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Amherst/Wesleyan Game Preview

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Week 5 Football Preview: Amherst @ Wesleyan

Amherst College (4-0) vs. Wesleyan University (3-1)
October 23, 2010 * Andrus Field
Middletown, CT * 12:30 p.m.


LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday's game between Amherst and Wesleyan will feature a free webcast (http://www.wesleyan.edu/athletics/webcasts/index.html) and live statistics (http://condor.wesleyan.edu/cascademedia/athletics/stats/football/xlive.htm).


THIS WEEK IN THE NESCAC

Hamilton (1-3) @ Colby (1-3) – 12 p.m.

Trinity (3-1) @ Bowdoin (1-3) – 12:30 p.m.

Bates (1-3) @ Middlebury (1-3) – 1 p.m.

Williams (4-0) @ Tufts (1-3) – 1:30 p.m.


THE SERIES
Amherst won 50 of the first 99 games in what was once a tug-of-war Little Three rivalry, but the Lord Jeffs have defeated the Cardinals in 15 of the past 16 attempts to take a commanding 65-41-9 lead in the all-time series. Amherst has out-scored Wesleyan by a 207-22 margin during its current seven-game unbeaten streak, shutting out the Cardinals four times during that stretch. The last time these teams met in Middletown, Conn., Amherst overcame a 10-7 deficit and scored the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter, holding on for a 17-10 victory.

 

LAST MEETING
Amherst used four interceptions from its defense and a then-season-high 23 points from its offense to earn a shutout victory over Wesleyan at Pratt Field. The Lord Jeffs ran for a season-high 158 yards while holding the Cardinals to 14 yards on 17 carries. Amherst scored on all four of its red zone chances and the Cardinals were unsuccessful on all four of theirs, as the Jeffs continued to come up with timely plays on defense. Matt Rawson '12 booted a 21-yard field goal with 6:01 to play in the second quarter and Sean Legister '11 caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Alex Vetras '11 less than two minutes later, with Aaron Rauh '10 running for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.


AMHERST LAST TIME OUT
Amherst faced a 3-0 deficit after one quarter but scored 30 unanswered points to earn a 30-3 win over Colby, becoming the program's first squad since 1957 to score at least 30 points in each of the first four games of a season. The swarming Lord Jeff defense allowed only three points and 207 total yards while forcing five turnovers and adding its own touchdown. Linebackers Jeff Katz '11 and Matt Pieterse '13 stood out all over the field, with Pieterse recovering a fumble and returning it 81 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the opening half. Katz finished with a team-high 10 tackles, also forcing a fumble and having a hand in two sacks. 

 

WESLEYAN LAST TIME OUT
Matt Coyne '12 scampered 20 yards on a bootleg to the left side with 51 seconds remaining to score the deciding points as Wesleyan survived with a 27-20, come-from-behind victory at Bates. Neither team led by more than seven points during the battle in Lewiston, Maine. In the end, the Cardinals took advantage of a Bates fumble at the Bobcat 29-yard line in the closing moments of the game. Recovering the loose ball was Cyprian Oyomba '12, who also led all tacklers in the contest with 16 (10 solo). With the teams knotted at 20-20, Wesleyan had a 4th-and-1 at the Bates 20 when Coyne faked to Shea Dwyer '10 and rolled around the left side to the endzone for the go-ahead score.

 

KEYS TO THE GAME
Amherst will need to slow down Wesleyan running back Shea Dwyer '10, who leads all of Division III with 189.0 rushing yards per game. The Lord Jeffs led the nation in rushing defense in 2009 (50.9 ypg) and rank third in the conference in 2010 (81.8 ypg), but Dwyer has run wild in each of his first four games this year. In a 35-21 win over Hamilton he gained 213 yards to set the school's single-game record, also accounting for all five of Wesleyan's touchdowns. He broke his own record the following week, gaining 255 yards with three scores in a 27-20 win at Colby. The Jeffs have allowed only one opponent to gain more than 100 yards on the ground this year (Colby, 102), but they will be up against a different beast this weekend.

 

Although Wesleyan's ground attack has been the clear-cut leader in the NESCAC, Amherst will hold a considerable edge in the passing game this weekend. Alex Vetras '11 has thrown nine touchdowns and only one interception, with four players accumulating more than 100 receiving yards thus far. Vetras is only 413 yards shy of setting Amherst's all-time record for career passing yards, as his 235.8-yards-per-game average will be going up against the conference's seventh-ranked pass defense on Saturday. The Cardinals rank ninth in pass offense (154.8 ypg), as only 84 of their 257 plays have resulted in pass attempts (33 percent).  The Jeffs have featured a much more balanced attack, having run the ball 155 times and gone to the air on 142 occasions.

 

The Jeffs and Cardinals have put points on the board in different ways this season (Wesleyan has yet to attempt a field goal), but both teams are capable of changing a game with big plays. Eleven of Wesleyan's scoring drives have been capped off by plays of at least 10 yards, six of which have been for at least 25 yards. Similarly, 13 of Amherst's touchdowns have been scored on plays of at least 10 yards, eight of which were for 25 yards or more. Each team has scored nine times on drives that lasted less than two minutes, with only two of Amherst's 24 scoring drives taking more than five minutes to develop. If the defenses fail to prevent those big plays and quick strikes, Saturday's game could resemble the 38-31 shootout that took place at Middlebury in the second week of the season.

 

This rivalry has been lopsided since 1994, but Saturday's game will not feature the typical Amherst-Wesleyan matchup. The Cardinals have finished above .500 only twice since 2000 (5-3 in 2000 and 2002), but first-year head coach Mike Whalen has his alma mater headed down the right track. Amherst head coach E.J. Mills will be familiar with the style of Whalen, who posted a 38-10 record in six seasons at Williams and earned NESCAC Coach of the Year honors in 2006 for leading the Ephs to an 8-0 record. Wesleyan hasn't gotten off to a 4-1 start since the 2002 squad opened at 5-1, while the Jeffs have won 12 consecutive games and are inching toward the program record for longest winning streak (14).  

 

PROBABLE STARTERS

Amherst Offense

QB - Alex Vetras - 12

RB - Eric Bunker - 14

TE - Charlie Pratt - 46

WR - Sean Legister - 22

WR - Brian Murphy - 4

WR - Andre Gary - 2

RT - Ian Mahoney - 70

RG - Marcus Richtel - 76

C - John Ceccio - 54

LG - Rick Morgan - 62

LT - Jack Reynolds - 51

 

Amherst Defense

SS - Evan Rosenstein - 23

FS - Kevin Heller - 10

CB - Nick Edwards - 25

CB - Landrus Lewis - 1

OLB - Sam Clark - 34

OLB - Jeff Katz - 98

ILB - Brandon Quinn - 31

ILB - Matt Pieterse - 42

DE - Brady Benelli - 55

NG - Matt Sponheimer - 50

DE - Kevin Ferber - 3

 

Wesleyan Offense

TE - Tim Morley - 37
LT - Zach Sadler - 55
LG - Matt Sheeks - 69
C -  Nick Seara - 60
RG - Bobby Rosenthal - 68
RT - RJ Dabbar - 65
WR - Kyle Weiss - 3
WR - Peter Modera - 1
FB - Chris Russell  - 48
RB - Shea Dwyer - 5
QB - Matt Coyne - 7

Wesleyan Defense
DE - Bo Brown - 33
DT - Mandela Kazi - 90
DT - Adam Schwartz - 96
DE - Matt Maloney - 40
LB - Brett Bandazian - 56
LB - Cyprian Oyomba - 28
LB - Eric Ekhardt - 17
DB - Jordan Greene - 24
DB - Derrick Williams - 21
DB - Cam Davila - 2
DB - Justin Freres - 46

 

AMHERST STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing

Alex Vetras (81-of-142/943 yds/9 TD/1 INT)

Rushing

Eric Bunker (66 att/326 yds/4.9 ypc/5 TD)

Ryan Silva (25 att/104 yds/4.2 ypc/0 TD)

Receiving

Andrew Reed (7 rec/212 yds/30.3 ypc/3 TD)

Brian Murphy (22 rec/191 yds/8.7 ypc/2 TD)

Defense

Matt Pieterse (36 tackles/1.5 sacks/1 FR/1 TD)

Evan Rosenstein (31 tackles/2 INT/2 FF)

 

WESLEYAN STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing

Matt Coyne (46-of-82/487 yds/3 TD/2 INT)

Rushing

Shea Dwyer (107 att/756 yds/7.1 ypc/9 TD)

Vince Miller (17 att/114 yds/6.7 ypc/2 TD)

Receiving

Pete Modera (11 rec/238 yds/21.6 ypc/2 TD)

Kyle Weiss (11 rec/100 yds/9.1 ypc/0 TD)

Defense

Cyprian Oyomba (50 tackles/5.0 TFL/1 FR)

Justin Freres (34 tackles/1 INT/1 blk)

 

TEAM STATISTICS

Rushing Offense

A: 178.2 ypg

W: 239.8 ypg

 

Passing Offense

A: 235.8 ypg

W: 154.8 ypg

 

Total Offense

A: 414.0 ypg

W: 394.5 ypg

 

Scoring Offense

A: 37.5 ppg

W: 27.5 ppg

 

Rushing Defense

A: 81.8 ypg

W: 112.0 ypg

 

Passing Defense

A: 211.8 ypg

W: 234.8 ypg

 

Total Defense

A: 293.5 ypg

W: 346.8 ypg

 

Scoring Defense

A: 10.2 ppg

W: 21.2 ppg

 
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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Final
at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Final
Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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Final
at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Final
Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Final
Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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Final
at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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Final
at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Final
Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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Final
at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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Final
at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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Final
at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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Final
at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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Final
at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Final
Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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Final
at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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Final
at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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Final
at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
Video Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Final - 2OT
Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Final
Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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Final
at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Final
Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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Final
at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Final
Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Curry 40, at Becker 0
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Final
TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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Final
at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Final
Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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Final
at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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Final
at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Final
Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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Final
at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Final
Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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Final
at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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Final
at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
Video Box Score
Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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Final
at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Final
Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
Video Box Score
Final
Central 30, at Coe 19
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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Final
at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
Video Box Score
Final
Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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Final
MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
Video
Final
Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
Video Box Score
Final
at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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Final
at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Final
Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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Final
at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
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Final
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
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Final
Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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Final
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Video Box Score
Final
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Final
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Final
Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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Final
at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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Final
at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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Final - 5OT
at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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Final - OT
at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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Final
at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
Box Score
Final
at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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Final
at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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Final
at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
Box Score Recap Live stats
Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
Recap Box Score Video
Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
Video Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
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Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
Video Box Score
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
Video Box Score
Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
Video Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
Box Score
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats