/playoffs/2017/quarterfinal-wrapup

UMHB, Mount Union, Brockport, UW-Oshkosh reach semis

Luke Poorman on the run
After D'Angelo Fulford appeared in court on Wedesday, Luke Poorman got the call at QB on Saturday.
Photo by Dan Poel, Ohiosi.com
 

Luke Poorman got the start for Mount Union and the Purple Raiders offense did not miss a beat, while Brockport won on a field goal on the final play of the game in Saturday's Division III national quarterfinal action. 

Mount Union and UW-Oshkosh will face off in the semifinals, at a site the NCAA will confirm Sunday (likely Oshkosh), while Brockport will play at Mary Hardin-Baylor in the semifinals. 

Delaware Valley rallied from a 21-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as Brett Renzi finished the game off with a 33-yard field goal, lifting Brockport into the national semifinals for the first time with a 31-28 win.

Brockport scored on a quick-strike drive to open the third quarter and take a 28-7 lead, which held up for the rest of the quarter. But Dashawn Darden found Marquis Ellis for a 25-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, and, after a recovered onside kick, the two connected again to cut the lead to 28-21 with 13:00 left. Following a Brockport three-and-out, Darden scrambled, then broke into the open field and took it all the way to the end zone for a 57-yard touchdown to tie the game at 28-28 with 9:41 left.

The teams traded punts twice, with Brockport starting on the Del Val side of midfield. Joe Germinerio completed three passes in a row and Justin Morrison got the Golden Eagles six more yards to the 16-yard line, setting up Renzi's heroics. Germinerio was 23-for-41 passing for 297 yards and a touchdown. Austin Dean led the Brockport defense with two of the Golden Eagles' seven sacks.

Mount Union in the '70s

The 1970s weren't Mount Union's best decade but the Purple Raiders have been reliving the '70s with regularity in recent playoffs. Here's every time they've put up 70 or more in a playoff game since the 1999 playoff expansion.

Opponent Year, round Score
Christopher Newport 2012 first 72-14
Widener 2012 quarters 72-17
Wesley 2014 semis 70-21
Widener 2000 semis 70-30
Frostburg State 2017 quarters 70-37
at Alfred 2016 quarters 70-45

Luke Poorman got the start at quarterback and illustrated Mount Union’s overwhelming depth of talent, leading the Purple Raiders to a convincing 70-37 win over Frostburg State. Making his first start of the season in place of D’Angelo Fulford, he rushed for one score and passed for two more as the Purple Raiders opened up a 21-0 first quarter lead.

Poorman, who had not attempted a pass since October, completed his first eight passes. He accounted for 310 yards of offense and six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) in the first half alone. Although he attempted just 16 passes, Poorman completed 12 of them for 355 yards and six touchdowns. He added 10 carries for 39 yards and another score.

The defense suffocated Connor Cox and the Bobcats early. Frostburg State needed more than 18 minutes of game time before it earned a first down or entered Mount Union territory. Darian Littlejohn added a 90-yard kickoff return TD for good measure, as Mount Union took a 49-24 lead into halftime.

When the Bobcats were able to slow Mount Union’s dominant defensive line, Cox and his receivers found ways to do some damage. He passed for four touchdowns, three in the second quarter. But the Purple Raiders’ defensive line was in the backfield most of the day, racking up seven sacks. Adam Mihoci nabbed two of Mount Union’s four fumble recoveries. The Bobcats were held to just 52 net rushing yards.

Justin Hill caught six passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns. Braeden Friss caught two of Poorman’s touchdown passes, while Jared Ruth caught the other.

This is the second straight year that Mount Union hung 70 on its quarterfinal opponent. The only question left after this game is who starts at quarterback for the Purple Raiders in their 23rd straight semifinal appearance?

Mary Hardin-Baylor scored on a punt return and an interception return in the fourth quarter as the defending champions, ranked No. 1 in the country, continued their winning streak, knocking out No. 4 St. Thomas 24-10. 

Bryce Wilkerson returned a St. Thomas punt for a touchdown to break a 10-10 tie in the fourth quarter, and on the next drive, Kris Brown stepped in front of a Jacques Perra pass and went untouched to the end zone, giving the Cru a 24-10 lead with 10:02 left in the game.

De'Nerian Thomas followed a Tommie first-half touchdown with a kickoff return to the St. Thomas 10-yard line, but the Tommies' defense held, with Johnny Heller breaking up a third-down pass to force a 26-yard field goal. But despite a sack on second down and another loss of yardage on third, St. Thomas salvaged some points at the end of the half as Bryan Steinsapir nailed a 50-yard field goal to send the teams to the locker room tied 10-10.

The Cru defense kept UST quarterback Jacques Perra on the run all afternoon, holding him to 13-for-29 passing for 190 yards and sacking him multiple times, including a blindside hit from Ajay Fanene on the Tommies' final snap of the game. Carl Robinson III completed 17 of 25 passes for 159 yards for UMHB and was picked off twice. The Crusaders were held to just 143 yards of total offense, but were able to increase their nation-leading win streak to 28 games. 

Dylan Hekker scored five touchdowns, but it was a total team effort as UW-Oshkosh pulled away from Wartburg in the second half. The Titans scored 21 unanswered to snap a 20-20 tie en route to a 41-27 victory. The win earns UW-Oshkosh its second straight trip to the semifinals.

While Hekker finished drives and accounted for 177 yards of offense (71 rushing, 106 receiving), he did not lead the Titans in either rushing or receiving. Mitch Gerhartz carried 16 times for 128 yards, while Sam Mentkowski caught eight passes for 120 yards and a score.

With 8:15 to play in the third quarter, Jordan Johnson tied the game at 20 with his second field goal of the game. But it was all Titans after that, as Hekker scored on three straight UW-Oshkosh possessions to salt the game away. Brett Kasper finished with 256 passing yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart and fellow Gagliardi Trophy semifinalist, Matt Sacia, passed for 263 yards and two scores. Neither quarterback threw an interception.

Riley Brockway caught eight passes for 82 yards and a touchdown for the Knights. Following his score with 4:13 to play, Jacob Grant recovered the onside kick for UW-Oshkosh. The Knights never touched the ball again. The Titans drove down to the Wartburg two-yard line, where they were able to kneel out the victory.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
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Dean at Becker
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