September 3, 2011

A great start for great finishes

Fortin Faustin and Trey Fairchild celebrate a Fairchild touchdown reception that gave Otterbein a brief fourth-quarter lead at Gallaudet. Otterbein went on to win in OT.
Otterbein athletics photo

No. 179 Gallaudet nearly pulled off a shocker for the season, going toe-to-toe with Otterbein, ranked No. 40 in Kickoff 2011's preseason rankings, before falling 28-27 in overtime.

The Bison converted on fourth down in overtime to score a touchdown, then missed on a two-point conversion attempt that would have won the game. Gallaudet had just 281 yards of total offense but had 162 of those yards on two fourth-quarter drives.

Freshman Mark Moore made a big impact in his first collegiate football game, kicking a 49-yard field goal as time expired to lift Salve Regina over Union 25-22. Watch the video highlight. Salve Regina scored four times in the fourth quarter to rally for the victory. 

Playing with 10 new starters on offense, Delaware Valley defeated Muhlenberg 10-9 in overtime. After the Mules scored on their first overtime possession, freshman quarterback Aaron Wilmer connected with Isaiah Hall for a 30-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-15 to tie the game. Jake Sobchak's extra point gave the Aggies the victory.

Susquehanna erased a 15-point deficit with under three minutes to play and beat Wilkes 33-30 in overtime. Rich Palazzi threw two touchdowns and converted a two-point conversion down the stretch to tie the game. Freshman Spenser Hotaling nailed the game-winning field goal on the Crusaders first overtime possession.

Millikin quarterback Matt Holmes found Erik Tobey for a touchdown with 43 seconds left to put the Big Blue ahead of Illinois College 27-20. But Blue Boys' quarterback Michael Bates ran for 21 yards on fourth-and-5 to keep Illinois College alive. Then he hit Kevin Fuller for a 34-yard touchdown as time expired to send the game to overtime. Bates finished the remarkable comeback by throwing the game winning touchdown to Colin Duling and Illinois College defeated Millikin 34-30 in overtime.

Catholic finished a 90-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown catch by Alonzo Cooke with 1:01 left to give the Cardinals a 39-36 win at McDaniel. Catholic rallied from a 36-24 fourth-quarter deficit to secure the win, while Greg Cordivari threw for 459 yards.

In other exciting finishes, Will Davis' 23-yard field goal lifted Bridgewater (Va.) over St. Vincent 20-17 in overtime. Heidelberg edged Alma 34-28 in overtime. UW-Oshkosh's Zach Wettengel intercepted Central quarterback Nate Snead with 1:35 remaining and the Titans knocked off the Dutch 31-28. Chapman kicked a field goal with six seconds left to edge Whitworth 16-14.

But in Illinois, one game might not be finished, as Concordia (Ill.) and Lake Forest had their game suspended by weather in the second quarter with Lake Forest leading 28-26. But despite the fact that the schools are just 32 miles apart, the contest might not be completed.

Darin Blaser
Darin Blaser's second-quarter outburst helped UW-Platteville to a season-opening win against Buena Vista.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Cornell snapped its long losing streak and Olivet's continued as the Rams held on for a 36-35 win. Cornell had lost 11 games in a row, while Olivet has lost 29 consecutive games. Guilford also won its season opener, defeating Greensboro 27-7 to snap an 11-game losing streak.

Ben Guiles rolled up 143 yards rushing and 103 yards receiving en route to five touchdowns in Lebanon Valley's 57-42 shootout win against Gettysburg. The Dutchmen had four new starters on the offensive line but still ran for 272 yards.

UW-Platteville won its 13th consecutive season opener, rolling over Buena Vista 38-3. Bryce Brown put up 393 yards of total offense as Western New England beat Norwich 38-24. Frostburg State pulled together after a tough two weeks and won its season opener, defeating Geneva 34-21 on the road.

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