WASHINGTON, Pa. – Frostburg State had another 100 yard rusher in the NCAA playoffs and the Bobcat defense picked off three passes in a 46-23 win over Washington & Jefferson, Saturday.
For the second-straight week, the 15th-ranked Bobcats defeated one of Division III's elite programs all while handing 14th-ranked W&J (11-1) its only loss on the season. The win also snapped a 30-game home winning streak for the Presidents that stretched to 2012.
Sophomore running back Gavin Lavat ran for 146 yards and averaged 9.1 yards per carry with one touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore corner back Vincent Persichetti also stepped up with two third-quarter interceptions as Frostburg built its 17-10 halftime cushion into a 34-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Frostburg's win propels it into the NCAA quarterfinals against No. 2 ranked Mount Union, which defeated Case Western 45-16.
The win is the 11th for Frostburg (11-1) on the season and marks the first season in the 57-year history of the program that a team has captured 11 wins. The win over W&J also marks the first time in school history that the Bobcats advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and is the first time FSU has won two NCAA Playoff games in the same season.
The Bobcats entered Saturday's matchup with W&J having lost all six previous games against the Presidents and today's victory also avenges Frostburg's 1993 loss to the Presidents in the NCAA second round.
After rushing for 385 yards last week against Wittenberg in the opening round, the Bobcats were at it again against Washington & Jefferson racking up 248 yards and three scores.
Junior running back Jamaal Morant finished with 82 yards on 21 carries and two first-half touchdowns to help the Bobcats to a 17-10 lead at intermission.
Frostburg opened the third quarter when junior Connor Cox connected with classmate Sergio Andino for a seven-yard touchdown and a 24-10 edge.
Persichetti picked off passes on consecutive W&J drives later in the third and the Bobcats capitalized on both. Senior kicker Hassan Mostafa knocked home a 23-yard field goal and Cox tossed a 21-yard touchdown to junior Christian DiPaola as the scoreboard red 34-17.
Lavat rumbled his way in from 30 yards out to open the fourth for a 41-17 advantage. The Presidents snapped the football out of the back of the endzone for a safety and Mostafa capped the game with a 29-yard field goal.
Cox finished with 140 yards through the air on 14-of-24 completions, while Andino hauled in a TD pass for the eighth-straight game.
Defensively, the Bobcats limited the high-powered President offense to just 323 yards, including just 263 through the air. W&J entered Saturday averaging nearly 480 yards per game in offense and 320 passing yard per contest.
The Bobcats held the Presidents to 60 yards on the ground, with six tackles for loss, four sacks and four turnovers.
Senior Josh Washington and sophomore Graylin Walker led the Bobcats with six tackles each. Walker contributed two tackles for loss and one sack. Persichetti returned his two interceptions for 88 yards and took both deep in W&J territory.
A full preview regarding Frostburg's quarterfinal matchup with Mount Union will be available on Sunday afternoon.
Notes: Last week, Frostburg defeated Wittenberg, DIII's second winningest program all-time … This week, Washington & Jefferson faced the Bobcats' as DIII's third-winningest program all-time … Next week, Frostburg will square off against Mount Union, DIII's all-time winningest program.