Top 25 wrapup: UMHB, Wesley win defensive battles

Markeith Miller averaged 8.0 yards per carry and had UMHB's only touchdown on offense in the 17-7 win.
d3photography.com file photo

Top-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor won in a defensive battle and Wesley won on the road in overtime, while Mount Union and Delaware Valley had an easy time of it and George Fox made a statement in Saturday's Top 25 action.

The No. 1 Cru scored before their offense ever touched the ball and had the offense of No. 5 Hardin-Simmons in check for most of the afternoon in a 17-7 win. Kris Brown intercepted Hardin-Simmons quarterback Ty Hooper and returned it 64 yards for a 7-0 lead. With Kyle Jones under center, Markeith Miller was the featured performer, rolling up 168 yards on 21 carries, while T.J. Josey, who got the start at quarterback, had more receiving yards than passing or rushing. Brown's interception was one of three on the day for the Cru, who improved to 5-0 and notched their second win over teams currently in the D3football.com Top 10. 

UMHB held the Hardin-Simmons offense to 191 yards of total offense and limited the Cowboys' offense, averaging 68 points per game, to just seven. The Cru added eight sacks and forced four turnovers.

Nick Bruhn connected on a 26-yard field goal with 4:45 left in regulation and added another one in overtime to give No. 19 Wesley the lead. Then the Wolverines made the lead stand up, as Stephen Yorkman blocked a field goal attempt in the second half of overtime to help Wesley defeat No. 11 Frostburg State 27-24. Frostburg had taken the lead on an impressive two-play, 99-yard drive, as Gavin Lavat ripped off a 79-yard drive on first down from the 1-yard line and Joe Beckford followed with an 18-yard touchdown catch.

"I was just thinking about what happened last year against John Carroll (an overtime road loss in the playoffs). That was my motivation and I didn't want that to happen again," Yorkman told WDEL radio after the game. "I honestly don't know what happened. I just stuck my hand up and blocked it." 

Lavat led all rushers with 155 yards on nine carries. Connor Cox was 27-for-43 passing for Frostburg but threw two interceptions. Khaaliq Burroughs accounted for 301 yards of total offense, 244 of them through the air, while E.J. Lee ran for 138 for Wesley in the win. The win snapped Frostburg State's 13-game winning streak.

Nicco Stepina threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, including the game-winner with 31 seconds left, as Millikin handed No. 13 Wheaton its second consecutive loss, 35-31. Wheaton entered the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead and intercepted Stepina on the 1-yard line to open the quarter, but fumbled it away on a bad snap and Stepina hit Jordan Smith for a touchdown two plays later to cut the lead to 24-21. Wheaton went three-and-out on its next possession and Millikin answered with an 80-yard drive and a 28-yard Howard touchdown run to take a 28-24 lead. The Thunder responded on their next possession, with Curtis McWilliams connecting with Phillip Nichols for a 2-yard touchdown catch, their third of the day, to retake the lead, 31-28, with 1:58 left, and seemed to have sealed the game when Marcus Smith intercepted Stepina near midfield. But Wheaton was called for roughing the passer, Stepina hit a big play to Jordan Smith to the 4-yard line and Stepina ran it in three plays later to take the lead with 31 seconds left. Wheaton had beaten Millikin 16 consecutive times before Saturday night. 

No. 10 Delaware Valley came out firing and hit on all cylinders as the Aggies handed Albright its first loss of the season, 41-6. Nick Wright had a special teams touchdown and a defensive touchdown to outscore Albright by himself. He returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown, one of Delaware Valley's three picks on the day. Wright's special teams score came after D3football.com All-America selection Shawn Miller blocked a punt and Wright ran it into the end zone.

No. 21 Heidelberg did touch up No. 2 Mount Union for a first-quarter touchdown, but that was it, as the Purple Raiders led 21-7 after one, 42-7 at the half and cruised to a 63-7 win vs. the Student Princes. D'Angelo Fulford was 17-for-24 for 341 yards and four touchdowns, while four Mount Union ballcarriers had 40 or more yards. Mount Union limited Tyler Stoyle to just 18 completions and 217 yards in 43 attempts. Justin Hill and Jared Ruth caught two touchdown passes apiece in the win.

Playing without its starting quarterback because of injury, No. 20 Concordia-Moorhead could only manage 108 yards against the St. Thomas defense and the No. 6 Tommies won 21-0, moving into first place all alone in the MIAC. Tucker Trettel had two short touchdown runs on a day in which the Tommies (5-1, 4-0) only had 277 yards on offense as well.

George Fox jumped to a 20-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 43-23 win at No. 22 Whitworth as the Pirates lost their second consecutive game after a 3-0 start. Grant Schroeder’s 51-yard run got the Bruins on the board late in the first quarter. He then hit Brad Lander with a pass on the GFU sideline and Lander raced the rest of the way for a 66-yard score that increased the margin to 14-0 three minutes into the second quarter. The Bruins increased the lead to 20-0 right before halftime when Schroeder hit Lane Hadley from ten yards out on third down.

UW-Whitewater quarterback Cole Wilber completed just 11 of 24 passes and was sacked four times, but the Warhawks defense was a little better, sacking Jay Alston six times, picking him off once and forcing a fumble in a 14-0 win vs. No. 23 UW-Stout. Cal Durni had two and a half sacks up front to lead the Warhawks, who were playing at home for the first time this season after four road games.

No. 3 UW-Oshkosh scored twice in the first four minutes of the game and was never seriously threatened as the Titans rolled over UW-Stevens Point 49-14. Oshkosh (4-0, 2-0 WIAC) scored the first 49 points of the game as Brett Kasper threw four touchdowns on only 16 pass attempts. Sam Mentkowski, who opened the scoring with a 64-yard touchdown catch, finished with four receptions for 148 yards.

Sean Studer and Michael Pratl celebrate Studer's 64-yard touchdown run which put UW-Platteville up 14-0.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

No. 9 UW-Platteville remained unbeaten, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter to defeat UW-River Falls 24-14. Sean Studer found the end zone twice on the ground -- the second a 64-yard run just 65 seconds into the second half. 

North Central registered seven sacks and held North Park to a school-record 92 yards of total offense as the No. 4 Cardinals won 33-0 heading into next week's rivarly game with Wheaton for the Little Brass Bell. No. 24 Berry celebrated its first game as a member of the D3football.com Top 25 with a 48-10 win at Sewanee, spoiling the first home night game in Sewanee history. Berry rolled up a program-record 543 yards of total offense as Slade Dale threw for 148 yards and ran for 126 more.

Playing its second game in six days, No. 16 Washington & Jefferson defeated Carnegie Mellon 27-20, handing the Tartans their first loss of the season. The Presidents held All-America running back Sam Benger to 96 yards on 18 carries and got 158 yards from Justin Vickless on the ground in the win.

Dusty Krueger ran for 138 yards and three scores, the last of them to open the fourth quarter, as No. 8 St. John's turned a 14-3 halftime lead into a 49-3 win vs. Augsburg. After Willamette scored with 1:14 left in the half to cut the deficit to 28-14, No. 7 Linfield scored the final 27 points of the game in a 15-minute span to blow out the Bearcats 55-14. Tied 7-7 at the half, No. 25 Wabash limited the vaunted Denison offense to just 49 yards and one first down the rest of the way and pulled away to win 28-7. Wabash controlled the clock after halftime, holding the ball for more than 20 minutes while rushing for 264 yards for the game.

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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