/seasons/2017/contrib/20171122mq7fa2

North Central Round 2 Playoff Preview vs. UW-Oshkosh

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Nov. 25:
 NCAA Division III Championship Second Round - North Central College Cardinals (10-1) at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Titans (11-0)

Kickoff: 12 p.m., Titan Stadium
Video: portal.stretchinternet.com/uwosh/
Radio: 89.1-FM WONC
Live Stats: portal.stretchinternet.com/uwosh/
Game Updates via Twitter: @NCC_Athletics
Series History: North Central leads, 1-0

Setting the Scene: The Cardinals return to the second round of the postseason for the second straight year, looking to unseat a Wisconsin-Oshkosh squad which made last season's national championship game.

Series History: This is the second football meeting between the two institutions and the first in more than 80 years. North Central recorded a 21-0 win over Oshkosh, then known as Oshkosh State Teachers College, on Sept. 27, 1930. 

National Rankings: North Central was ranked ninth nationally by D3football.com and 14th by the American Football Coaches Association at the close of the regular season. Wisconsin-Oshkosh was ranked third in both polls.

Scouting the Titans: Oshkosh faced little resistance in its playoff opener Saturday, routing Lakeland, 63-0. The Titans owned a 42-0 lead by halftime and forced four turnovers, including three interceptions.

Oshkosh has had one of the most efficient offenses in the nation this season, having committed the fifth-fewest turnovers (10) in the country and ranking third in passing efficiency (188.27) and 11th in scoring offense (42.0 ppg). 

Senior quarterback Brett Kasper has thrown for 2,201 yards and 24 touchdowns with just four interceptions, ranking second nationally with a passer rating of 190.3. Senior running back Dylan Hecker has rushed for 712 yards and 11 TDs, while senior wideout Sam Mentkowski has caught 48 passes for 1,050 yards and nine scores.

The Titans' defense, which has not allowed a point in its past two games, is led by senior linebacker Jon Kallas' 61 tackles, while junior linebacker Derrick Jennings, Jr. has intercepted five passes.

This Week for the Cardinals: North Central advanced to the second round of the postseason for the second straight year with a 17-7 victory over sixth-ranked Saint John's at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

Facing windy conditions with periods of rain and snowfall, the Cardinals' offense focused its attention on the running game for 55 of its 70 total plays. Dominick Muoghalu tied a single-game school record with 40 rushing attempts, gaining a career-high 180 yards and scoring the first touchdown of the game.

Liam Crotty added a 27-yard field goal, giving him a school record-tying 13 successful kicks for the year, and Andrew Kamienski hauled in an eight-yard pass from Broc Rutter in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Tommy Sora turned in eight tackles and two quarterback sacks to lead the North Central defense, which held the Johnnies to just over half their average offensive yardage of the season. Billy Douds made six tackles and added two sacks of his own. Douds and Ben Wong both forced fumbles which the Cardinals recovered.

Gagliardi Trophy Semifinalists Announced: North Central running back Austin Breunig was named one of 10 semifinalists for this year's Gagliardi Trophy, the premier individual award in Division III football, on Monday.

He is the Cardinals' first semifinalist for the award since Peter Bulandr '13 in 2012.

Oshkosh is also represented on the list as Kasper was named a semifinalist as well, along with Wesley offensive lineman Matt Gono, Wisconsin-La Crosse wide receiver Nick Holcomb, East Texas Baptist linebacker Ty Parsons, Wartburg quarterback Matt Sacia, Husson running back John SMith, Springfield (Massachusetts) fullback Jordan Wilcox, Trine quarterback Evan Wyse and Washington & Jefferson wide receiver Jesse Zubik.

The four finalists for the award will be announced Dec. 5, with the winner crowned in Salem, Virginia Dec. 13.

All-CCIW Teams Announced: The Cardinals had a total of 14 players recognized on this year's All-CCIW Teams, which were announced last week.

Breunig was named the CCIW's Art Keller Offensive Player of the Year and was named to the Offensive First Team along with Rutter, Kamienski and offensive linemen Joe Fehrle and Alec Licar.

Making the Defensive First Team were Sora, defensive lineman Emonte Logan and defensive back Tyler Oakley, while punter Zane Lodico earned First Team accolades as well.

Second Team All-CCIW selections included linebacker DJ Warkenthien, defensive back Pat Cravens, defensive lineman Josh Leonhard and offensive linemen Sharmore Clarke and Dalton Ness.

North Central had the highest number of all-conference selections of any team in the CCIW.

The Rest of the Bracket: The winner of this week's game will face the winner of the second-round game between Wartburg and Trine in the national quarterfinals on Dec. 2.

The national semifinals will be played on Dec. 9, with the national championship game, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, to be played on Friday, Dec. 15 in Salem, Virginia.

North Central in the NCAA Tournament: The Cardinals are 12-9 all-time in nine previous postseason appearances, including a 8-4 record at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium. North Central has won its last nine first-round games.

North Central vs. the WIAC: The Cardinals own an 8-5 all-time record against teams from the WIAC. North Central's most recent postseason game against a WIAC opponent was a 52-24 victory over Wisconsin-Platteville in the second round in 2013.

NCAA Statistical Rankings: North Central currently ranks fourth nationally in quarterback sacks (4.18 per game), fifth in red-zone offense (91.7% success), sixth in blocked punts (4), and ninth in rushing defense (74.1 yards allowed per game). 

Crotty ranks eighth in field-goal percentage (.867), while Cravens ranks 16th in punt-return average (12.8 yards per return), Rutter ranks 16th in yards per pass attempt (9.02) and Warkenthien is 17th in tackles for loss (20).

North Central Career Rankings:  Rutter ranks fourth in North Central history in career touchdown passes (58), passing yards (5,897) and pass completions (418).

Breunig ranks third all-time in rushing touchdowns scored (38) and total touchdowns scored (44) and fourth in all-purpose yards (4,330) and rushing yards (3,272). Crotty sits second in extra-point kicks made (105) and fourth in field goals made (21).

Cravens ranks third in school history in punt return yards (737), 13th in interceptions (8) and 14th in pass breakups (16). Warkenthien ranks fifth all-time in tackles for loss (40) and 10th in quarterback sacks (14.5), while Douds is sixth in sacks (18.5) and Sora ranks seventh in tackles (226).

'Red Zone' Returns in 2017: Once again, fans of North Central College football can get an insider's look at the Cardinals' football program, as 'The Red Zone' highlight show returns for its 10th season on Naperville Community Television, Channel 17.

The show airs each Thursday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Friday at 12:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at midnight. It will feature interviews with coaches and players, highlights of the previous week's game, and a look ahead to the upcoming opponent.

Each show is viewable online at nctv17.com and is archived at youtube.com/northcentralsports as well as at northcentralcardinals.com.

Oct. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Martin Luther 21, at Northwestern (Minn.) 6
Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Stevenson 33, Wilkes 21
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Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
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Final
at MIT 13, Coast Guard 0
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Final
Norwich 15, at Maine Maritime 7
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Final
at Moravian 31, Juniata 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Dean 53, Gallaudet 21
Box Score
Final
Endicott 45, at Becker 13
Video Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
SUNY-Maritime 68, at Castleton 41
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Final
at Trinity (Texas) 28, Sewanee 14
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Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
N.C. Wesleyan 29, at Brevard 21
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Final
at Misericordia 37, FDU-Florham 33
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Final
Union 29, at St. Lawrence 7
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Final
at Ithaca 28, Rochester 3
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Final
at Colby 23, Hamilton 21
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Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 34
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Final
Trinity (Conn.) 48, at Bowdoin 6
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Final
Springfield 23, at Catholic 11
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Final
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 3
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Final
at Plymouth State 17, Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Final
at Husson 54, Anna Maria 14
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Final
TCNJ 13, at Kean 8
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Final
Carnegie Mellon 41, at Thiel 7
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Final
Salve Regina 30, at Curry 21
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Final
King's 37, at Albright 26
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Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
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Final - OT
Susquehanna 41, at Ursinus 35
Video Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
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Final
at Western New England 70, University of New England 13
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Final
Franklin and Marshall 35, at Dickinson 14
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Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
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Final
at Emory and Henry 52, Shenandoah 50
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Final
at Wabash 32, Oberlin 7
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Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 38, Guilford 35
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Final - OT
at Randolph-Macon 44, Bridgewater 41
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Final
Cortland 56, at Hartwick 3
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Final
at Denison 27, Ohio Wesleyan 10
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Final
Waynesburg 12, at St. Vincent 10
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Final
Salisbury 33, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
at Methodist 42, Greensboro 6
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Final
Christopher Newport 39, at William Paterson 10
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Final
Albion 49, at Adrian 42
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Final
Thomas More 35, at St. Scholastica 0
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Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 25, Minnesota-Morris 7
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Final
Lake Forest 24, at Grinnell 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Greenville 41, Crown 14
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Final
at Merchant Marine 25, WPI 24
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Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
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Final
at Tufts 28, Williams 21
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Final
Ohio Northern 49, at Capital 46
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Final
Baldwin Wallace 35, at Wilmington 33
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Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
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Final
at Lycoming 52, Alvernia 0
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Final
at Rose-Hulman 44, Anderson 6
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Final
at Franklin 64, Earlham 20
Video Box Score Recap
1:30 PM
Hanover at Manchester
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Final
Mount St. Joseph 20, at Defiance 0
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Final
at Utica 30, Alfred 22
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Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 37, at LaGrange 17
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Final
Framingham State 27, at Westfield State 2
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Final
Morrisville State 35, at St. John Fisher 7
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Final
at Muskingum 21, Otterbein 14
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Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
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Final
at Wooster 28, Hiram 21
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Final
Allegheny 54, at Kenyon 10
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Final
at Nebraska Wesleyan 23, Luther 15
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
at Eureka 50, Benedictine 20
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Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
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Final
Chicago 63, at Beloit 0
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Final
at Concordia (Wis.) 45, Concordia-Chicago 34
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Final
Aurora 25, at Rockford 7
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Final
at Bethel 41, Concordia-Moorhead 13
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Final
Lakeland 38, at Wisconsin Lutheran 12
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Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 42, Augsburg 0
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Final
Dubuque 38, at Buena Vista 7
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Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
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Final
at Ripon 58, Macalester 34
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Final
at Monmouth 51, Cornell 0
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Final
at Simpson 38, Loras 33
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Final
at Knox 20, Illinois College 6
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Final
UW-Stout 31, at UW-Stevens Point 27
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Final
Millikin 14, at Elmhurst 13
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at MacMurray 20, Iowa Wesleyan 13
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at UW-Platteville 16
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Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
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Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 41, Worcester State 27
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Final
at Wartburg 47, Central 20
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Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
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Final
at Birmingham-Southern 47, Austin 35
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Final
Centre 41, at Rhodes 14
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Final
at Carroll 23, North Park 0
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Final
at Kalamazoo 17, Alma 10
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Final
at Pacific Lutheran 33, Willamette 20
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Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
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Final
at Averett 45, Huntingdon 17
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Final
Washington and Lee 38, at Ferrum 35
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Final
at Pacific 54, Lewis and Clark 22
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Final
Redlands 35, at La Verne 17
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Final
Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
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Final
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 27, at Occidental 7
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Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
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Final
at Hope 35, Olivet 30
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Final - 4OT
at Western Connecticut 50, Bridgewater State 48
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Final
Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
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Final
at Sul Ross State 28, Howard Payne 27
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Final
East Texas Baptist 48, at Louisiana College 27
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Final
Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
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Final
St. Norbert 46, at Lawrence 0
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Final
at Pomona-Pitzer 42, Whittier 17
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Final
Chapman 33, at Cal Lutheran 29
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Box Score Video Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
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Final
Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
Video Box Score Photos