As we close the books on Week 1 of the 2016 D2 football season (with two Sunday games to be played as of this writing), we saw a few intriguing results which look to have caught people off guard. Let’s take one last swing around Week 1 in the Weekend Edition of the D2 Football WRAP.[divider]
Notre Dame (OH) Upsets Charleston (WV)
One of the biggest storylines coming out of BR-83 Notre Dame (Ohio)'s 44-17 win over BR-36 Charleston was the performance of senior quarterback Malik Grove, who threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 92 yards and another score.
“I thought Malik did an outstanding job of managing our offense today,” NDC head coach Mike Jacobs told HERO Sports via email. “He made good decisions and protected the football. His ability to scramble and create plays was big in extending drives.”
— NotreDameCollege FB (@NDCFB) September 3, 2016
While it was the Malik Grove show on offense, it was the defense, a point of emphasis for Jacobs in his first season has the Falcons’ head coach, during the preseason. NDC held the Golden Eagles to 153 passing yards, forcing four turnovers and getting clutch stops when they needed them.
“I am extremely proud of our young men’s efforts today,” Jacobs said. “We were able to win the turnover battle and our defense held Charleston to 4-of-15 on third down conversions.”
NDC plays their next two games away from South Euclid, traveling to BR-157 Virginia-Wise this Saturday and BR-156 Malone on Sept. 17 before a critical Mountain East Conference showdown with BR-6 Shepherd, who shook off some early rust to take a 27-12 win over BR-140 West Virginia Wesleyan.
WOLVES SACK SACRAMENTO STATE
Remember last season when BR-74 Western Oregon pulled off the upset in Monmouth over North Alabama?
It looks as though FCS Sacramento State didn’t get the memo as Western Oregon opened the season with a 38-30 win in Sacramento.
Trebriel Larry’s interception on Sac State’s second offensive possession led to the Wolves’ first touchdown, a Malik Braxton 14-yard pass to Paul Revis, midway through the first quarter. Western Oregon would not surrender the lead the rest of the game.
Revis kept the momentum going with a 74-yard punt return with three-and-a-half minutes left in the first quarter to give Western Oregon a 14-0 lead.
The Hornets, however, didn’t go away quietly as they battled back throughout the game and had a chance to potentially force overtime in the closing seconds of the game. Danny Hankins closed the door on the Sac State rally with an interception in the end zone on a fourth-and-13 from the Western Oregon 37 with 19 seconds left.
Phillip Fenumiai and Nick Duckworth split duties at quarterback for Western Oregon, combining to go 14-of-24 for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wolves look to carry that momentum into Saturday’s home opener vs. BR-91 Central Washington.
QUINCY, KINGSVILLE ALSO SCORE FCS WINS
Courtesy of Texas A&M Kingsville Athletics
Western Oregon wasn’t the only D2 team to pull off an upset over an FCS opponent on Saturday.
After a 2-9 2015 season, the bar wasn’t exactly set high heading into 2016 for BR-49 Texas A&M-Kingsville. So, naturally, the Javalinas marched into Gayle & Tom Benson Stadium in San Antonio Saturday night and boogie away with a 31-22 win over FCS Incarnate Word.
Myles Carr was nearly perfect under center for Kingsville, completing 23-of-28 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns to power the Javalinas’ offense, while Braedon Robinson recorded four tackles for loss, including two sacks, to pace a defense which held the Cardinals to 268 yards of total offense.
Despite two blocked kicks in the first half, the Hawks got a big performance from sophomore quarterback Robbie Kelley, who threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing while rushing for 60 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. Cody Leonard led the Quincy defense with 10 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, while recording one of the Hawks’ two interceptions on the night.
Quincy’s win over Drake marked the first win over an FCS team since a 2009 win over Indiana State.
HILLSDALE CHARGES AHEAD
For a team in their final season in the GLIAC before joining the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, BR-100 Hillsdale seems to want to go out on a high note. There was no better way to accomplish that than a 30-24 win over BR-58 Indianapolis inside Muddy Watters Stadium Saturday night.
Hillsdale (1-0) sent a message at the start of the game by executing an onside kick. The Chargers would strike first with a pair of Steven Mette field goals to take a 6-0 lead before UIndy (0-1) answered with 12:10 left in the first half on a Jake Purichia 40-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Willis to give the Greyhounds a 7-6 lead.
The lead would see-saw back-and-forth for the rest of the game before a Chance Stewart to Drew Zwiers one-yard touchdown pass with 10:27 left gave Hillsdale a 27-24 lead. Mette would boot through his third field goal of the game with 1:23 left to ice the game.
The Greyhounds lost their first season opener since a 37-14 loss to Ashland to open the 2012 season and just their second time they’ve lost an opening game over the last 10 years.
BUT, WAIT … THERE’S MORE!
The two newest D2 football programs earned wins in their first games as varsity programs. BR-52 West Florida opened their inaugural season with a 45-0 road win over NAIA Ave Maria in a game which was delayed for over two hours due to weather. Meanwhile, in Odessa, Texas, BR-51 UT Permian Basin defeated D3 Sul Ross State 27-6 thanks to a pair of touchdowns from wideout Kristian Brown.
BR-73 UNC Pembroke capped off a 5-1 week for D2 independents with a 20-17 come-from-behind win at BR-92 Winston-Salem State. The Braves trailed 17-0 late in the second quarter before a 20-point rally, capped off by a Matt Davis 29-yard field goal with 1:19 left, gave Pembroke their first-ever win at Bowman-Gray Stadium.
Week 1 saw a couple of thrilling overtime finishes. BR-96 Northern Michigan trailed BR-147 Lake Erie 19-0 before clawing back and forcing overtime, when Jake Mayon’s six-yard touchdown run in the extra session gave the Wildcats a 38-35 win in Painesville, Ohio.
Meanwhile, in Sioux Falls, BR-19 Augustana and BR-68 Northern State battled back-and-forth before Northern State’s Nathan Shaw kicked a 21-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. After Shaw booted a 33-yard field goal in bonus time, Trey Heid hit Matt Keller in the back of the end zone to give Augie a 37-34 win.
THE REST OF THE SLATE
Friday, Sept. 2
Bloomsburg 24, Stonehill 20
Saturday, Sept. 3
Fairmont State 30, West Virginia State 20
Concord 32, West Liberty 25
Harding 38, Oklahoma Baptist 7
Concordia-St. Paul 17, Mary 0
Findlay 37, Saginaw Valley 19
Wayne State (Mich.) 28, Northwood 3
Chadron State 17, Fort Lewis 10
Black Hills State 34, Adams State 33
Colorado Mesa 34, Western State 14
Gannon 31, Southern Connecticut 9
Edinboro 31, St. Joseph's (Ind.) 30
Shippensburg 16, American International 9
West Chester 31, Bentley 24
South Dakota Mines 64, William Jewell 41
LIU Post 14, Virginia Union 12
Slippery Rock 31, New Haven 28
Seton Hill 50, Bowie State 48
Assumption 45, Kutztown 21
Limestone 35, Shaw 6
Wingate 38, Johnson C. Smith 28
Virginia State 34, Lenoir-Rhyne 9
West Georgia 23, Catawba 3
Benedict 5, Livingstone 3
Chowan 14, Fayetteville State 13
Florida Tech 42, Newberry 28
Valdosta State 16, Albany State 7
Tuskegee 36, Clark Atlanta 13
Midwestern State 31, Truman 19
Charleston Southern (FCS) 57, Kentucky State 7
Portland State (FCS) 43, Central Washington 26
Idaho State (FCS) 47, Simon Fraser 3
Bryant (FCS) 41, Merrimack 20
North Carolina A&T (FCS) 62, St. Augustine's 0
Sam Houston State (FCS) 59, Oklahoma Panhandle 21
McNeese State (FCS) 33, Tarleton State 3
Dayton (FCS) 31, Central State 19
San Diego (FCS) 27, Western New Mexico 0
Mississippi College 28, Point (NAIA) 16
Malone 39, Taylor (NAIA) 33
Langston (NAIA) 23, Lincoln (Mo.) 13
Lane 44, Texas College (NAIA) 6
Morehouse 19, Edward Waters (NAIA) 13
Missouri S&T 62, Bacone (NAIA) 14