|Kendall Anderson had 120 yards and the game's only touchdown for Ithaca.
Ithaca athletics photo
Among unranked teams, Ithaca and Baldwin Wallace remained in contention for at-large bids with wins on Saturday, while Merchant Marine and Thomas More each won big to stay in competition for the one Pool B bid. Pool B is set aside for teams who are not in conferences with automatic bids, and only Thomas More and members of the NEWMAC are eligible for that playoff slot.
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On a rainy, windy day, Ithaca and Hobart combined for 488 yards of total offense and the Bombers scored 10 second-half points to down the Statesmen, 10-3. Ithaca and Hobart combined for 12 punts in the first half. Kendall Anderson had three runs of 10 yards or longer on the Bombers' final possession of the third quarter, culminating in a 12-yard TD run to give Ithaca the 7-3 lead. After John Hadac forced a fumble with a sack, Ithaca added a short field goal for the final margin.
In the tournament
The following teams have qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division III playoffs:
Baldwin Wallace broke up a two-point conversion attempt with 42 seconds left, and that meant that when Ohio Northern recovered the onside kick, they needed nine points to tie. The Polar Bears settled for a field goal with 8.5 ticks remaining and couldn't come up with another recovery, falling 48-41. The Yellow Jackets (8-1, 7-1) will meet John Carroll (8-1, 7-1) next week for second place in the Ohio Athletic Conference and a shot at one of the five at-large bids to the 2018 Division III football playoffs.
Thomas More, playing its only non-Division III opponent in its final year as a Division III independent, had no trouble with Lake Erie, a winless Division II program, winning 44-0. The Saints rolled up 480 yards of offense in the win heading into next week's regular season finale at St. John's. Merchant Marine is battling Thomas More and other NEWMAC members for that bid and won big on Saturday, but saw its strength of schedule fall 68 points in the process as the Mariners rolled over winless Catholic 44-10. Merchant Marine closes the regular season, of course, with archrival Coast Guard next week for the Secretaries' Cup.
Martin Luther clinched a share of the UMAC title and full possession of the conference's automatic bid with a 40-6 win vs. MacMurray. Javon Muhammad, who has lit up other teams on MacMurray's schedule, was limited to two tackles for loss and one sack as Zach Bloomquist completed nine of 10 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns and Austin DeNoyer ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns. The Knights picked off Robert Tedescro three times.
Stevenson intentionally took a safety with three seconds left to ensure a 33-32 win over Lycoming which guarantees the Mustangs will finish in front of FDU-Florham in the MAC standings. If Delaware Valley and Misericordia finish tied for first without playing each other, Stevenson's position relative to FDU-Florham could decide which team gets the automatic bid.
Garrett Cheadle ran for 173 yards and a touchdown and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps dominated the clock, holding the ball for 43:04 in a 16-9 victory over Chapman. The win clinched the SCIAC's automatic bid for the Stags. After Chapman scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it a one-score game, Claremont embarked on an 11-play, 66-yard drive that took 7:24 off the clock. Chapman did not get the ball back until 1:58 remained, and the Panthers went four-and-out.
Cory Brandon threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns and Husson left no doubt, clinching the ECFC automatic bid with authority, defeating Gallaudet 63-2. Brandon was 15-for-21 passing and Miece Loureiro ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Fourteen additional players got carries for the Eagles, who improved to 7-2.
Franklin survived a scare, fighting off Bluffton for a 28-24 home victory. The Grizzlies (8-1, 7-0 HCAC) forced two huge second half turnovers to fight back from a three-point halftime deficit and send the Beavers (2-7, 2-5) home with a 28-24 defeat. "We tell our team all the time that we're going to get our opponent's best shot every time," coach Mike Leonard said after the game. "I told our guys at the half I was glad the first half went the way it did because things didn't go our way and I wanted to see how we would respond mentally. We forced two big takeaways in the second half and I was really happy with the way we were able to close things out on offense late in the game."
Kalamazoo lost for the second consecutive game after a 7-0 start, as Hope scored 33 unanswered points to win 33-7. Kalamazoo took a 7-0 lead on a Zach VanFaussien TD pass to Ethan Kubik late in the first quarter but it was all Hope the rest of the way as Mason Opple ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the win. The loss eliminated Kalamazoo from the race for the MIAA automatic bid.
Receiver Brandon Moore set a school and NACC record by hauling in 18 receptions, but Benedictine fell to visiting Aurora 41-24. Aurora held a 459-445 edge in yards with 335 coming on the ground, including 295 from Tyran Bailey. Moore had 158 yards, including a touchdown, as well as a two-point conversion.
Trying to end a long losing streak, William Paterson led 3-0 for the vast majority of the game, but Southern Virginia scored a touchdown with 77 seconds left to defeat the Pioneers, 8-3. A 51-yard pass play from Cornelius Kinchen to RaeQuawn Bridgeman helped set up a 25-yard field goal by freshman William Oertel, Jr., giving the Pioneers a 3-0 edge after the game's first possession. With seven combined turnovers in between, the Knights got on the scoreboard on a 38-yard completion by freshman Tyler Callens to Josh Newman with 1:17 to play. The TD capped a 96-yard drive. William Paterson fumbled on its final possession for the game's eight turnover, four for each side.