|Texas Lutheran athletics file photo
Texas Lutheran delivered a big blow to Hardin-Simmons' playoff hopes, Wheaton defeated North Central for the fourth year in a row, while Union knocked off Hobart and Hope dispatched Trine from the rankings in Saturday's action among teams in the D3football.com Top 25.
Texas Lutheran forced five turnovers and returned three of those for touchdowns in a 38-27 road upset of sixth-ranked Hardin-Simmons. The three defensive touchdowns for TLU (3-1, 3-0 ASC) came on: a 58-yard interception return by freshman safety Daniel Enriquez, a 39-yard fumble recovery by senior defensive end Manny Longoria, and a 25-yard interception return by junior defensive end Jackson Worley.
"Three defensive touchdowns, that is just amazing," said Carl Gustafson, TLU's third-year head coach. "I don't know that I have seen a game in the last 10 years in which a defense has scored three touchdowns. (The defense) really played well. Our hats off to Hardin-Simmons. They kept battling back. It was a game until there were zeros left on the clock."
The victory was just TLU's second win at Shelton Stadium in 12 tries.
No. 9 Wheaton dominated the second half once again against North Central, outscoring the No. 5 Cardinals 28-7 after halftime en route to a 35-21 win. Broc Rutter was sacked to end the third quarter, then was sacked on the first play of the fourth quarter and three more times in the final period as the Thunder won going away. Wheaton put up 447 yards of total offense, 351 of them through the air, while Rutter was 27-for-45 passing for 313 yards and two scores, but was sacked seven times. Patrick O'Connell, Jake Holaday and Dallas McRae had two sacks apiece.
It's the fourth consecutive win for the Thunder in the game between the archrivals for The Little Brass Bell.
No. 16 UW-La Crosse took a 20-7 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Eagles did not score again as UW-Platteville rattled off the final 31 points to win, 38-20 in Platteville, Wisconsin. The Pioneers (4-0, 1-0 WIAC) scored on a 90-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Donald Allender, a 50-yard run by Wyatt Thompson and a 39-yard interception return for a score by Walter Ollie. The interception was one of six by the Pioneers against La Crosse quarterback Evan Lewandowski.
Union rolled out to a 20-7 lead at the half and made it stand up as the Dutchmen remained unbeaten, knocking off No. 21 Hobart 23-7. Ike Irabor ran for a game-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries, while the Dutchmen defense held Hobart quarterbacks for 18-for-43 passing and picked them off three times. Evan Gilland delivered the big blows on defense, with a team-high six solo tackles and a 54-yard interception return to help Union go out to a 14-0 lead in the first 10 minutes.
Tied with Rowan 7-7 at the half, No. 12 Wesley scored twice in the third quarter to take a 21-7 lead and held on down the stretch to defeat the Profs 21-20. Rowan's extra point hit the uprights with 7:36 left, and Wesley was able to get two first downs and burn four minutes off the clock before punting the ball away. Rowan was able to get out to its own 44-yard line, but back-to-back incomplete passes by Mike Husni ended the threat and Xavier Drummond was able to run out the clock on the ground. David Marrocco got the start at quarterback for the Wolverines, but Jon Mullin came on in relief to complete 15 of 20 for 142 yards and both touchdowns in the win.
Trailing entering the fourth quarter after two consecutive weeks off, No. 16 Salisbury rallied with two touchdowns and led 27-16 with three minutes left. But Montclair State did not go away at home, as the Red Hawks finished off a 13-play drive with a two-point conversion, to cut the lead to 27-24. But the Sea Gulls (3-0, 1-0 NJAC) were able to recover the onside kick and kneel out the clock to remain unbeaten. Salisbury ran for 235 yards, while Jack Lanham went 6-for-12 passing for 129 yards and a score in the win.
No. 19 Johns Hopkins appeared to have the game in hand after Luke Yakely's 1-yard touchdown run extended a 25-13 lead to 32-13 at Ursinus. But the Bears (3-2, 2-2 Centennial) scored in the fourth quarter on a 13-play drive, including a two-point conversion, to cut the lead to 32-21, then another 13-play drive and two-point conversion made it 32-29 with 4:28 to play. JHU pinned Ursinus at its 17 with a punt with 1:54 left, and the Blue Jays (4-1, 3-1) got two incompletions and two sacks to clinch the win.
No. 20 Wartburg came alive in the final quarter, including two touchdowns in a span of 19 seconds as the Knights scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from Buena Vista, 48-27 on the road. Five passers combined to go 29-for-50 for the Beavers (2-3, 1-2 ARC), including three interceptions and three sacks. Antonio Santillan had one of them on BVU's first play of the fourth quarter, returning it to the 7-yard line, and Wartburg was in the end zone one play later.
Quarterback Mason Opple rushed for a game-high 102 yards and one touchdown while also passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns as Hope rolled past No. 24 Trine, 51-0 on the road. The shutout was Hope's first in a MIAA opener since a 38-0 win vs. Alma in 2010. Trine, which went 10-0 last season before losing in the first round of the playoffs at home, was held to just 169 yards of total offense and managed just nine first downs.
St. Lawrence got the ball first and scored first, but Ithaca scored the next 52 points and rolled to a 59-20 win on the road. Joe Germinerio threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns on 19-of-27 passing for the No. 11 Bombers and ran for another score with 47 yards rushing. Will Gladney hauled in three touchdown passes and had 135 yards receiving for Ithaca, which improved to 4-0, 1-0 in the Liberty League.
No. 13 Delaware Valley held Lycoming to 121 yards of total offense and cruised to a 41-7 victory on the road. Senior linebacker Billy Walsh tallied 3.5 tackles for loss, including two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble for the Aggies defense. All-America tight end Dan Allen had five catches for 91 yards and a rushing touchdown on an end-around play.
No. 24 Susquehanna took a 24-17 lead at home against Dickinson with 17 minutes left in the game and held on to win by the same score. Dickinson got the ball back just twice in that span and had their next drive stall out at its own 47 yard line. On the next possession, Dickinson went three-and-out, punting with 4:47 left, and never got the ball back as Susquehanna ran out the clock.