|Wartburg defeated its third
MIAC opponent of the season.
Wartburg photo by Benjamin Bogard
Wartburg survived a stiff test from St. Thomas, while Wabash and St. John's each pulled away in games in the top-left bracket, also known as the UW-Whitewater bracket, on Saturday.
Wartburg scored the last points of the first half and the first points of the second half to go up by nine points, then held St. Thomas at bay the rest of the way, holding on after the Tommies recovered an onside kick in the final minute to defeat St. Thomas 37-31.
"We always kind of were behind the 8-ball," Tommies coach Glenn Caruso said. "You knew you needed two more drives, and you had to reach a little deeper on offense. . . . Plus, we didn't get the stops."
Paul Graupner kicked a field goal with 52 seconds left to cut the lead to six points, then the Tommies recovered an onside kick. Out of timeouts, St. Thomas had a pass intercepted at the 22-yard line to seal the win. Brandon Domeyer ran for three touchdowns in the win.
St. John's intercepted St. Scholastica quarterback Tyler Harper eight times and kept the Saints off the scoreboard until the final five minutes of the game as the Johnnies won 35-7. The win was St. John's first playoff victory since 2007, and the 600th in the Johnnies' history. Harper's eight interceptions set the NCAA Division III playoff record, which was tied minutes later by Zack Jenkins of Wittenberg. Photos from this game.
Wabash sacked Franklin quarterback Grant Welp six times and held him to 28-for-53 passing for a touchdown as the Little Giants defeated the Grizzlies 33-14. Michael Putko completed 13 of 20 passes for 139 yards and a score for Wabash in the win.
Jordan Ratliffe ran for 100 yards and three touchdowns and Ryan Givens added 97 yards and two scores as top-ranked UW-Whitewater defeated Macalester 55-2. Scots quarterback Samson Bialostok threw for 232 yards (on 20-for-49 passing) and ran for 68 yards in the loss, which ended Macalester's first playoff trip.
There will be more coverage from the UW-Whitewater bracket and from the other three brackets as well. Check the links above for scores and the bracket.
Second-round host sites are not announced officially until Sunday, but UW-Whitewater will host Wabash and Wartburg will host St. John's, based on how the NCAA laid out teams in the bracket.