Top 25 wrap: Linfield smothers PLU, Wesley rallies

More news about: Bethel | Linfield | Wesley

Dom Forrest, left, and Alex Hoff helped hold PLU running back Niko Madison to 44 yards.
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No. 2 Linfield took a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter, but Josh Hill scored three seconds later, the defense smothered Dalton Richey and the Wildcats beat No. 11 Pacific Lutheran going away, 29-0.

PLU, which lost by three at Linfield in last season's playoffs, went back and forth with the Wildcats in a game filled with fourth-down defensive stops. Linfield ended the NWC rivals' offensive struggles when Hill capped a 14-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal with 14:57 left.

Then the Wildcats' defense took over, allowing 12 yards on the Lutes' final four possesions, three of which ended in interceptions by Kyle Wright, Brandon Funk and Mikey Arkans. The defense finished with four sacks and four interceptions, allowed 1.8 yards per Lutes carry and allowed just 3 of 15 third and fourth downs to be converted.

Wesley scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and the No. 10 Wolverines rallied past Huntingdon 38-28. Steve Koudossou caught two TD passes in the final quarter for Wesley and Rick Jackson finished with 127 yards and a score on just 13 carries in the win.

Reese Walker found the end zone on a 23-yard pass from Erik Peterson to give Bethel an early 7-0 lead.
By Ryan Coleman,

Augsburg put together a flurry in the final eight minutes but No. 5 Bethel recovered an onside kick and ran out the final 3:23 of the game to defeat the Auggies 31-28.

Erik Peterson threw three touchdown passes, two of them in the third quarter as the Royals built a 31-14 lead. But Ayrton Scott rallied his Auggies back with a 7-yard touchdown hauled in by Adam Carl and a pass that Joey Sonnenfeld took to the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 31-28. Augsburg failed to recover the onside kick, however, and Bethel got enough first downs to survive.

Max Reber gave up a pick-six late in the fourth quarter to give No. 22 Christopher Newport a 21-17 lead but came back to lead a 72-yard drive and capped it off himself with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Monarchs a 24-21 win against the Captains.

Lycoming took control of the MAC with a 19-16 win over No. 21 Delaware Valley. Tanner Troutman intercepted Aggies quarterback Aaron Wilmer inside the Lycoming 30 with two minutes left to seal the victory.

No. 15 Wheaton overcame a lightning delay and a late Augustana surge to defeat the Vikings 24-15. Augustana got 189 of its 282 yards in the fourth quarter and scored all 15 of its points in the final 1:49.

Top-ranked Mount Union cruised in the first game on Ohio Northern's new turf, scoring on seven of eight first-half possessions in a 58-7 rout. Kevin Burke threw for four touchdowns and backup Taurice Scott ran for 99 yards and a TD on just two carries. The Polar Bears, who remain the last OAC team to beat the defending champion Purple Raiders, in 2005, were outgained 631-160.

Derek Williamson returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor easily beat Trinity (Texas), 49-7, even though running back Elijah Hudson and defensive tackle Silvio Diaz missed the game with injuries. No. 4 North Central won just a few miles from campus, scoring 17 second-half points to break a halftime tie and beat Elmhurst, 31-14. No. 7 Hobart produced a season-high 501 yards of offense and scored 41 unanswered points on the way to a 41-7 Liberty League win over WPI.

No. 8 UW-Oshkosh took an early 21-0 lead and held off a UW-Stout rally to win, 28-26. No. 9 UW-Platteville staged a second-half comeback behind 442 yards and seven passing touchdowns from John Kelly, defeating UW-Eau Claire 49-27.

Frostburg State took the lead in the fourth quarter on the road at No. 19 St. John Fisher but the Cardinals answered with a 41-yard touchdown drive with 7:48 left in the game to beat the Bobcats 38-35. Frostburg State fell to 1-3.

Wabash jumped out to a 38-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 48-14 win at Wooster. Richard Barnes threw for 306 yards but the No. 17 Little Giants recorded seven sacks on the afternoon and recovered three fumbles in the win.

Johns Hopkins had little trouble with Juniata, defeating the Eagles 65-10. Bob D'Orazio caught four passes, three of them for touchdowns, sending Juniata to its second consecutive loss after a 3-0 start.

No. 20 Coe scored twice in the final 2:11 to beat Buena Vista 21-7. The game was tied for nearly two full quarters before the Kohawks took the lead, then put the Beavers away. No. 24 John Carroll pitched another shutout, crushing Capital 54-0. 

Geneva came into the weekend on a roll but found its momentum completely halted as No. 25 Thomas More held the Golden Tornadoes to just 88 yards of total offense in a 61-0 shellacking. Ten players carried for positive yardage for the Saints in the win.