/seasons/2010/contrib/20100923o363sd

2010 Middlebury College Football Preview

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Middlebury will hope to maintain its offensive prowess in '10, after leading the league a year ago in total offense (450.5 yards/game) and scoring offense (29.9 points/game). The Panthers got off to a rough start last season, closing the year with four straight victories to finish with a 5-3 mark overall. Ten starters were lost to graduation, including the school's fourth all-time leading tackler Eric Kamback, who led the league a year ago with 103 stops. Other key losses included Erik Rostad (444 yards total offense, 12 touchdowns), three-time All-NESCAC specialist James Millard (3,333 career all-purpose yards), and All-NESCAC offensive lineman Paul Bennett.

      "This is the most competition we have at several positions in a long time," said head coach Bob Ritter, who is now in his 10th season at the helm. "I hope this will continue to raise our level of competition and we can hit the ground running as the season begins."

      NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year Donald McKillop returns for his senior season to lead a passing offense that ranked third in the nation a year ago. McKillop led the league in attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdowns and pass efficiency a year ago. His top two targets were lost to graduation, with tight end David Reed and receiver Matt Rayner leading the returners. Aside from McKillop's yards on the ground, just 78 of the team's 616 rushing yards return from a year ago, with a host of young players vying for carries.

      Defensively, the Panthers boasted the NESCAC's third-best passing defense (208.1 yards/game) in '09. Middlebury was in the middle of the pack in scoring defense and will have some key holes to fill this season.

      "We have a very large and experienced senior class who knows how to win," added Ritter. "I'm looking to build on our solid finish last season and get off to a great start in '10."

      Middlebury opens its eight-game NESCAC schedule on September 25 at home vs. Wesleyan. The Panthers will also host Amherst, Bates and Tufts, while visiting Colby, Williams, Trinity and Hamilton.

Quarterbacks

      McKillop returns as the team's starter for the fourth straight season owning 13 of the school's 14 all-time passing records entering his final year. A year ago, the co-captain went 262-405 (.647) for 2,873 yards with 22 touchdown passes and a league-leading 136.77 efficiency rating. He led the nation with 32.8 completions/game last year, while ranking second with 359 passing yards/game.

      Backing up McKillop will be senior Jack Kramer, who filled in admirably for McKillop in the final two games of the '08 season with a pair of wins.

Running Backs

      Several players will look for carries this season, after Rostad carried the majority of the load a year ago. Junior Phillip Cutler (9 rushes, 37 yards) and sophomore Remi Ashkar (3 rushes, 13 yards) will compete for a starting role. Senior Andrew Plumley (14 rushes, 32 yards), will also challenge for the spot after missing several games a year ago.

Receivers/Tight Ends

      Junior Matt Rayner (35 rec., 331 yards) started at times last season and returns with the most experience in the group. He averaged 9.5 yards/catch last season, scoring five touchdowns. Junior Alex Englert (11 rec., 111 yards, TD) and sophomore Zach Driscoll (8 rec., 78 yards, TD) both saw quality time at wide-out a year ago and will compete for a starting role.

      Senior tight end David Reed (40 rec., 450 yards, TD) returns at tight end after an All-NESCAC season a year ago. He had two 100+ yard games a year ago and returns as the team's leader in receptions.

Offensive Line

      Three members with quality game experience return from a year ago to anchor the line. Seniors John Poulson (6-5, 265) and Sam White (6-3, 280) return as the leaders, with quality support from junior Ken LeStrange (6-4, 270). All three players started at tackle at some point last season and will be expected to be in starting roles in '10.

Defensive Line

      A good group of experienced players return to anchor Middlebury's defensive line. Senior Paul Carroll (26 tackles), junior Chris Dola (21 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks) and sophomore Andrew Ackerman (8 tackles) all return with quality game experience and will compete for time at defensive end.

      Sophomore Keegan Ashley (20 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and senior Carl Culicchia (26 tackles, 4.5 TFL) put up some big numbers at defensive tackle last season and will return in starting roles. Junior Patrick Downey (four tackles, 2 TFL) is also expected to be in the mix after a solid sophomore season.

Linebackers

      Seniors Andrew Durfee (46 tackles, 3.5 TFL) and Andrew Poulin (57 tackles, 10 TFL, 2 sacks) are back as starting linebackers to lead the group. Poulin is the team's leading returning tackler from '09, while Durfee was fourth on the squad in stops a year ago.

      Juniors Matthew Cawley (3 tackles) and Zach Roeder (11 tackles) both saw action at linebacker last season and are expected to compete for starting jobs.

Secondary

      Senior co-captain Connor Green (48 tackles, 3 INT, 4 PBU's) will lead the corners after a big season a year ago. His three interceptions were second on the team, while he ended the year third in tackles. Seniors Charlie Taft (19 tackles, 2 INT) and Alex Kennedy (16 tackles, 2 INT – '08) both have seen quality time at corner and will battle for a starting job this season.

      Junior Michael Bilodeau (45 tackles, INT) returns as the team's most experienced safety, finishing fifth on the squad a year ago in tackles. Juniors Patrick Pembroke (6 tackles) and Murphy McCurdy are expected to see quality action in '10.

Special Teams

      Senior Anthony Kuchan returns as the team's kicker, after earning All-NESCAC honors a year ago. Kuchan made 30 of 31 extra points last season, connecting on three of five field goal attempts. He is also expected to return as the team's starting punter after averaging 30.2 yards/boot a year ago with 11 boots inside the 20.

Oct. 13: All times Eastern
Final
Bridgewater State 24, at Mass-Dartmouth 22
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at UW-Whitewater 21, UW-La Crosse 14
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Final
Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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Final
at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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Final - 5OT
at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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Final - OT
at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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