/seasons/2012/contrib/20121103ycorvh

Adrian Claims First Outright MIAA Championship since 1983

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ALBION, Mich. - The Adrian College football team (8-1, 6-0) defeated Albion College (6-3, 3-2), 20-19, in overtime at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium on Saturday afternoon clinching their first outright MIAA title since 1983 and advancing to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time since 1988. The last time Adrian had at least a share of the conference title was during the 1997 season.

"I am so proud of our team and how they have faced adversity all season long," said a jubilant head coach Jim Deere. "I started three years ago and promised that either we would win a conference title or I would resign. Thank goodness the first part of that statement came true. Even today we were up 10 points at halftime and had to battle back into overtime. Our defense came up big in the biggest moment of the season on that two-point try. It looked like the hole was there and then the door shut. I can't describe how special this is for me, my staff and the players. The last appearance in the playoffs was my last game here at Adrian. It is just a very emotional win."

Adrian set the tone early as they took the opening kick and moved into the end zone.Dae'Von Robinson took a handout and raced 48 yards for his longest run of the season to give Adrian a 7-0 lead at the 12:33 mark. Adrian's trademark defense limited the Britons to just 13 yards in the first quarter and led 7-0 after 15 minutes.

Albion cut into the lead on their first drive of the second quarter. Darrin Williams and Colin Parks carried the ball downfield marching 63 yards in 15 play. The Adrian defense did not break however as Jimmy Nieman booted a 29-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 4:04 left until halftime.

Adrian increased their lead to 13-3 before intermission as they drove 49 yards in just one play as Taylor Copacia completed a touchdown pass to Justin Hemm and an out-and-up move down the home sideline. Hemm had an unbelieveable game for the Bulldogs finishing with 13 catches for 210 yards and two scores. In the process, Hemm set the single-season school record for receiving yards (1,006) becoming the first 1,000-yard receiver in school history.

"I felt like this was our game and as a senior wanted to go home with not only a championship but a win over Albion for the first time since I arrived here," commented Hemm. "To win this thing on the road the way we did it is just storybook. We have another big game at Huntingdon next week so we need to enjoy this tonight and get back to work. I also wanted to get this done for coach Deere and his staff. They are great people and deserve a lot of credit."

The momentum began to swing in favor of the Britons in the third quarter. On Adrian's first possession of the second half, Danny Cobb caught a screen pass and had the ball stripped from him by Mike Vandermus inside the Bulldog 20-yard line. Vandermus raced down to the Adrian three-yard line setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Williams for Albion.

The Adrian offense drove the ball to the Albion 29-yard line midway through the third but failed to convert a pass play on fourth-and-one giving the ball over to Albion. That was the best scoring chance for either team until early in the fourth quarter. Albion grinded out a 10-play, 40-yard drive which lasted 4:56 before Nieman kicked a game-tying 39-yard field goal which barely got over the crossbar.

Adrian had a chance to take the lead with 5:30 left in the game but Ben Klaver missed a 42-yard field goal into a breeze short and to the left after an 11-play, 39-yard drive. Adrian had one last drive before the end of regulation as Dustin Salliotte attempted a 45-yard field goal which was short. Albion was flagged for running into the kicker but Adrian was also flagged for a 15-yard foul which pushed the ball back to the Adrian 38-yard line. The Bulldogs elected to punt down to the Albion one-yard line with 42 seconds remaining. Albion ran a three-yard sneak by Dominic Bona and time expired with a 13-13 deadlock.

Adrian and Albion went into overtime for just the second time in the series history (2005) with the tension building for both teams. Albion won the toss and elected to play defense first. The Bulldogs marched 25 yards in just three plays as Hemm caught an eight-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone to give Adrian a 20-13 lead after the Salliotte extra point. Albion took over needed seven points to continue the game and Williams carried 20 yards to the Adrian five-yard line on the first play and then plunged over left end into the end zone on the second play to get the Britons within 20-19. On the scoring play, Adrian was flagged for a facemask moving the ball to the one and a half yard line. Albion rolled the dice and went on two. Bona took the carry up the middle and was stopped inches short of the goal line by a host of Bulldogs. The team rushed the field in one of the most dramatic games in school history.

"Our defense has been so good all season and when we needed a stop we got it," said defensive lineman Aaron Gray. "I believed in our guys up front and that penalty actually played in our favor. Albion played us very tough but in the end we made the plays and are going to the playoffs."

Albion became the first conference team this season to rush for over 100 yards with 124 yards on 38 carries (3.3 ypr). Adrian gained just 53 yards on the ground well below their season average. The Bulldogs outgained the Britons, 322-164, as the defense once again had a stellar outing. Copacia completed 22-of-32 for 269 yards and two scores with no interceptions. Adrian needed a clean game and turned it over just once. Robinson carried 20 times for 89 yards to lead the Bulldogs.

Charles Fleck had a career-high 12 tackles from his safety spot for Adrian. The Bulldogs recorded five tackles for loss and had five pass breakups. Adrian concludes its regular season next Saturday at Huntingdon (Ala.) and will then await their playoff opponent. That game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
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Final
Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
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Final
at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
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Final
at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
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Final
at Union 28, Hobart 23
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Final
at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
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Final
at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
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Final
at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
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Final
at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
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Final
SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
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Final
Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
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Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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at Amherst 23, Wesleyan 19
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Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
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Final
Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
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Final
Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
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Final
at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
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Final
Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
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Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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Final
at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
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Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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Final
at Albion 31, Alma 28
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Final
at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
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Final
Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Final
Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
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Final
Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
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Final
at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
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Final
Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
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Final
at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
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Final
Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
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Final
at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
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Final
RPI 30, at Alfred 15
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Final
at Curry 46, Nichols 16
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Final
at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
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2nd - 10:53
10 Ferrum
14 Brevard
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Final
Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
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Final
at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
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Final
Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
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Final
at Trine 50, Hope 14
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Final
Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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5:15, 4th Q
0 Dickinson
56 Franklin and Marshall
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Final
Tufts 21, at Williams 13
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
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Final
at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
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Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final
Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
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Final
John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
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Final
at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
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Halftime
40 Mount St. Joseph
13 Anderson
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Final
UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
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2:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
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Final
at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
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4th - 05:57
34 Mass-Dartmouth
45 Worcester State
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4th - 06:01
40 Muhlenberg
13 McDaniel
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Final
Western New England 45, at Becker 0
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4th - 03:36
14 Methodist
35 Maryville (Tenn.)
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4th - 06:55
28 Adrian
22 Kalamazoo
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2:00 PM
Denison at Ohio Wesleyan
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4th - 0:05.7
27 Westminster (Pa.)
27 Washington and Jefferson
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Halftime
23 Berry
14 Millsaps
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4th - 11:12
37 Olivet
28 Benedictine
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4th - 00:22
31 Birmingham-Southern
24 Austin
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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Q3 1:04
14 UW-Stevens Point
23 UW-Stout
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2:00 PM
Eureka at MacMurray
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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4th - 01:40
14 Nebraska Wesleyan
13 Buena Vista
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4th - 08:58
41 Lakeland
0 Wisconsin Lutheran
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4th - 06:24
21 Rockford
28 Aurora
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4th - 02:59
10 Concordia (Wis.)
37 Concordia-Chicago
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4th Q - 0:56
26 Carleton
29 St. Olaf
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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4th - 15:00
77 St. Thomas
0 Hamline
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4th - 01:09
24 Westminster (Mo.)
14 Greenville
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2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
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2:00 PM
Monmouth at Cornell
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4th - 15:00
42 Wheaton (Ill.)
0 North Park
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2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
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4th - 15:00
26 Hardin-Simmons
23 Texas Lutheran
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Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
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2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
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2:00 PM
Ripon at Macalester
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Final
at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
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2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Crown
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2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Iowa Wesleyan
4th - 03:52
34 UW-Platteville
14 UW-Eau Claire
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4th - 10:27
7 Merchant Marine
38 WPI
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2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
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4th - 14:28
42 Hanover
7 Earlham
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4th - 12:58
12 Beloit
49 Chicago
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Halftime
21 UW-Oshkosh
21 UW-La Crosse
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3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
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Half
0 Augustana
34 North Central (Ill.)
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3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
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4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
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2nd - 13:29
7 Western Connecticut
7 Bridgewater State
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0 Chapman
7 La Verne
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2nd Quarter
7 Pacific
7 Lewis and Clark
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Start of 2nd
7 Pacific Lutheran
0 Willamette
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6:14 1st
0 Puget Sound
7 Whitworth
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2nd - 12:17
6 Redlands
0 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
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4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
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5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
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6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
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6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
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7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
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7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
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7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
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7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
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10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
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Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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4th - 0:05.7
27 Westminster (Pa.)
27 Washington and Jefferson
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4th - 15:00
26 Hardin-Simmons
23 Texas Lutheran
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
Video
4th - 15:00
77 St. Thomas
0 Hamline
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
Video
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
Video
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
Video Box Score
Halftime
23 Berry
14 Millsaps
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4th - 03:52
34 UW-Platteville
14 UW-Eau Claire
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Halftime
21 UW-Oshkosh
21 UW-La Crosse
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Half
0 Augustana
34 North Central (Ill.)
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4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
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4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
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7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
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