DII Football Roundup: No. 2 CSU-Pueblo escapes potential upset late at home

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GUNNISON, Colo. — No. 2 Colorado State University-Pueblo used a late nine-play, 97-yard drive to escape an upset at Western State Colorado University Saturday with a 26-23 win. The ThunderWolves went the length of the field and scored with 43 seconds remaining in regulation to secure their 40th consecutive regular season victory.

The 97-yard drive was set up by the Pack defense, as the ThunderWolves denied a fourth-and-one, potentially game-ending attempt by Western State at the CSU-Pueblo three-yard line.

QB Chris Bonner went 4-for-5 passing for 60 yards to get the Pack deep into Mountaineer territory. The last reception was a 16-yard catch-and-run by junior Kieren Duncan, who had the ball stripped away at the end of his run, but the referees called him down before the ball came out. The call upset the Western defense and in the process of arguing were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Pack gained 10 more yards down to the Western 11-yard-line.

On third-and-three from the Western four-yard-line, McDondle walked into the end zone to secure the victory.

The ThunderWolves totaled 350 yards of offense, while allowing 315, and Western totaled 25 first downs to CSU-Pueblo’s 21. Penalties and turnovers were a factor, as the Pack totaled nine penalties for 94 yards and turned the ball over four times.

No. 1 Northwest Missouri State 37, Central Missouri State 15

MARYVILLE, Mo. Junior quarterback Brady Bolles walked into the locker room at halftime a bit upset despite Northwest Missouri State holding a 10-point lead over Central Missouri. He told his teammates that the only team beating Northwest was Northwest.

The Bearcats came together in the third quarter like a tight family responding to adversity. Northwest scored two touchdowns and took a 24-point lead into the final quarter.

A few errors in the fourth quarter allowed Central Missouri to briefly close the gap, but Northwest had a big enough cushion to come away with a rather easy 37-15 victory on beautiful Saturday afternoon. Northwest had a dominant first half, racking up 257 totals yards compared to just 25 yards in 30 plays for Central.

No. 3 Minnesota State-Mankato 58, Minot State 0

MANKATO, Minn. — Third-ranked Minnesota State kept up its home field dominance at Blakeslee Stadium Saturday afternoon as it shutout the Minot State Beavers 58-0.

With the win, MSU improves to 3-0 on the season while MISU falls to 0-3. MSU’s shutout marks the second time this season MSU has shutout an opponent. The last time Minnesota State shutout two opponents in a season came during the 2011 season against Minnesota Crookston (42-0) and Southwest Minnesota State (38-0).

The Maverick defense once again kept its opponent off the scoreboard at home as it held the Beavers to 217 total yards of offense, while coming up with three interceptions.

No. 8 Pittsburg State 42, Topeka 0

TOPEKA, Kan. — Eighth-ranked Pittsburg State University rushed out to a 35-0 lead, rode out a 75-minute weather delay and coasted to a 42-0 shutout victory against Wasburn University Saturday.

The Gorillas notched their second shutout in three games in blanking the Ichabods while Anthony Abenoja completed 19 of 33 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns in the contest. Jeff Seybold carried the ball 17 times for 122 yards and a score.

Game officials halted the game due to lightning in the area and the two teams waited out a 75-minute delay, before resuming the game at 5:15 pm.

Pitt State’s Skylarr Gatson provided the lone score following the delay when he stepped in front of a Mitch Buhler pass attempt and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown and the game’s final 42-0 margin.

The game marked the first time the Ichabods had been shut out in 174 contests, dating back to the 1998 season.

No. 9 Ohio Dominican 38, Ashland 20

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two fourth quarter touchdowns helped No. 9 Ohio Dominican pull away from Ashland with a 38-20 victory on Saturday in GLIAC play, extending the Panthers’ regular season win streak to 18 consecutive games.

Leading 24-20 going into the quarter, senior quarterback Mark Miller connected with classmate Casey Williams on a four yard touchdown pass that gave ODU an 11-point cushion. After a swap of punts, the Panthers closed the game with a nine-play, 80-yard drive, capped off by Miller’s career-best fifth touchdown pass — this one to senior Nick McKnight — to account for the final margin.

Ashland entered the game tops in the GLIAC in scoring (53.5 points per game), second in total offense (537.5 yards per game) and passing offense (275.0 yards per game) and third in rushing (262.5 yards per game). The Panthers defense kept the Eagles in check, holding Ashland to just 303 yards on the day, including 119 in the air.

The Eagles managed just 97 yards in the second half, including 17 in the decisive fourth quarter and the only first down they gained in the fourth came via a penalty.

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