|Hardin-Simmons athletics photo by Brendan Maloney
At a glance
No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 0
In three tight games that all came down to the end within minutes of each other, No. 5 Hardin-Simmons survived on the road, No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan did so at home and No. 15 Washington & Jefferson needed overtime to join that group. No. 7 Linfield survived a nail-biter as well from up-and-comer George Fox to clinch its 62nd consecutive winning season.
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After coughing up a 10-point third-quarter lead, Hardin-Simmons bounced back with a fourth-quarter touchdown and Dedrick Strambler intercepted a pass in Cowboy territory to help HSU hold on and defeat Texas Lutheran 33-30. Jaquan Hemphill's 29-yard touchdown run had given HSU a 19-13 lead just seconds before halftime, but TLU answered with a 39-yard field goal by Tyler Hopkins on the final play of the half. Quarterback Kyle Grona had two of his three touchdown runs for Texas Lutheran in a 3 minute, 12-second span of the third and fourth quarters to give the Bulldogs a 30-26 lead before HSU answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to take the lead for good.
Carthage had an 11-play drive finish with a touchdown in the first quarter, but had to settle for a field goal after having first-and-goal from the 5 in the closing seconds of the first half. The Red Men's 10-0 lead did not hold up as No. 11 Illinois Wesleyan scored on a blocked punt, then scored on offense as well in a 13-10 win. Carthage had a 50-yard touchdown pass called back because of holding in the fourth quarter and Trevor Staley later ended the Red Men's chances with an interception with 0:42 to go. IWU held on four separate fourth-down conversion opportunities for Carthage.
No. 15 Washington & Jefferson rallied from a 21-7 deficit, and a 27-19 deficit in the fourth quarter to get past Westminster (Pa.) 34-33 in overtime. The Presidents had touchdown drives of 14 and 12 plays in the second half and tied the game at 27-27 as Alex Rowse found Justin Vickless in the front corner of the end zone for a TD with 8:44 left. In overtime, W&J struck first on a catch right on the end line. Westminster, which had to convert two fourth downs on its overtime possession, scored, but the Titans' two-point conversion pass was batted down, preserving the win in front of 3,944 at W&J.
Linfield had to make do with four field goals, but Willy Warne was all the scoring the seventh-ranked Wildcats needed as he connected from 32, 20, 43 and 35 yards to lift his team to a 12-6 win vs. No. 19 George Fox. The Bruins scored on the last play of the game to spoil the shutout. The teams combined for 295 yards of total offense. With the win, Linfield improved to 5-1 and assured itself of its 62nd consecutive winning season, extending its own record in that department. Grant Schroeder and the George Fox offense were only on the field for 22:11 as Linfield won the clock and the turnover battle. Schroeder was 8-for-23 passing for 69 yards and had 16 carries for 41 yards.
No. 25 DePauw's stay in the rankings will be a short one, as these Tigers scored first and last vs. the Tigers of No. 13 Wittenberg. But they scored none of the 52 points in between and Wittenberg rolled to a 52-6 win. Wittenberg (7-0, 6-0 NCAC) scored in all manner of ways, including a punt return, a fumble recovery and an 80-yard pick six.
Roger Walker had a huge day on the ground for Marietta and the Pioneers, with four touchdowns, two of them in the fourth quarter of a 44-21 win vs. No. 24 Heidelberg. Marietta (4-3, 3-3 OAC) scored 37 of the first 44 points of the game. "This is an awesome win for the program, the college, and our young men. I'm very proud of the way we played today," Marietta coach Andy Waddle said. "We felt like we needed to win third down and the battle of big plays and we did both today."
Brockport held Brad Garcia and Koree Reed to a combined eight catches for 118 yards, about half of their season average, as the No. 12 Golden Eagles shut out Hartwick 45-0. Hartwick's 167 yards of total offense was their lowest total since 2012, when Salisbury held the Hawks to 142. Salisbury was the last team to shut Hartwick out as well, in 2013.
It was another hyper-efficient day for Mount Union quarterbacks, especially D'Angelo Fulford, as he completed 14 of 14 passes for 268 yards and six touchdowns in the No. 2 Purple Raiders' 66-7 rout of Wilmington. Mount Union quarterbacks combined for 22-for-23 passsing in the win. UMHB exploded for 28 second-quarter points and never looked back as the top-ranked Cru rolled to a 45-7 victory over Belhaven. No. 6 St. Thomas had 28 in the second as well, plus 29 in the first and 20 in the third of an 84-0 pasting of Hamline. The Tommies (6-1, 5-0) have allowed just 42 first downs in 73 offensive drives by their opponents in their five MIAC wins.
Khaaliq Burroughs was 22-for-29 passing for 269 yards and E.J. Lee ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns as No. 14 Wesley rolled past Rowan 34-3. No. 16 Frostburg State scored in all three phases of the game in a 62-3 win vs. Montclair State, setting the program record for largest margin of victory. Rob Cuda ran for two touchdowns and threw for one as No. 17 Case Western Reserve rolled past another overmatched opponent, winning 45-7 at Geneva. Case stands at 7-0, with the fourth-worst strength of schedule in Division III. No. 23 Springfield improved to 8-0 for the first time since 2003 as the Pride rolled over Catholic 68-20. The Pride finished with 625 yards on the ground en route to 674 yards of total offense.