/seasons/2010/contrib/20100917dmld68

Bethany at Wash. & Jeff. Preview

More news about: Bethany

The Bethany College football, who held on to beat King's last week to even their record at 1-1, will kick off PAC play Saturday night with a match-up against longtime rival Washington & Jefferson at 7 p.m. in W&J's Cameron Stadium.

Twenty second quarter points by King's last Saturday put the Bison in a 23-13 halftime deficit. But BC answered with 18 consecutive points and held off a late Monarchs rally, including a potential game-winning field goal as time expired that sailed wide left, to come away with a 31-29 victory. Bethany out-gained King's 387-85 on the ground, led by junior RB Eric Walker's 220 yards, and while head coach Tim Weaver was happy with that production, he wants to see the passing game improve, starting this week.

"Last week was a really good win," said Weaver, who has never seen his program get off to a 0-2 start in his five years at the helm. "Anytime you win on the road, but especially when we were down at the half, had to fight our way back to the lead and then held on at the end, it's a big boost. The good news is we dominated the game statistically and were much more physical, gaining more than 300 yards than they did on the ground, which we haven't done.

"We also need to focus on where we can get better," said Weaver. "Offensively, we know we have to start making plays in the passing game, beginning this week."

The trigger man on the Bethany offense is freshman QB Matt Grimard, who rushed for 150 yards and one score to become the first Bethany signal caller in 15 years to gain over 100 rushing yards in a game. His ability to make plays with his legs is a big benefit to the Bison offense, but Weaver says his key focus should be on making the air attack click, as he went 8-for-16 for 58 yards and a score last week.

"Matt's running ability really opens everything up, especially giving us the chance to run counter plays without misdirection," said Weaver. "He has a very unique set of skills, including a good knack for when to pull the ball back on zone reads and he sees the field like a running back.

"It was great that it helped us win the football game, but we stressed that his accuracy must improve for us to beat the better teams on our schedule," said Weaver. "He made a great throw on a third down play last week to Marcus (D'Aguiar-Alexander) on an adjustment they made together, which was encouraging. It will be a process, as he learns our offense and we learn what he can do. He isn't like Chad (Smith, last year's starter for most of the season), as every quarterback has a different set of skills and we have to play to his natural abilities because there isn't time in a game week to rebuild stuff."

Weaver also sees room for improvement on special teams and defense. The main area of concern after last week came from the Bison kicking game, as they missed four extra points, which allowed King's to have a chance at the end. This week, Bethany will turn to freshman Robert Headden to handle the place kicking duties.

"Our extra point situation is an embarrassment to me because I coach the special teams," said Weaver. "If we make two of those four we missed last week, they aren't lining up for a field goal to win the game last week. This is no different than any other spot. It's a competition and you have to perform to keep your job, so we'll give Headden a look this week."

The defense turned in another strong outing, despite the 29 points allowed. Bethany gave up only 307 total yards in the game, but 173 of those (56 percent) came on three long scoring passes. Eliminating those big plays, which Weaver says isn't a case of blown assignments as much as not being aggressive enough, will be the focal point for this Saturday.

"We've probably had our best two-game stretch in the last three years, but it doesn't matter if you can't stop the big play," said Weaver. "We gave up over 50 percent of the total yards on three plays last game. It's not blown coverages, it's more about competition at the point of attack. If you compare our yards allowed to points allowed, they don't match up. We are playing consistently very well, but have to finish passing plays at the point of attack."

Washington & Jefferson comes into Saturday night off a 27-0 loss at #10 Delaware Valley last week. The Presidents were out-gained 466-67, as the Aggies held W&J to -11 rushing yards. After averaging 42 points in wins over Bethany and Waynesburg to close out the 2009 regular season, W&J was blanked by perennial power Mount Union in the NCAA playoffs 55-0 last year and then suffered the shut out Saturday. Despite the recent losses, Weaver says the quality opponents has more to do with the Presidents struggles more than anything.

"They certainly haven't been helped by who they've played," said Weaver. "Mount would embarrass anyone and watching Del Valley on film, they are the best non-conference opponent any of us have played and are truly a Top 10 team. There is no mistake about the team we're going to see Saturday night. Each of the last two years, we've played W&J the week after they've lost to Thomas More and they knew they couldn't lose again, so they have been a very focused and business-like team when we've played them. They are facing nine straight must-win games and for us, it's a step up in class compared to the first two teams we've faced. They are stronger and more explosive than who we've played to this point."

The President defense was the stronger part of the team last year, as they didn't allow anyone to score more than 16 points in 2009 until the playoff game. While the numbers show a tough start to 2010 for W&J, Weaver says a lot of credit should go to Delaware Valley for their long drives and forcing the Presidents to play defense for nearly 40 minutes.

"They had to play way too much football Saturday, but they are still good," said Weaver. "Del Valley had a bunch of 10-, 12-, 14-play drives and you always tell your defense that offense can't be mistake-free for that many plays in a row, but Del Valley did and it led to the win.

"W&J's back seven are as good as we'll see," said Weaver. "They have new faces up front, but their program just replaces good players with more good players, which is where we are trying to get to here."

For the Bison to have a chance at the upset Saturday, they need to play mistake-free football, which they didn't last year when they committed six turnovers in a 49-0 loss, and not be awed by playing a perennial Top 25 team on the road in a night game, which Weaver says is up to the upperclassmen to show their leadership.

"Our key as a program this year is to not worry about who we're playing," said Weaver. "We have enough veterans on this team that we should not be intimidated by who we're playing or the environment. Last year, we were not better than W&J, but they were not seven touchdowns better than us if you take out the turnovers. However, when you give the ball to them an extra six times, you end up with last year's result. On Saturday, we want to come out swinging early, take care of the ball and give ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter."

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
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at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
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Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
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at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
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at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
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at Union 28, Hobart 23
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at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
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at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
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at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
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at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
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SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
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Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
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at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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at Amherst 21, Wesleyan 17
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at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
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Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
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Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
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at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
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Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
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at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
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Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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at Albion 31, Alma 28
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at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
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Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
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Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
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at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
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Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
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at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
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Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
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at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
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RPI 30, at Alfred 15
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at Curry 46, Nichols 16
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at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
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Ferrum 27, at Brevard 24
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Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
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at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
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Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
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at Trine 50, Hope 14
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Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
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Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
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Tufts 21, at Williams 13
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Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
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at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
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at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
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John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
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at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
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Mount St. Joseph 71, at Anderson 27
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UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
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Kean 26, at TCNJ 3
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at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
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at Worcester State 45, Mass-Dartmouth 40
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Muhlenberg 40, at McDaniel 13
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Western New England 45, at Becker 0
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at Maryville (Tenn.) 35, Methodist 14
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Adrian 36, at Kalamazoo 22
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Denison 31, at Ohio Wesleyan 20
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at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
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Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
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Eureka 37, at MacMurray 20
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at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Nebraska Wesleyan 14, at Buena Vista 13
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Lakeland 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 0
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at Aurora 28, Rockford 21
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at Concordia-Chicago 37, Concordia (Wis.) 17
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at St. Olaf 29, Carleton 26
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at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
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at Loras 44, Coe 38
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Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
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Northwestern (Minn.) 30, at Martin Luther 14
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Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
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at Millikin 56, Carroll 35
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at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
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at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
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St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
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at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
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UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
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at Centre 42, Rhodes 35
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Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
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at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
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UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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at Dubuque 28, Simpson 27
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at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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at East Texas Baptist 68, Louisiana College 35
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at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
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Western Connecticut 27, at Bridgewater State 20
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Chapman 38, at La Verne 21
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Pacific 17, at Lewis and Clark 7
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Pacific Lutheran 27, at Willamette 14
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at Whitworth 38, Puget Sound 23
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Redlands 42, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 25
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at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Sul Ross State 52, at Howard Payne 15
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at Castleton 17, Dean 14
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N.C. Wesleyan 21, at Averett 15
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at Otterbein 37, Baldwin Wallace 29
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Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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Carnegie Mellon 42, at Thiel 10
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at Illinois College 23, Knox 13
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at Cal Lutheran 60, Whittier 34
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Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
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at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
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at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
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Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
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Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
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