The D2 football regular season is in the books, as are our Play of the Week polls. So now that the D2 Football Playoffs are practically here, it's time for you to decide which of these highlights should be the 2016 D2 Football Play of the Year.
Much like how the nominees were chosen throughout the season, the only way you can vote is the poll below. Vote up to once per day until the poll closes Friday, November 25 at noon Pacific.
And now, the top 12 D2 football highlights of the 2016 season:
MARSHALL MADNESS AS SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA STUNS UMD
Trailing Minnesota Duluth 38-35 with 23 seconds left in their season opener, Southwest Minnesota quarterback Blake Gimbel found Ty Steffensen in the end zone for a 14 yard touchdown pass and the 42-38 win, the first by Southwest Minnesota over the Bulldogs since 1999, sparking quite the celebration in Marshall.
CHARLESTON'S TRICK-PLAY FOR TWO
— HERO Sports D2FB (@HEROSportsD2FB) September 9, 2016
Trailing 22-20 after a touchdown pass with 23 seconds left in the third quarter, Charleston pulled off a perfect trick play, as Blaine Stewart hooked up Ryan Gamber to complete the two-point conversion. Shepherd, however, would score 16 straight points in the fourth quarter to escape Charleston with the win.
THE RALEIGH-ING CRY: NEWBERRY YELLS THEIR WAY TO A WIN
Yeldell's touchdown pic.twitter.com/9wBZazSZ0O
— Newberry Gameday (@NewberryGameday) September 18, 2016
Newberry picked up a critical win against North Greenville in an early season game with potential Super Region 2 playoff implications. Quarterback Raleigh Yeldell battled his way into the end zone from four yards out, escaping a couple of tackles along the way, for the game winning score for the Wolves.
ASHLAND'S BRANDON GENCY: HEEEEE STRIPS AND SCORES
— HERO Sports D2FB (@HEROSportsD2FB) September 24, 2016
Ashland linebacker Brandon Gency strips the ball out of the hands of Ferris State quarterback Reggie Bell and takes it all the way in for a 39-yard scoop and score in the Eagles' 39-31 upset win in Big Rapids.
WHAT CAN (JUSTIN) BROWN DO FOR YOU, EMPORIA STATE?
— Jonathan Deutsch (@wibwJonathan) October 1, 2016
Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers might be the best wide receiver in the NFL. But, can he snag a ball one-handed while losing his lid the way Emporia State wideout Justin Brown (no relation) did in the Hornets’ 35-21 win over Central Oklahoma?
REVERSING DIRECTION: IUP'S LENNY WILLIAMS WORKS HIS MAGIC
— Creighton Rabs (@RabsReporter) October 9, 2016
Indiana (Pa.) may have lost the Coal Bowl to California (Pa.), but the Crimson Hawks faithful got to see Lenny Williams at his best, such as this reverse to Allen Wright which went for a 22-yard touchdown.
YOU'LL FLIP OVER OUACHITA'S KRIS OLIVER’S 56-YARD TD
I got to see first hand how impressive a talent Ouachita Baptist tailback Kris Oliver was back in September. In a thrilling 40-37 four-overtime win over Southern Arkansas, Oliver proved my point, taking a direct snap, evading several defenders and flipping into the end zone on this 56-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
UTPB'S KRISTIAN BROWN SAYS 'LOOK, MA … ONE HAND'
— Local 2 Sports (@Local2_Sports) October 23, 2016
Texas-Permian Basin fell into a 21-7 hole in the first quarter against Oklahoma Panhandle and spent the rest of the day trying to claw their way back. They managed to pull it to within four late in the fourth quarter thanks to this insane touchdown grab from Kristian Brown. They ultimately lost 54-44, but no doubt this catch will be remembered.
WINGATE'S B.J. MUCKELVENE MAKES MOST OF HIS CARRIES
— Wingate Bulldogs (@WU_Bulldogs) October 16, 2016
In a 49-6 romp over Lenoir-Rhyne, Wingate freshman B.J. Muckelvene recorded his second career carry, which just happened to be for a 59-yard touchdown on a perfectly executed reverse. Muckelvene also scored on his first career carry for the Bulldogs in a season opening win over Johnson C. Smith.
TANNER HUDSON ELUDES THREE DEFENDERS FOR THE SOUTHERN ARKANSAS TD
Southern Arkansas tight end Tanner Hudson eluded three Southeastern Oklahoma defenders and rumbled 61 yards for a second quarter touchdown as the Muleriders pulled off the 38-24 win over the Savage Storm.
JOSEPH SADLER'S ONE-HANDED SNAG AND SCORE FOR TARLETON
There sure have been a lot of highlights coming out of Stephenville, Texas lately. And that's no accident, given how Tarleton State's football team have been battling all season. Joseph Sadler is the latest Texan to appear on our top plays polls thanks to this one-handed touchdown grab against Midwestern State.
CARLSON TIP-TOES TO THE END ZONE FOR SOUTHERN NAZARENE
— KALMAN (@snutailgater) November 12, 2016
Southern Nazarene hasn't had a lot to cheer about since their transition from the NAIA, but, for the second straight season, the Crimson Storm closed out their season with a win over Oklahoma Baptist. Reese Carlson's 32-yard touchdown catch, which saw him tip-toe along the sideline to stay inbounds, proved decisive in the 20-10 win.