryan Kent ran for four touchdowns for North Central. He ran for 109 yards.
Photo by Scott Pierson, d3photography.com  

Loussaint Minett was one of 29 Warhawks credited with a tackle in UWW's win vs. Linfield. 
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com 

Wesley and Mount Union combined for 39 points in the fourth quarter as Mount Union survived a wild final three quarters to defeat the Wolverines, 62-59 and return to the national semifinals.

The Purple Raiders roared out to a 31-0 lead after the first quarter, including recovering an onside kick, returning a punt for a touchdown and returning an interception for six as well. But Wesley outscored Mount Union in each of the final three quarters and brought the game down to an onside kick in the final 90 seconds before the Purple Raiders were able to close it out.

Wesley sophomore quarterback Joe Callahan made NCAA history completing 35-of-52 passes for 633 yards and eight touchdowns. His yardage and touchdown totals break his own Wesley single-game record and his eight TD passes is a NCAA Division III playoff record.  His 633 passing yards are also the fourth-most in NCAA Division III history.

Linfield jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter at UW-Whitewater but couldn't close it out as the Warhawks bounced back to knock off the No. 2-ranked Wildcats 28-17. Jake Kumerow caught three touchdown passes, one in each of the final three quarters to cap off drives of 84, 55 and 61 yards for the Warhawks. UW-Whitewater held Linfield under 100 yards of total offense in the second half as Josh Yoder was sacked eight times, twice by John Flood.

North Central used a balanced attack on offense and picked off Bethel backup quarterback Tom Keefe twice on defense to ease their way into the national semifinals with a 41-17 win. It's the first trip to the final four for the Cardinals, who were last in the quarterfinals in 2010. 

Ryan Kent followed up last week's four-touchdown performance with another one, finding the end zone four times to go with 109 yards on 28 carries. Spencer Stanek, one of the top quarterbacks in Division III, was limited to 15-of-27 passing but threw for 249 yards, 109 of them to Peter Sorenson on seven catches.

St. John Fisher held Mary Hardin-Baylor to 120 rushing yards, just 3.0 per carry, but the Cru threw for 251 yards in defeating the Cardinals 45-23. Elijah Hudson caught four passes for 110 yards but it was backup quarterback Brian Gallagher who ran for two scores and threw a 70-yard pass to Hudson to set one up.

The Cru started the scoring with a safety, as Andy McAteer had a big game on defense. McAteer's pressure forced an intentional grounding call on St. John Fisher in their own end zone following a 75-yard Chad Peevey punt to pin the Cardinals deep in their own territory. A McAteer interception set up Peevey's 47-yard field goal to push the lead to 5-0.

St. John Fisher cut the lead to as close as 31-23 midway through the fourth quarter but UMHB answered immediately with a 96-yard drive that took just 2:07 and added a score in the final two minutes.

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