/seasons/2011/contrib/20110921maf21a

Bethany at Geneva Preview

More news about: Bethany

With a tough loss to Washington & Jefferson in the rearview mirror, the Bethany College football team will try to get back on track and start building momentum for the remainder of the season Saturday night with a road game at Geneva. Kickoff in Beaver Falls, Pa., is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Bison fell to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference with a 31-14 loss to Washington & Jefferson, a game much closer than the score indicated. The teams had the exact number of total yards (407) and first downs (22), but BC was done in by four turnovers, two missed opportunities inside the Presidents' five-yard line and 10 penalties.
 

Bethany's offense was paced by senior RB Eric Walker with 112 rushing yards and one TD and on defense by junior LB Kyle Arrington with 15 tackles, but the mistakes were too numerous to overcome.

"Last week's loss is tough to quantify," said Weaver. "We thought we were ready to win that game and our performance for stretches of the game were as good as we've had. The biggest lesson learned was to take care of the little things. The stats were dead even and the teams looked very similar, but we had seven dropped passes, four turnovers and seven of our 10 penalties were either before the snap or after the whistle. Little mistakes pile up and you can't make them if you expect to beat good teams."

The errors in Saturday's game were similar to the ones made in Bethany's 28-7 victory at Allegheny in the opener, as the Bison overcame three fumbles and three costly penalties. The volume of miscues against W&J made it a painful lesson for the Bison to learn and although his team proved they could play with a traditionally strong program like the Presidents, Weaver said there were no celebrations because of a closer game.

"The mistakes we made were the same general ones we talked about after Allegheny," said Weaver. "You can't put the ball on the ground and you can't have plays taken away because of penalties. But for young people, it's harder to learn a lesson when you win than when it costs you a game.

"And we don't look at playing with W&J as a moral victory," said Weaver. "I had pats on the back and people saying it was a good effort, but we're past that as a program. We expect to go out and win now."

A surprising source of the Bethany mistakes came from the offensive line, which has long been a stable of consistency for the team. The Bison ground game did gain 204 yards and average 4.6 yards per carry and while Weaver did credit the group for battling W&J to a physical standstill, he expects them to atone for last week's lapses.

"(The line's) play last week was surprising and disappointing," said Weaver. "They are an experienced group and we count on them, but we had four false starts and three holding penalties. They showed how good they can be because for the first time in our time here, we blocked W&J. There was nothing gimmicky, we just came off the ball hard and blocked their whole front seven most of the time. It was a physical battle in which we won some and they won some, but what tipped the balance were our penalties. But we expect them to bounce back and give a big effort this week."

Another area that experienced some ups and downs last week was the Bethany special teams. On the bright side, senior Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.), who caught a game-high seven passes for 83 yards, averaged 25.2 yards on six kickoff returns and freshman punter Stephen Amic (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) averaged more than 40 yards per punt, including a 50-yard boot. However, Weaver is still looking for a complete game from the unit, as W&J broke a big punt return and the kickoffs need to be longer.

"Part of our success on special teams goes to better recruiting and having more depth and fresh legs to run out there," said Weaver. "Alex has settled in at kickoff returns and we have guys we trust to catch punts. But our guys need to understand every single play is crucial. W&J was able to get outside our punt contain for a big return to set up a touchdown. Stephen's punting has been very good and his kickoffs were good against Allegheny, but they were short last week.

"So we've been good but we can get better," said Weaver. "Like most young players, the challenge is consistency."

The first three games have been challenging for Geneva, who is off to a 0-3 start. The schedule has not been kind to the Golden Tornadoes, who lost to 3-0 Albright two weeks ago and suffered a 41-6 defeat at #8 Thomas More last Saturday. The Saints raced out to a 28-0 halftime lead and Geneva was limited to only 210 total yards, 70 of which came on its scoring drive late in the fourth quarter, which was capped off by a one-yard scoring run from Jordan Curry.

Last season, the GTs boasted one of the more dynamic playmaking combinations of quarterback David Girardi and running back Gerard Muschette. Both have graduated and left holes that Geneva is trying to fill. The new starter under center is 6-4, 185-pound sophomore Zach Hayward, who has thrown for 617 yards and three scores and he has talented wide outs in AJ Delmonico (11 rec., 129 yards, 1 TD) and Corey O'Patchen (eight rec., 98 yards) They combined to catch 11 passes for 246 yards and three TDs in last year's 37-33 Geneva win at Bethany, which was their sixth straight win over BC dating back to 1973.

The GT running attack has struggled to gain yards this season, averaging just 53 yards per game and only 1.7 per carry. Despite the early season questions with the running game, Weaver expects the veteran coaching staff for Geneva, led by 19-year head coach Geno DeMarco, to get it straightened out quickly.

"Losing Muschette gives them a completely different look obviously," said Weaver. "They are still trying to figure out what to do with their running game, but they have an experienced line and a coaching staff that has been around for a really long time, so they'll figure it out. Their quarterback isn't too different from Girardi. He's a big kid who runs well but isn't really fast. Their formations and plays are the same, so it's more of an experience factor right now.

"They've played two really good teams in a row and are learning a lot about what they want to do," said Weaver. "They know they have two good wide receivers in Delmonico and O'Patchen, who just toyed with us last year. We had no answer and couldn't cover them. So they could be a scary offense and I'm sure they see us as a game they can win since we haven't beat them in forever."

Geneva's defense has also suffered the wrath of two very good offenses, although the group's performance against Albright two weeks ago wasn't bad by comparison. The Lions did gain 418 yards in a 46-10 win over the GTs, but just last Saturday, Albright registered 675 yards in a 65-26 thrashing over Wilkes. Sophomore linebacker Dillon Goodell is one player to keep an eye on, as he leads the team with 21 tackles, including 5.5 for loss. Weaver says the talent Geneva brings to the table suggests a return to the standard outstanding defensive play traditionally expected from the Golden Tornadoes.

"They've had some bad breaks like turnovers and special teams errors that don't reflect as much on the defense," said Weaver. "They are replacing some key guys, but are committed to what they do and they do it well. They run to the ball, are athletic in the secondary, bring a bunch of pressure and can be as relentless and play as hard as anyone in the conference. I'm sure when the balance of the season plays out, they will end up being one of the better defenses (in the PAC)."

Going into a road night game after a tough defeat could present a challenge for the Bison as they try to regroup. But Weaver believes after watching the films from the W&J game and seeing what the Bison are capable of doing on the field against quality opponents will give them the idea for what needs done going forward.

"The biggest positive from last week was when we looked at the film Sunday and talked with the staff and players, we knew we could have won that game," said Weaver. "We haven't been able to say that against W&J. We didn't deserve to win because of our mistakes, but we executed as well as they did for long stretches of the game. Now we know if we can do that consistently and learn to take care of the little things, we can beat anyone."
Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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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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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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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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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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