|Ithaca sent Mike Welch off a winner in his final home game, 7-0 vs. Buffalo State.
Ithaca athletics photo
|Olivet held on at Adrian to clinch a return to the playoffs.
Olivet athletics file photo
Northwestern (Minn.) clinched its first-ever bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs, while Western New England, Olivet, Husson and Bridgewater State were among the unranked teams clinching a return trip in Saturday's early Week 10 Division III football action.
Northwestern won its first Upper Midwest Athletic Conference automatic bid, pulling away with two touchdowns in the final four-plus minutes to defeat Eureka 37-15. Brett Charlton scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Colton Johnson and Eureka converted the two-point attempt to cut Northwestern's lead to 23-15 with 4:29 left, but the Eagles added a short TD drive with 2:21 left and Austin Stubbs returned an interception 97 yards for a touchdown with 43 seconds left to seal the deal.
Western New England limited Salve Regina to 11-for-43 passing and picked off Brandan Basil three times as the Golden Bears clinched the NEFC automatic bid with a 41-22 win in a battle of unbeatens. Nick Connell and Dante Aiken combined for 51 carries for 277 yards and five touchdowns in the win.
Olivet had just 355 yards of total offense but was effective in keeping the ball out of Adrian's hands as the Comets were on the field for 41:53 in a 44-37 win at the Bulldogs. Javon Walker had nine total tackles, a forced fumble and an interception for Olivet, which improved to 8-1.
Bridgewater State blocked an extra-point attempt in overtime and went on to score and kick the extra point in its half of the frame to defeat Framingham State 28-27 and clinch the MASCAC automatic bid.
Husson scored two touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the game to pull away to a 27-13 win vs. Norwich and win the automatic bid from the ECFC. The Cadets managed just 199 yards of total offense, as opposed to the 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns Eagles running back John Smith managed on his own.
After two seasons on the sideline, Redlands booked a return trip to the playoffs in emphatic fashion, crushing winless Whittier by a 70-16 score. Mitch Kidd completed 19 of 24 passes, throwing four touchdowns, while running for another in the win as Redlands improved to 7-1.
Ithaca came up with a memorable defensive performance to honor coach Mike Welch in his last game at Butterfield Stadium, as the Bombers shut out Buffalo State 7-0. In a game that took just two hours and 15 minutes, Ithaca produced the only offense of the day in the first quarter. Jordan Schemm returned a punt 51 yards and Ithaca went the final 12 yards on three plays, capped by an 8-yard pass from Wolfgang Shafer to Will Gladney. Buff State managed just 195 yards and was shut out for the first time since 2009.
Three teams remain tied for first place in the Southern Athletic Association, as Wash U. topped Hendrix, Berry defeated Birmingham-Southern and Centre rolled over Rhodes. The Wash U defense forced five turnovers and Nick Annin blocked a field goal which would have tied the game with two minutes left as the Bears defeated Hendrix 49-46. Austin Smestad sealed the victory with an 80-yard TD run with 1:01 left on the clock. "I don't think anything would've stopped him," said WashU coach Larry Kindbom. "I can imagine that kid running across Forest Park and down to the Arch. He was so committed taking that ball the distance."
Centre kept pace in dominant fashion, as Devin Hayes threw for 527 yards and seven touchdowns in a 66-28 win vs. Rhodes. Berry bounced back from last week's struggle on offense and put up 38 first-half points in a 38-12 win vs. Birmingham-Southern. Last year, Berry lost at B-SC in Week 10, the first of back-to-back losses which bounced the Vikings from playoff contention.
Luther beat archrival Wartburg on the road for the first time since 1986, as Christian Moore ran for a 16-yard touchdown and Cooper Nelson capped it with a two-point conversion to give the Norse a 28-27 win in overtime. Moore ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Luther led 20-7 in the third quarter before Wartburg rallied to tie and send the game into overtime.
Dickinson got its first win of the season, in double overtime, as Stephen Walker hit a 27-yard field goal to lift the Red Devils over Gettysburg 37-34. The win gives Dickinson the Little Brown Bucket traveling trophy the two schools, separated by 27 miles in Pennsylvania, play for.
Spencer Donahue totaled a game-high 11 tackles and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a sack, strip, fumble recovery and eight-yard return to paydirt on the first play of the fourth quarter, as Trinity (Conn.) clinched at least a share of the NESCAC football title with a 24-14 victory over the visiting Amherst. The NESCAC does not accept bids to the Division III football playoffs.