|Jordan West had plenty of room to run for Washington & Jefferson as the Presidents picked up a season-opening win.
W&J athletics photo by Martin Santek Photography
|UW-Oshkosh made the call that sealed the game, converting a fake punt to finish off JCU.
Photo by Joe Colon, d3photography.com
UW-Oshkosh's remade defense shut down John Carroll, while UW-Whitewater lost a season opener for the first time since 2003. Brockport handed No. 14 Hobart a season-opening loss, Washington & Jefferson knocked off No. 23 St. John Fisher and Springfield handed No. 24 Western New England a loss in its first game as a member of the D3football.com Top 25 in Saturday's early action.
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With a first down on the Ilinois Wesleyan 1-yard line with 1:03 left, the Warhawks put Merrick Gentile in the game and he mishandled a high snap, fumbling the ball away, allowing the Titans to recover it and seal a 17-10 win.
Jack Healey caught two touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter for IWU.
The season opening loss was the first for UW-Whitewater since a 2003 Week 1 loss to Mount Union.
Dylan Hecker ran for 186 yards and three touchdowns, while the No. 4 UW-Oshkosh Titans held two quarterbacks to a combined 17-for-40 passing as the Titans defeated the No. 8 John Carroll Blue Streaks 23-17. The game, a rematch of last year's national semifinals, was the third win for UWO over JCU in 53 weeks.
Derrick Jennings Jr. had a team-high nine tackles, plus a pass breakup, while AJ Plewa, the only returning starter from last year's defense for the national runners-up, added five tackles and broke up two passes. The Titans sealed the win with a fake punt on fourth-and-2 in the closing minutes.
Brockport picked off Shane Sweeney three times and Joe Germinerio threw for 360 yards and a touchdown as the Golden Eagles made sure there was no last-minute magic for Hobart in the 2017 season opener. Brockport defeated the No. 14 Statesmen 34-20.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Hobart rallied, eventually tying it at 20. That included a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Hobart's Jayson Prince. But Sweeney was intercepted on the 1-yard line and Hobart went four-and-out at the 10 after recovering a blocked punt at the 16. Meanwhile, Brockport answered with a 12-play, 90-yard drive, capped by Justin Morrison's second touchdown run of the afternoon.
Alex Rowse's debut as Washington & Jefferson's quarterback wasn't an epic one, but running back Jordan West and the Presidents' defense more than made up for it as W&J defeated No. 23 St. John Fisher 37-27. West ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns, including a 52-yarder to put the Presidents up by two scores in the third quarter and a 7-yarder to give W&J the lead after St. John Fisher had rallied. Meanwhile, the Presidents defense picked off Joshua Michels twice and sacked him five times in the win.
Two players rushed for more than 100 yards apiece and a third added 99 as Springfield knocked off local rival Western New England 35-21, handing the Golden Bears a loss in their first-ever game as a member of the D3football.com Top 25. The Pride's triple-option attack kept Western New England off the field, as Springfield held the ball for more than 40 minutes in the win. Quarterback Jake Eglintine ran for 121 yards and three scores on 19 carries, while completing four of eight passes as well.
Everything clicked for St. John's, including three quarterbacks combining for six touchdown passes on just 17 pass attempts as the Johnnies crushed St. Scholastica 98-0. With a chance to become the first Division III school to break 100 since 2003, the 10th-ranked Johnnies went the final 10:06 without a score. St. Scholastica had just 59 yards of total offense on 59 plays. Jackson Erdmann was 7-for-7 passing for 129 yards and three scores in the win, which came in front of 6,082 fans at Clemens Stadium. Seven of the Johnnies' 12 offensive scoring drives covered 41 yards or less and the entire 180-man roster, outside of the injured, played in the game.
D'Angelo Fulford threw for 213 yards and ran for 78 more as No. 2 Mount Union had little trouble with N.C. Wesleyan in a 58-0 win. The Purple Raiders allowed just 149 yards of total offense in the win, while 10 players recorded rushing stats and 30 recorded at least one tackle. Trey Williams wrapped things up with a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown after N.C. Wesleyan had not advanced beyond its own 45 in the first three quarters of the game.
Jordan Roberts had 100 yards of offense on 23 touches and the No. 5-ranked Tommies scored 42 points in a row after UW-Eau Claire scored the first six. Jacques Perra got his first collegiate start in the 47-13 win and was 17-for-32 passing for 202 yards, also rushing for two scores. Michael Pratl connected on a 27-yard field goal, his third of the game, with 1:41 left to lift No. 15 UW-Platteville to a 30-28 win vs. visiting George Fox. Cade Earl threw for 434 yards on 37-for-49 passing in the win.
This story will be updated.