Saturday, November 27, 2010

NCAA Playoff Second Round Recaps

No. 8 Mules boot No. 2 Wildcats from playoffs - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Central Missouri came up with a finishing kick to boot the No. 2 Abilene Christian Wildcats from the playoffs.

Eric Czerniewski hit Jamorris Warren for a 61-yard touchdown pass to break open a one-point game early in the fourth quarter, and Czerniewski came back to throw his sixth touchdown pass of the day — a 5-yarder to Warren — as the No. 8 Mules knocked off ACU 55-41 in a Division II second-round playoff game Saturday at Shotwell Stadium.

Javelinas season comes to stunning end - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
KINGSVILLE — To the end, Texas A&M-Kingsville football coach Bo Atterberry said he always believed his Javelinas had a chance against Northwest Missouri State in Saturday’s second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

But as Atterberry also is fond of saying, at the close of business all that matters is the final score. And on a breezy, sun-splashed day in South Texas, it didn’t favor the Javelinas.

The defending Division II champion Bearcats kept their dreams afloat for successive gold balls as Blake Bolles’ 3-yard swing pass to Josh Baker with 18 seconds remaining rallied Northwest to a 35-31 victory over the Javelinas.

NW Missouri State's experiences pays off in win over Javelinas - Greg Rajan, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Northwest Missouri State’s football program made its first visit to Javelina Stadium.

But make no mistake — it was apparent the Bearcats had been there before.

With their national championship defense in jeopardy, the No. 3 Bearcats’ experience came to the forefront when it mattered most.

Northwest pulls off another late miracle - Missourinet
Late TD lifts Northwest Missouri over Kingsville in D-II playoffs - Abilene Reporter News

LSC Football Recap: ACU, TAMUK fall in second round

No. 8 Central Missouri 55, No. 2 Abilene Christian 41

ABILENE, Texas - Eric Czerniewski threw for 477 yards and six touchdowns to lead No. 8-ranked Central Missouri to a 55-41 win over No. 2-ranked Abilene Christian University in a second-round playoff game matching two of NCAA Division II’s top offenses.

The game pitted two quarterbacks who are finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy as national player of the year, and they did not disappoint the crowd of 6,455 in Shotwell Stadium. ACU sophomore Mitchell Gale was 27 of 51 for 358 yards and five TDs, but Czerniewski, a senior, stole the show in a game that featured nearly 1,000 yards of offense. Mule wide receiver Jamorris Warren caught nine passes for 155 yards and three TDs, and Wildcat wide receiver Edmund Gates caught 6 passes for 117 yards and one score.

As it did the week before in scorching Texas A&M-Kingsville, UCM took a 21-0 first-quarter lead and never surrendered it while scoring 55 points again on an opponent from the Lone Star Conference. ACU, which finished the season 11-1 after winning the LSC, cut a 29-point UCM lead in the second quarter to 35-34 at the start of the fourth, but the Mules outscored the Wildcats 21-7 in the final 14 minutes to take the win.

The Mules, who finished second in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, moved to 11-2, earning a national quarterfinal game Dec. 4.

Northwest Missouri State 35, Texas A&M-Kingsville 31

KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – The Texas A&M-Kingsville football team was 18 seconds away from slaying the beast on Saturday afternoon at Javelina Stadium, but the defending national champions Northwest Missouri State once again found a way to win in the NCAA Division II Playoffs with a 35-31 victory.

Bearcat (11-1) All-American quarterback Blake Bolles swung a pass out to tight end Josh Baker who was able to out run the Javelinas (10-2) to the corner of the end zone for a winning score from three yards out. It was the same corner where Tarleton State’s Scott Grantham had scored to defeat the Javelinas in the playoffs last year in double overtime.

The Javelinas had one last chance, but a Hail Mary attempt went incomplete on the final play of the game.

The game opened with everything going the way of the Javelinas. The Bearcats lost a fumble on the opening drive of the game when a snap went over the head of Bolles and into the hands of Kendrick Matthews (Houston/Marshall HS) of the Hoggies. The Javelinas converted the turnover into a Christian Brom (McAllen/McAllen HS) 28-yard field goal just 4:30 into the game.

The Javelina defense forced a three-and-out and the offense was back on the move. They converted a pair of third downs that eventually led to an Arron Fisher (Orlando, FL/West Orange HS) 3-yard touchdown run with 3:57 left in the first quarter.

The Bearcats responded with one of their patented quick-strike scoring drives. Bolles connected with Tyler Shaw on a 41-yard scoring pass thanks to excellent pass protection from his line. Todd Adolf’s extra-point made it 10-7 with 2:29 left in the quarter.

The Javelinas struck right back before the end of the quarter. Jonathon Woodson’s (Missouri City/Marshall HS) 44-yard kick return set the team up with excellent field position. Three plays later Nate Poppell (Spring/Spring HS) connected with Robert Armstrong (Cuero/Cuero HS) on a 16-yard touchdown pass with1:09 to play in the first quarter.

The Bearcats pulled back to within a field goal after a 10-play, 83-yard drive was capped by an 11-yard run by Bolles with 3:15 left in the first half. Bolles went 7-for-7 on the drive, but it was Kelvin Austin’s 29-yard run that was the big play of the drive.

Late in the half, the Javelinas were driving for another score, but were stopped at the 35-yard line of the Bearcats. Poppell appeared to have picked up the first down on a fourth down run, but was ruled down before picking up the necessary yardage.

The Bearcats opened the second half by attempting an onside kick, but the Hoggies were able to recover the ball. They took advantage by scoring on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Poppell to Ryan Lincoln (Bastrop/Bastrop HS) to take a 24-14 lead with 12:14 left in the third quarter.

After the teams traded punts, the Bearcats took over at their own 7-yard line. They proceeded to drive 93 yards in 13 plays over 4:33. Bolles completed a 27-yard pass to Jake Soy on third down and then he completed an 8-yard pass to Jordan Simmons on fourth down to keep the drive going on two occasions. They scored on a 1-yard race to the corner by Simmons with 1:00 to play in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Javelinas scored on their first play when Lincoln broke two tackles on a reverse and scored on a 69-yard run to put the team ahead, 31-21.

The Hog defense forced a three-and-out and the offense was driving when a pass from Poppell got away from him and fell into the hands of Marciele Surrell.

The Bearcats took advantage of the miscue driving 56 yards in five plays. They were helped by a pair of pass interference calls against the Javelinas. Bolles connected with Baker on a 29-yard gain and then hit a wide open Soy in the end zone from 11 yards out with 10:19 remaining.

The Northwest defense then stepped up and shut down the Javelina offense over the next few minutes forcing three punts in a five minute stretch that proved to be critical. The Javelinas appeared to have regained the momentum after Tressor Baptiste (New York, NY/Curtis HS) forced a fumble that was recovered by Marcus Sanders (Houston/Westfield HS) with 5:38 left in the game. The Bearcats did not budge and got the ball back with 4:02 to play.

Bolles directed the Bearcats on a third long drive covering 80 yards in 12 plays. They converted on a pair of third downs and crossed into the red zone after a Javelina penalty to set up the winning score to Baker.

For the Bearcats it was their 12th consecutive win against Super Region 4 opponents and sixth straight win in the playoffs overall.

The Javelinas gained 420 yards on offense with 188 coming on the ground and 268 through the air. Lincoln led the offense with five catches for 94 yards, three carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns as he closed out a brilliant career. Woodson added 136 all-purpose yards while Armstrong added seven catches for 65 yards. Poppell finished the game 25-of-38 for 268 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Lincoln finished his career with a school record 210 receptions for 2,926 yards (2nd all-time). He led the team with 10 touchdowns on the season.

Poppell broke the school record for single season completions with 237 bettering Billy Garza’s mark of 225 set last year.

The Bearcats gained 470 yards of offense with 90 on the ground and 380 through the air. It was the most yards the Javelinas have given up all season long. Bolles went 32-of-53 for 380 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Soy who had 12 catches for a career high 161 yards and a touchdown. Baker added eight catches for 87 yards and a score. Austin led the team with 52 yards on seven carries.

The Javelina defense’s top six tacklers in the game were all seniors. Baptiste finished with a career high 11 stops, a forced fumble and a pass break up. DeIra Glover (Hempstead/Hempstead HS) capped his four-year career with nine tackles while fellow safety Corey Robertson (Denison/Denison HS) added seven tackles and two pass break ups.

The Bearcats were led by linebacker Chad Kilgore and defensive lineman Josh Lorenson. Kilgore had 11 tackles while Lorenson had 10 stops, two sacks and four tackles for loss.

The Bearcats advance to host conference rival Central Missouri on December 4 at noon in Maryville, Missouri.

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