Around the Nation

Snap judgments: Signature wins come in upsets

After Methodist kicked a field goal to open the second overtime, Marcus Morrast closed it on the next play.
Christopher Newport photo by Jesse Hutcheson

It’s the time of year when we start to get a bit of clarity on how several conferences are shaping up.

Among the things on my radar: St. John’s again beats ranked rival St. Thomas; Salisbury seems ever more unlikely to reclaim the top spot in the Empire 8; Johns Hopkins is on a bit of a fast track after clobbering Muhlenberg; St. Norbert toppled a key threat; and Concordia-Moorhead could prove troublesomely playoff-driven against the MIAC’s usual suspects.

The big upset: But to start, I can’t not mention that, a week after North Central overthrew its Top 10 WIAC opponent, the conference gets a great deal redemption from unranked UW-Stevens Point. The Pointers played their best game at the right time in 34-27 win. Being undefeated, it’s hard to make a case that UW-SP wouldn’t be Top 25 material (or at least getting a good number of votes). People talk about Whitewater. They talk about Platteville and Oshkosh. But Stevens Point really hasn’t been the talk of the nation since 2008 when the team beat national defending champion Whitewater by a single point. There’s little doubt that the WIAC has at least four teams that people need to be paying attention to.

Love video (and overtimes) in D-III: Big credit to the CNU video broadcast for keeping me glued to the Captains’ game against Methodist, which was pushed into double overtime for a 51-48 CNU win. As they went back and forth with scoring and key defensive stops, it’s hard to imagine watching two teams that seemed more evenly matched. But in the end, it was the grit of Captains quarterback Marcus Morrast that proved decisive. In the second overtime, he forced defenders to just slide right off him as he ran 25 yards for the score. Morrast was the epitome of dual threat:  A 310-yard, four touchdown performance through the air and a 191-yard, two touchdown performance on the ground. (CNU SID: If you’re reading this, nominate him for Team of the Week!) It was clear Morrast was tired in the fourth quarter; he was seen crouching between plays, apparently to catch his breath. But the senior pushed forward to the benefit of those in blue around him. Max Reber, Methodist’s signal-caller, had a similarly impressive day that fell just short on the scoreboard. He completed more than 70 percent of his 49 pass attempts for 480 yards and...

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Ryan Tipps

Ryan is's Senior Editor and begins as National Columnist in fall 2014. He was the Around the Mid-Atlantic Columnist from 2007 to 2011; has worked on all but one of the preseason Kickoff publications; has done game-day writing and photography and the pregame broadcast at the championship Stagg Bowl in Salem for almost a decade; and has taken photos at the Final Four for He's also on the selection staff for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award.

2001-2013 columnist: Keith McMillan.


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