MIT, CNU wrap up bookending automatic bids

CNU escapes the USAC with the AQ.
Christopher Newport athletics file photo by Jesse Hutcheson
Konnor Flemming picks off St. Norbert quarterback James Tringali in the end zone with 45 seconds left to seal Macalester's win and clinch a spot in the Midwest Conference title game vs. Illinois College.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

MIT won its first NEFC championship, and Christopher Newport won its last USA South championship on Saturday as teams started to clinch automatic bids to the NCAA playoffs in Week 10.

Justin Wallace had three fourth-quarter touchdown runs as MIT rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Maine Maritime 55-37. The win gave MIT its first NCAA playoff appearance and kept the Engineers undefeated. Wallace ran for 261 yards and six touchdown on 23 carries.

Christopher Newport won its last game in any sport in the USA South, taking the conference automatic bid in defeating Maryville 37-27. The Captains, who left the USAC for the Capital Athletic Conference in all sports other than football two years ago, will join the New Jersey Athletic Conference in football next season. Marcus Morrast threw for three touchdowns and ran for another and Mason Studer kicked a 50-yard field goal in the victory.

Bids clinched

There are 24 automatic bids to the 2014 Division III football championships. Here are the teams that clinched bids:
Adrian (MIAA)
Benedictine (NACC)
Chapman (SCIAC)
Christopher Newport (USA South)
Franklin (HCAC)
Hampden-Sydney (ODAC)
Hobart (Liberty League)
Husson (ECFC)
Ithaca (Empire 8)
Johns Hopkins (Centennial)
Linfield (NWC)
Macalester (MWC)
Mary Hardin-Baylor (ASC)
Mount Union (OAC)
Rowan (NJAC)
St. John's (MIAC)
St. Scholastica (Upper Midwest)
UW-Whitewater (WIAC)
Wartburg (IIAC)
Washington and Jefferson (PAC)
Wheaton (CCIW)
Widener (MAC)
Wittenberg (North Coast)

Macalester, which is in a conference this season for the first time since 2001, has a chance to win that conference and reach the NCAA playoffs next week. The Scots won the Midwest Conference North Division, defeating St. Norbert 21-13, and will face Illinois College next week for the title. Zandy Stowell and Samson Bialostok each ran for 100 or more yards again for the Scots (8-1). It's the first time ever that Macalester has won eight games in a season, in 121 years of intercollegiate football.

St. Scholastica scored 21 points in the second quarter and went on to roll past Greenville 42-14 and claim its fourth consecutive Upper Midwest Athletic Conference automatic bid. The Saints (10-0) got four touchdown passes and a TD run from quarterback Tyler Harper, while Andrew Smith caught 12 passes for 265 yards and three scores in the win.

Franklin erupted for three touchdowns in the second quarter and three more in the third to put away Defiance 48-14 and wrap up the automatic bid from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. It will be the seventh playoff trip for the Grizzlies in the past eight seasons.

Rowan defeated Kean 13-0 and put itself in the driver's seat in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Rowan's win, along with Montclair State's loss to Morrisville State, means Rowan would win a three-way tiebreaker scenario if it can defeat archrival TCNJ on Friday night.

Nash Nance passed for four scores and ran for 138 yards and the eventual game-winning touchdown in Hampden-Sydney's 35-28 overtime home win vs. Guilford. Holton Walker caught his 38th and 39th career touchdown passes in the win. H-SC can clinch the Old Dominion Athletic Conference automatic bid next week with a win vs. Randolph-Macon. Emory and Henry jumped out to a 28-0 lead and held on to defeat Shenandoah 42-34. Despite throwing six interceptions and turning the ball over on a fumble once, Shenandoah still had a chance to tie the game at the end. The win keeps E&H alive for a possible at-large bid, or a shot at the ODAC title if the Hornets beat Guilford next week and Hampden-Sydney loses.

Husson remained unbeaten in the ECFC, defeating Becker 41-12. The Eagles can clinch their first automatic bid by defeating Mount Ida next week. 

Ayrton Scott had 511 yards of total offense for Augsburg, 158 of them on the ground, but it was Hamline getting the touchdown and the extra point it needed in overtime to defeat the Auggies 28-27 and take back the Hammer. Hamline improved to 4-5 and plays Carleton next week for a shot to finish .500 for the first time since 1997.

George Fox picked up the first win since the revival of the program, defeating Lewis and Clark 30-12. Justin Leatherman returned two interceptions for touchdowns and broke up four passes for the Bruins in the win.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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