D-III Spreadsheet: (Excel2003, 428 kb)
D-III Games of the Week:
There was one huge game of massive import on Saturday, but three other top-20 teams wandered headlong into danger and got more than they bargained for. (Well, if we’re being honest, four did, but one got blown out so they just don’t belong in this section, do they?)
In Platteville, #4 Wisconsin-Whitewater and #13 Wisconsin-Platteville clashed in the only meeting between ranked teams this week. The Warhawks were in deep, deep trouble early as they fell behind 14-0 midway through the first quarter on two John Kelly touchdown passes, on a short toss to Trevor Whitehead and a 78-yard strike to Aaron Loferski. The last time Whitewater had been down by 14 was in the 2008 Stagg Bowl, which just happened to be the last game they lost before being upset by Buffalo State two weeks ago. It would be another 11 minutes before the scoreboard changed, but after Kelly went down with an injury, Whitewater would score ten points in four minutes on a 28-yard Eric Kindler field goal (set up by a Mykaell Bratchett interception off Pioneer backup QB Bryce Corrigan) and a 3-yard pass from Lee Brekke to Derric Junakin to pull within 14-10 at the half (again set up by a Corrigan miscue as Andrew Keister picked him off).
Platteville pulled ahead again when Tommy Magna returned a Brekke interception to the house less than five minutes into the second half, but the extra point was no good; that would be a fateful error. A few minutes later Nick Patterson plowed in from the two to get Whitewater back within three, and then another Kindler field goal, this time from 21, tied the game. Corrigan was picked off again, this time by Cole Klotz; Desmin Ward shortly rumbled in from two yards out to give the Warhawks the lead for the first time.
With just under five minutes to go, Platteville was threatening, but a fumble by Corrigan stopped the advance at the Warhawk 16. Whitewater was held and forced three-and-out, though, and with only sixteen seconds to go Lee Vlasak scored on a two-yard run to bring the Pioneers within a point at 27-26. Of course, if not for the prior missed PAT, the game would be tied. Then came a chess match.
Platteville coach Mike Emendorfer sent his two-point conversion team onto the field. Whitewater coach Lance Leipold promptly called timeout; Emendorfer responded by sending his kicking unit out. Leipold again called time, and Emendorfer went back to Plan A. Corrigan tossed a fade to Ryley Bailey in the back corner, but Whitewater’s Ryan Wenkman batted it away to salvage the win for the Warhawks.
In other big games, tenth-ranked Bethel (MN) led Augsburg 21-14 with 1:46 to go when the Auggies scored from 13 yards out on a fourth-down completion from Ayrton Scott to Adam Carl. Rather than kicking the extra point to tie the game, Augsburg opted to go for two, but the conversion pass attempt was batted down. The Auggies actually managed to get the ball back again with 32 seconds to go, but Scott was intercepted by Bethel’s J.D. Melhorn to secure the win for the Royals.
A third top-20 game was decided by a broken-up two-point conversion, this one in overtime. #14 Illinois Wesleyan had to fight back from a 20-7 second quarter deficit, scoring on a four-yard T.J. Stinde run with only 1:38 left in the game to force overtime. After the Titans went ahead on their possession, Millikin scored to make it 34-33, but went for the win rather than kicking. Tyrell Bolden knocked down the attempt, and Illinois Wesleyan survived.
Finally, #18 Widener found themselves trailing Lebanon Valley 37-21 with 5:44 to play after Evan Fink scored his third touchdown of the day, his second of the fourth quarter. Just one minute later, Widener got back within eight when Tyler Rank scored from a yard out and the Pride converted for two; then Colin Masterson picked off a Leo Kyte pass and raced 64 yards for a pick-six with closed the gap to two. Couve LaFate dove in for the deuce, and the game was tied. Lebanon Valley was unable to score in overtime, and James McFadden drilled home a 33-yarder to get Widener a miracle win.
Four Games, Five Points:
The entire Presidents’ Athletic Conference would have landed in the Nail-Biters section below, so we may as well talk about them here. At the end of regulation, the four conference games on the slate last Saturday had a total margin of only five points. Waynesburg remained unbeaten, but it was a near thing as they won at Thiel 20-19. Bethany (WV) came oh-so-close to getting their first win of the year, but lost at Washington & Jefferson 28-26; meanwhile, Grove City won at Westminster (PA) 23-21. The fourth game saw winless Geneva take Thomas More to overtime; four periods later, Geneva finally prevailed 50-48 when they halted Thomas More’s two-point conversion attempt.
In addition to the seventeen teams which are ranked on on the cusp, seventeen other teams have remain so far unscathed. Gettysburg, Salve Regina, and Whitworth are all 5-0, while Albion, Bridgewater, Concordia (IL), Concordia-Moorhead, Illinois College, Ithaca, Lewis & Clark, Millsaps, Ohio Wesleyan, and Wisconsin Lutheran are 4-0. At least five undefeateds will disappear this week, as Concordia-Moorhead visits #10 Bethel (MN), Wisconsin Lutheran travels to Concordia (IL), Willamette drops in on Whitworth, and 2-0 Amherst meets 2-0 Middlebury in the NESCAC. Also at 2-0 in the NESCAC are Trinity (CT) and Wesleyan (CT).
A whopping 35 teams are still looking for that elusive first win. Beloit and Knox are both 0-5, but one will finally get a win this Saturday when they meet up in Galesburg. Also at 0-5 are Earlham, Hiram, Juniata, MacMurray, McDaniel, Misericordia, Morrisville State, Nichols, Olivet, and Saint Lawrence. Anderson (IN), Averett, Bethany (WV), Buena Vista, Howard Payne, Lakeland, Luther, Maine Maritime, Maranatha Baptist, Marietta, Puget Sound, Rockford, Saint Vincent, Western Connecticut State, Wilmington (OH), and Wisconsin-River Falls are all 0-4, while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Occidental, and Pomona-Pitzer are 0-3 and at 0-2 we find a quartet from the NESCAC: Bowdoin, Colby, Hamilton, and Tufts. Rockford visits Lakeland, C-M-S visits Occidental, and Tufts faces Bowdoin in other meetings between the winless, so at most 31 winless teams will remain.
And our usual collection of curiosities:
at Hanover 33, Rose-Hulman 27 (OT)
at Plymouth State 20, Nichols 14 (OT)
at Framingham State 35, Massachusetts Maritime 28 (OT)
at Simpson (IA) 20, Wartburg 19
at MIT 28, Massachusetts-Dartmouth 27
Greensboro 34, at Methodist 33
Frostburg State 28, at Hartwick 26
at Loras 28, Luther 25
at Merchant Marine 34, Rensselaer 31
Saint Olaf 38, at Saint John’s (MN) 35
at DePauw 17, Washington (MO) 14
Whitworth 28, at Pacific (OR) 25
Virginia Lynchburg [n/a] 19, Southern Virginia 16
at Mount Ida 36, Norwich 32
Trinity (CT) 17, at Williams 13
Martin Luther 17, at Presentation 13
Done Been Trucked:
at Coast Guard 59, Fitchburg State 0
at Muskingum 45, Wilmington (OH) 0
Salve Regina 43, at Western New England 0
at Redlands 49, Occidental 7
Aurora 55, at Maranatha Baptist 14
Cornell (IA) 48, at Beloit 8
Defense Is an Optional Package:
Lewis & Clark 55, at Puget Sound 42
Chapman 49, at Whittier 35
College of New Jersey 55, Western Connecticut State 27
at Heidelberg 56, Marietta 24
Kean 51, at Morrisville State 28
Ferrum 49, at Averett 28
Christopher Newport 45, at Maryville (TN) 31
at Gallaudet 52, Anna Maria 24
at Illinois College 56, Lawrence 20
at Ohio Wesleyan 48, Hiram 24
at Union (NY) 49, Springfield 21
No Offense… But No Offense:
Concordia (WI) 6, at Benedictine (IL) 0
at Susquehanna 17, Muhlenberg 0
at Allegheny 15, Oberlin 3
Lake Forest 13, at Carroll (WI) 10