|Keithen Shepard made an amazing catch in the back of the end zone in the second overtime to lift MIT past WPI.
MIT athletics file photo by DSPics.com
MIT hadn't beaten WPI since 1900, but that streak ended Saturday. Meanwhile, Bridgewater dominated and Randolph-Macon survived to keep the ODAC tied and the SAA remains in a three-way deadlock after Week 9 action in Division III football on Nov. 2, 2019.
The following teams have clinched bids to the 2019 NCAA Division III football playoffs. Twenty-seven conferences receive automatic bids, with five at-large bids. The NESCAC does not participate in postseason play in football.ARC: Central
ASC: Mary Hardin-Baylor
CCC: Western New England
MAC: Delaware Valley
MASCAC: Framingham State
MIAC: St. John's
OAC: Mount Union
PAC: Case Western Reserve SAA: Berry
UMAC: Martin Luther
They stormed the field at Steinbrenner Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as MIT won the game in the second overtime, defeating the previoulsy unbeaten Engineers of WPI, 28-22. It was the first win for the Engineers of MIT against WPI since 1900. The teams first met in 1888 and MIT beat WPI six times in that span, but MIT did not field a football team from 1902 to 1988. The victory also lifts MIT into a three-way tie for first place in the NEWMAC with two games remaining as the Engineers are tied with WPI and Springfield.
Mark Wright kicked a season-long 43-yard field goal to give MIT (5-2, 4-1) a 19-16 edge with four minutes left in regulation, but WPI countered with a quick seven-play, 67-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard TD run from Connor Field with 1:29 remaining. Chris Mauck and the Engineers regained possession and went to work, driving into WPI territory. On the final play of regulation, Wright converted another field goal as his kick from 41 yards out squeaked over the crossbar to send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, Wright's 28-yard field goal was blocked, followed by an MIT interception from Tyler Ray that kept the game tied at 22-22. In the second OT, WPI turned the ball over on downs to set up the game-winning score. After two short gains, Mauck found a diving Shepard in the back of the end zone for the touchdown, kicking off the celebration.
Junior Chris Vidal executed a successful onside kick with 37 seconds remaining and nailed a 38-yard field goal with two seconds left as Randolph-Macon rallied for a 36-35 ODAC victory over Washington and Lee. Josh Breece ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run to give W&L (4-4, 3-3) a 35-26 lead with 3:06 left, but Randolph-Macon went 88 yards in 11 players, with freshman quarterback Presley Egbers hitting Mike Avent for a 6-yard score to cut the lead to 35-33 with 39 seconds left. Vidal then bounced an onside kick to the left side that hit off a W&L player and was recovered by freshman Cade Jones on the R-MC 46. Egbers moved the Yellow Jackets (7-1, 6-0) to the W&L 21. The snap was not clean, but Andrew Ihle quickly set the ball as Vidal nailed a 38-yard field goal with two seconds left to give R-MC a 36-35 lead with 0:02 remaining.
The win allowed Randolph-Macon to keep pace with Bridgewater, which improved to 8-0, 6-0 in the ODAC with a 35-3 win at Emory & Henry. Jay Scroggins threw for three touchdowns and the Eagles defense limited E&H (5-3, 4-2) to just 190 yards of total offense. Deshomd Denny had six tackles and a pair of sacks in the victory.
Berry, Trinity (Texas) and Birmingham-Southern remained in a three-way tie atop the Southern Athletic Association after Saturday. Trinity came up with the touchdown pass with 36 seconds left to win 20-17 at Hendrix, while Justin Robertson and Robert Shufford ran for three touchdowns apiece as Birmingham-Southern defeated Austin College, 52-42. The Tigers defense intercepted Hendrix quarterback Miles Thompson twice, while Trinity quarterback Wyatt Messex threw two scores in the win. BSC's win was its fourth in a row, and it was the third consecutive game in which Robert Shufford ran for more than 200 yards.
Lake Barrett drilled a go-ahead 25-yard field goal with :42 remaining, and fellow freshman Dorion Talley secured a 16-14 win for Wooster over North Coast Athletic Conference tri-leading Ohio Wesleyan by recovering a fumble after Barrett's squib kick deflected off of the Battling Bishops' Braydon Chitty capping a wild game on Saturday afternoon. The Scots' win knocked OWU out of the three-way tie for first place in the NCAC. Denison remained in the tie with a 42-7 win against DePauw, while Wabash defeated Kenyon 31-12 to remain even up atop the league. Wabash has already defeated Denison and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Little Giants finish with Hiram and DePauw, their Monon Bell rival. Liam Thompson led Wabash (6-2, 6-1) with 244 yards passing and three scores, while Denison got 151 yards and two TDs on the ground from Alex Minton against DePauw.
Hanover's defense sacked Chaiten Tomlin seven times and pressured him all day as the Panthers dominated in a road win over Mount St. Joseph. With the 27-3 victory, Hanover eliminated the Lions from HCAC title contention and set up a winner-take-all showdown next week at Rose-Hulman. Last season, Hanover and MSJ shared the title with Franklin, and the Panthers earned the tiebreaker and Pool A playoff berth. Noah Wezensky passed for 225 yards and two touchdowns, Shawn Coane rushed for 160 yards and two scores, and the defense held the Lions to just 281 yards of offense and 3-of-13 on third down. The home team was penalized 10 times for 107 yards.
Western New England claimed sole possession of first place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with a 42-31 victory over Endicott. Alec Coleman accounted for four touchdowns as he completed 18-of-32 pass attempts for 237 yards and two scores, while also running for two touchdowns as well. WNEU needs just one win in its final two games (at Becker and at home vs. Husson) to clinch the automatic bid. The Golden Bears are 7-1, 7-0 against Division III competition.
SUNY-Maritime clinched second place in the ECFC, which this year is enough for an automatic bid in the conference D3football.com rated last among the 27 in NCAA Division III. The conference leader, Dean, is not yet eligible for the Division III playoffs, and the ECFC has lost Mount Ida (closed) and Husson (moved to the CCC) in recent years. That leaves the conference with just six schools, one of which is ineligible, and the conference will return to seven programs next year with the addition of first-year program Keystone. Maritime defeated Gallaudet on Saturday, 24-13, to improve to 4-4, 3-1 in conference play.
Jackson Ross blocked two field goals to help the University of Chicago get to overtime, but in the extra session, Monmouth came away a 21-20 winner. Devin Lawrence scored on the first play of overtime for the Scots, and Chicago answered with a Caden Kalinowski TD run. Going for the win, the Maroons threw a pass into the left flat to one of UChicago's offensive linemen. While stretching the ball out for the goal line, the ball was jarred loose by a Monmouth defender, caromed off the pylon and went out of bounds, which ended the game 21-20 in favor of Monmouth.
Hope strengthened its hold on first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 31-24 victory over Alma. The Flying Dutchmen, now 5-0 in the MIAA and 7-1 overall, hold a one-game lead over second place Olivet (4-1, 7-1) in the MIAA with two games remaining. Hope can clinch its first trip to the Division III playoffs since 2006 with a win at Kalamazoo next week.
After a first half that ended in frustration at the goal line, the Dutch staged a dizzying assault with four lightning-quick third-quarter touchdown drives, none of which required more than four plays, and Central went on to beat Simpson 51-34. Quarterback Blaine Hawkins put on a clinic, connecting on 19 consecutive passes — one away from Tim Connell's 2006 school record — and finishing 23-of-27 for a school-record 419 yards and five touchdowns. Central remains in the American Rivers title chase at 5-1 and improved to 7-1 overall with first-place Wartburg set to visit next Saturday.
Bryland Menicucci ran for 122 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries, and Reyes Lara III threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns for Buena Vista in a 60-40 shootout win vs. Luther. BVU scored 26 points in the second quarter, including on possessions of 36 and 5 seconds.
Pacific and Puget Sound combined for 1,416 yards of total offnse and Pacific got just enough to get past the Loggers, 60-55. The Boxers' (3-5, 3-2 NWC) offensive fireworks included reseting a two-week old school record of 676 yards of total offense – 265 of it from the ground and 411 more of it through the air. The Loggers (5-3, 3-2 NWC) put up 740 yards of total offense. Puget Sound quarterback Murdock Rutledge completed 31 of 68 passes for 581 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Teammate Duncan Varela accounted for four touchdowns on 10 carries and 84 yards.