LSC Football Weekly Release: ACU, Kingsville, WTAMU selected for NCAA Playoffs
ACU, KINGSVILLE, WTAMU SELECTED FOR NCAA PLAYOFFS
The Lone Star Conference had three teams selected for the NCAA Division II Football Championship. Abilene Christian, the LSC and South Division champions, Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M were each picked to continue their seasons. The Wildcats (11-0) are the top seed in Super Region Four, while the Javelinas (10-1) are the second seed and the Buffaloes (8-3) are No. 5.
ACU and Kingsville both earned byes in the first round and will host second round contests on Nov. 27. The Wildcats will play the winner of the WTAMU-Central Missouri match-up, and the Javelinas face the Northwest Missouri-Missouri Western victor.
In the first round (Nov. 20), the Buffaloes play at Central Missouri. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. from Warrensburg, Mo.
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MSU TO KANZA BOWL
Midwestern State will represent the LSC and play Washburn from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in the second annual Lower Kanza Bowl on December 4 in Topeka, Kan., bowl officials announced on Monday. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. at Hummer Sports Park.
The Kanza (pronounced CANS-uh) Bowl, one of only two NCAA Division II bowl games, matches the best non-playoff team from the LSC against a counterpart from the MIAA.
The Mustangs (8-3) are set to appear in just its second bowl game in school history and will face Washburn for the first time ever. MSU’s last bowl appearance was 63 years ago in the 1947 Kickapoo Bowl.
The Ichabods (7-4) will be playing in their eighth postseason game and the first since a first round NCAA playoff game in 2007 when they fell to West Texas A&M, 41-40. The game will be the Ichabods’ third bowl game appearance joining the 1986 Aztec Bowl and the 2004 Mineral Water Bowl.
ACU WINS LSC AND SOUTH DIVISION TITLES
Abilene Christian posted the first 11-0 regular-season record in program history and also earned their second outright LSC championship in the last three seasons with a 10-0 mark. The Wildcats won the South Division title for the second straight year as well.
ECU, NSU SHARE NORTH DIVISION CROWN
East Central and Northeastern State shared the LSC North Division crown with identical 5-1 records. The Tigers won their first divisional title, while the RiverHawks claimed their fourth crown and first since 2007.
ACU, KINGSVILLE RANKED IN TOP-FIVE
Two LSC teams are ranked in top four of the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Nov. 15) with ACU at No. 2 and Texas A&M-Kingsville at No. 4. WTAMU moves up to No. 14 and Midwestern State to 24th.
The 2010 season concluded with seven crossover games in week 12. The league played 28 crossover contests this season with the South Division winning 24 of the 28 games.
In week 12, the LSC had two quarterbacks throw for 300-plus yards, four receivers and four rushers over the century mark and 11 double-digit tacklers. Top performances included:
Passing: 572, Taylor Harris (43-65-0), WTAMU vs ECU
Rushing: 37-207, Trent Rios, UIW vs A&M-C
Receiving: 12-203, Tyson Williams, WTAMU vs ECU Tackles: 13, Markell Walker, ECU at WTAMU
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Josh Neiswander, Angelo State University, SR, QB, Winnsboro, Texas, Winnsboro HS
Neiswander manufactured a fitting end to his career with 391 yards through the air and five touchdown passes to lead the Rams to a 49-35 Lone Star Conference crossover win against Central Oklahoma - the team he claimed his first victory as a starter against in 2007. Neiswander’s yardage, the second-highest total of his career, helped the senior from Winnsboro surpass Ned Cox for ASU’s career passing mark and his five touchdowns broke his own single-season record for touchdown passes (27). Neiswander closed the season with five consecutive 300-yard passing performances. The effort helped Rams out-gun the Bronchos and avoid a losing record for the year. Neiswander concluded his career as the most prolific passer in ASU history. In addition to the career yardage mark (8,212), he set 14 Angelo State passing records. Saturday’s effort helped him finish with a new season-best 2,983 yards, and the five scores moved him to an ASU record 61 career touchdowns.
J.D. Corcoran, Midwestern State University, SR, DT, Lake Arrowhead, Calif., Rim HS
Corcoran notched two sacks as the Midwestern State defense finished with a season-high six and held Northeastern State out of the end zone for the final three quarters of a 28-8 MSU win Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The senior defensive lineman from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., added six tackles including six solo stops to boost his season totals to 53 tackles including a team-high 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
SOUTH SPECIAL TEAMS
Sergio Castillo, West Texas A&M University, R-FR, K, Mission, Texas, La Joya
Castillo accounted for 10 points in WT’s 52-21 regular-season ending win over East Central. He was a perfect 7-of-7 on PATs and connected on his only field goal attempt, a 40-yarder.
Tony Valenzuela, Eastern New Mexico University, SR, RB, Seagraves, Texas, Seagraves HS
Valenzuela rushed for 92 yards in the Greyhounds win at Tarleton State, helping Eastern post its first road win of the season and their first win in Texas since September 2005. He scored a career-high three touchdowns in the game and caught two passes for nine yards.
Tavius Bigelow, Eastern New Mexico University, SR, CB, Burlington, N.C., Williams High School/Louisburg JC
Bigelow returned two interceptions for 29 yards and took a lateralled interception 20 yards for a touchdown in Eastern’s first win over Tarleton State since 2000. The score pushed the Hounds’ lead to 21-3 in the second quarter. He also made seven tackles in the game.
NORTH SPECIAL TEAMS
Ahmed Abo-Mahmood, Texas A&M University - Commerce, SO, K, Sherman, Texas, Sherman HS
Abo-Mahmood made a career-best three field goals in the Lions’ 17-16 loss to Incarnate Word. The last time that A&M-Commerce made three field goals was on Oct. 13, 2007 against Northeastern State. He also hit a 48-yard field goal which is the longest since a 49-yard field goal by Randy Weston to end the first half against Central Oklahoma on Sept. 28, 2002.