Category Archives: Division II football

NFL playoffs: Here are the 26 Division II football players in the postseason

(From NCAA.com, please see the full article HERE.)

The 2019 NFL playoffs kick off on Saturday, Jan. 5 when the Houston Texans battle the Indianapolis Colts in the first Wild Card game of the postseason. Five former DII football players will hit the field for that game.

In fact, all eight teams playing on Wild Card weekend will feature former Division II football players. The numbers are up from last season when 22 former DII ballers were spread out across 11 teams in the NFL playoffs. One year later, 26 players from 10 different rosters* enter the postseason. Only the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints are not represented on their active rosters by any former DII football players.

MORE: An incredibly early look at the 2019 preseason top 10

Here are some interesting numbers from the 2019 NFL playoffs:

2 — Players from Grand Valley State and California (Pa) in the postseason, the only two schools with multiple players in the playoffs.

3 — DII players returning to the playoffs from last season. Ethan Westbrooks returns for the Rams while both Tyreek Hill and Ron Parker return for the Chiefs. Morgan Fox (Colorado State-Pueblo) played for the Rams last season but is currently on injured reserve.

 5 —  Former DII players on the Baltimore Ravens roster, more than any other team in the NFL playoffs. The Los Angeles Rams are right behind with four.

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NFL

@NFL

.@BCarr39 intercepts Rivers on the first play!

9 — Defensive backs, including safeties, from DII schools in the NFL playoffs, the most from any position. Wide receivers were the second most represented with five.

11 — DII players on NFC rosters, up one from last season.

15 — DII players on AFC rosters, up three from last year.

MORE: 11 record-breaking numbers from the 2018 DII football championsip

NAME POSITION SCHOOL
Baltimore Ravens
John Brown WR Pittsburg State
Brandon Carr CB Grand Valley State
Matthew Judon LB Grand Valley State
Zach Sieler DT Ferris State
Brandon Williams DT Missouri Southern
Chicago Bears
Eric Kush OG California (Pa)
Adam Shaheen TE Ashland
Dallas Cowboys
C.J. Goodwin CB California (Pa)
Jeff Heath S Saginaw Valley State
Chris Jones P Carson-Newman
Houston Texans
Tyrell Adams LB West Georgia
Vyncint Smith WR Limestone
Indianapolis Colts
Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
Kenny Moore II CB Valdosta State
Grover Stewart DT Albany State
Kansas City Chiefs
Tyreek Hill WR West Alabama
Ron Parker DB Newberry
Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler RB Western State
Jeff Richards CB Emporia State
Tyrell Williams WR Western Oregon
Los Angeles Rams
Marqui Christian S MSU Texas
Matt Longacre LB Northwest Missouri
Ethan Westbrooks DE West Texas A&M
Greg Zuerlein K Missouri Western
Philadelphia Eagles
Tre Sullivan S Shepherd
Seattle Seahawks
David Moore WR East Central

* — Active rosters per NFL.com team sites only. Practice squad, future contracts, and injured reserve players are not included.

MORE: Programs with the most titles | DII football news

What we learned in the first round of the DII Football Championship

(This was run on NCAA.com, please see the full article HERE)

Welcome to the 2018 DII Football Championship. Or should we call it Upset City?

The first round of the tournament went just as expected. That is to say, it was completely unpredictable.

No. 7 Wingate started the day by taking down No. 2-seeded West Georgia, the No. 10 team in DII football. No 6 New Haven followed suit, taking down No. 3 West Chester in a Super Region One that saw all three games end in upset fashion. Two former national champions entered the day ranked as sixth seeds. Both — Northwest Missouri State and Texas A&M-Commerce — advanced in convincing fashion. All said, there were seven lower-seeded teams that punched their ticket to the second round.

MORE: Interactive bracket | Printable bracket | Buy 2018 championship tickets

That didn’t mean some of the top teams didn’t perform, however. Here’s what we learned in the first round of the DII Football Championship.

Northwest Missouri State is back in postseason form

Last year was an odd one for the Bearcats. They battled injury, actually had a losing streak (albeit two whole games) and were eliminated in the first round in a heartbreaking 21-18 loss to Ashland. The 2018 Northwest Missouri State team put together a complete effort in the first round and look like that scary team that ran to back-to-back undefeated seasons.

Northwest Football@NWBearcatFB

TOUCHDOWN BEARCATS! Northwest’s Isaiah Strayhorn scores his second rushing touchdown of the day – this one from three yards out – and gives the Bearcats a 35-17 lead at Grand Valley State. 4:06 left in the 4th qtr. Northwest has rushed for 313 yards against the Lakers

Freshman quarterback Braden Wright has garnered most of the talk this season with an MIAA Freshman of the Year campaign, but it was his running game that picked it up today. Isaiah Strayhorn averaged 15.5 yards per carry in amassing 171 yards and two touchdowns while Josh Caldwell added 147 yards and two touchdowns as well. That notorious Rich Wright defense did its thing, limiting a strong Grand Valley State offense to just 239 yards and 17 points. Austen Eskew powered the pass rush with three sacks while Jake Richards added nine tackles and two interceptions. The Bearcats played a well-balanced game and next week’s showdown with No. 2 Ferris State may just be the game to watch.

MORE: We picked our bracket and sleepers for the DII Football Championship

Super Chargers fueled by great quarterback play

There are two Chargers — New Haven and Hillsdale — in the DII Football Championship. Both were underdogs, both are in the second round. Both were fueled by the tremendous play of their quarterbacks.

Heading into the week, NCAA.com called Hillsdale the Super Region One sleeper, mainly because, “the Chance Stewart to Trey Brock connection is as fun as any to watch in DII, giving them a dynamic duo that may surprise a few people.” The two delivered in the first round, as Stewart threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, with 170 of those yards and two of those touchdowns going to Brock. Hillsdale now has a date with No. 1-seeded Notre Dame (OH) in the second round, and its pass attack should be a fun counter to the Jaleel McLaughlin-led rush-heavy Falcons offense.

New Haven Football@NewHavenNation

TOUCHDOWN Ju’an Williams to tie the game!! 🏈⚡️

New Haven: 28
West Chester: 28

New Haven rolled through its DII slate perfect until dropping a thrilling 17-13 loss in the season finale to LIU Post. The win cost them the Northeast-10 championship, but perhaps the end result lit a fire that makes them a dangerous threat this postseason. LIU Post was upset by Slippery Rock while the unranked Chargers, with an obvious chip on their shoulder, went blow-for-blow with No. 8 West Chester, winning 35-28 and moving on to a showdown against The Rock.

Both quarterbacks played well in the game, but it was New Haven’s Ajee Patterson who had the edge. The Chargers scored five touchdowns and Patterson had all of them. He threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns and though he only netted four yards on the ground, he added two one-yard rushing touchdowns. His West Chester counterpart A.J. Long had a fine day as well but fell one touchdown short.

MORE: A region-by-region look at the DII Football Championship

Slippery Rock’s Wes Hills can run

The Rock was one of two No. 7 seeds to advance. They went into Brookville, NY facing an LIU Post rush defense that was No. 10 in DII football. That didn’t seem to bother Slippery Rock running back Wes Hills one bit.

Rock Athletics

@Rock_Athletics

FB: Let’s talk about this guy for a second. Today, Jake Chapla set the SRU single-season record for made field goals (15) and took over sole possession of the all-time career record for made field goals (37). Oh yea… he’s only a junior.

Hills found a second gear five weeks ago and has been borderline unstoppable since minus a “rough” outing against West Chester in the PSAC Championship when he still ran for 92 yards. Hills posted three 200-yard games in a row to close out the regular season and he came close to another one Saturday. The senior running back ripped off 167 yards and a touchdown against a Pioneers defense that allowed just 93.7 yards per game this season. Next up is another NE10 foe in a New Haven team that allowed 169.5 yards per game and 13 touchdowns on the ground this season.

MORE: Watch the DII plays of the week for Week 11

Tarleton State is for real

In the most complete game of the first round, the Texans utterly dominated Azusa Pacific 58-0. Everyone came to play and put up some serious numbers in the process.

Running back Xavier Turner has exploded in the second half of the season, now posting seven-straight 100-yard games. Five of those games were better than 164 yards rushing, and Saturday was more of the same as Turner posted his third 200-yard performance of the season while scoring three touchdowns. Despite the ground control, quarterback Ben Holmes was in charge as well, responsible for three touchdowns of his own.

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Tarleton Athletics@TarletonSports

TARLETON PLAYOFF RECORD!

Xavier Turner is the first Texan in school history to rush for 200 yards in an NCAA playoff game! 206 yds, 3 TDs Texans lead 51-0 heading into 4Q

And how about that defense? The Texans posted their second straight 58-0 shutout and have now outscored their opponents 175-3 over the last three weeks. Up next is the defending national champion Texas A&M-Commerce, who the Texans beat on October 13, 47-21. But don’t think this will be an easy matchup.

Last season, the Lions entered the tournament the No. 5 seed and opened the postseason with three consecutive upsets, including taking down Super Region Four No. 1-seed Central Washington and the No. 1-ranked Minnesota State Mavericks. Head coach Colby Carthel whipped up some of that postseason magic in the first round, lighting up DII football’s third-ranked scoring defense with 33 points. That Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs defense came to play, scoring two touchdowns, but so did the Lions, holding the Bulldogs to just 188 total yards and scoring a couple of touchdowns itself.

Throw away the records and stats. This Lions vs. Texans matchup is a Lone Star Conference rivalry on DII football’s biggest stage. Be ready for a war.

Three surprises that shouldn’t be all that surprising

Bowie State defeated West Alabama in a shootout. Amir Hall still flies under-the-radar but shouldn’t any longer. The stud quarterback threw for 360 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 51 yards and two more touchdowns. Next up is No. 1 Valdosta State. If there is a quarterback in DII football that can hang with the high-octane Blazers’ offense, it’s Hall.

Colorado State-Pueblo’s defense held Colorado School of Mines to 37 yards rushing and 17 points. Both were the Orediggers lowest outputs of the season. Brandon Payer, Darius Williams, Kyle Rosenbrock, and company are the real deal, holding Isaac Harker under 300 yards passing for the first time since Oct. 6 and just the third time all season (twice were against the ThunderWolves). They stuffed Cameron Mayberry, the No. 5 rusher in DII football, to 1.55 yards per carry. It was sweet revenge as Mayberry scorched the ThunderWolves for 203 yards and three touchdowns earlier this season. They face No. 1-seeded Minnesota State next.

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CSU-Pueblo Football@CSUPFootball

TOUCHDOWN!!! Another BIG RUN by Marché Dennard, as he goes 40 yards on 3rd-and-2 to the end zone!! PAT blocked, Pack lead 30-10 with 12:04 left in the 4th.

Lenoir-Rhyne scored 43 points and rolled to 22-point victory. The Bears are also a bit under-the-radar, but this offense finds a way to score points in bunches without having any players atop the leaderboards. Lenoir-Rhyne has not scored less than 30 points all season. Next up is the surprise Wingate Bulldogs who convincingly upset No. 10 West Georgia. These two have faced once before this season, with the Bears coming out on top 31-24. Expect another close one in Round 2.

MORE: Programs with the most DII football titles | DII football news

DII Football Championship: Everything you need to know about Sunday’s selection show

(From NCAA.com, please see the full article HERE)

The DII Football Championship selection show is set for 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 11. The heavyweights of DII football anxiously await their postseason fates, hopeful to fill out one of the 28 spots in the tournament.

The 2017 DII Football Championship was a memorable one, as it pitted two first-timers against each other. Harlon Hill Award-winner Luis Perez led Texas A&M-Commerce to its first DII title over West Florida. The Argos’ remarkable run was unmatched by any other in history, as they made it all the way to the finals in just their second year as a football program.

Continue reading DII Football Championship: Everything you need to know about Sunday’s selection show

DII football: No. 3 West Georgia, No. 5 Valdosta State highlight big final Saturday

(From NCAA.com, please see the full article HERE)

This is it. The final weekend of the DII football season. With several conference championships and a couple of top 25 showdowns on the bill, there is plenty of action to pay close attention to as Sunday’s bracket selection show awaits.

Let’s take a look at the games that stand out Saturday:

No. 3 West Georgia at No. 5 Valdosta State

Top 5 matchup. Check. Conference championship. Check. No press here at all. Just a whole bunch of playoff implications on the line.

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VSU Athletics@BlazerAthletics

Valdosta State and West Georgia are currently No. 1 and No. 2 in Super Region Two. While neither should have to concern themselves with making the postseason, there is a possible first-round bye at stake. The winner will be the lone remaining undefeated team standing in the conference, all but locking up that No. 1 seed.

The Blazers have the top scoring offense in DII football, putting up a scorching 52.8 points per game. The Wolves are no slouches, as quarterback Willie Candler and running back Devontae Jackson lead the No. 2 scoring offense in the Gulf South Conference at 35.9 points per game. The Wolves also have the top defense in the GSC, so this could be a classic chess match. Whichever coach makes the right move to counter may find his team the victor.

Whatever happens, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect finale to the GSC season. Two of the 10 undefeated teams in all of DII football get to go head-to-head with so much on the line.

MORE: A top 10 shakeup in the latest AFCA poll

No. 9 West Chester at Slippery Rock

This is for all the marbles in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The PSAC Championship game will be nothing less than a thriller.

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Rock Athletics

@Rock_Athletics

Both of these teams can put up serious points. The PSAC title bout will feature two of the more exciting quarterbacks in DII football. The Golden Rams A.J. Long is second on the team in rushing (557 yards, six touchdowns), while throwing for 1,767 yards and 18 touchdowns. Roland Rivers III didn’t even claim the starting job for The Rock until Week 3, but he’s been sensational, a perfect 8-0 in his starts while throwing for 1,987 yards and 21 touchdowns. Rivers can run, as well, but he doesn’t have to. Wes Hills has been a beast, piling up 1,113 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He has three-straight 200 yard rushing games and appears to be heating up at the right time.

Slippery Rock is hanging tight at the No. 7 spot in Super Region One. A victory on the big stage will propel them into the postseason. A loss may end it on Saturday.

MORE: DII football Week 10 by the numbers

No. 20 Hillsdale at No. 12 Indianapolis

Hillsdale rose from the unranked just in time to capture the Great Midwest Athletic Conference title last week, taking down undefeated Tiffin in dominating fashion, 48-26. The Chargers challenge themselves by going out of conference to face a top 25 team in the closing week of the season.

Talk about postseason preparation.

UIndy is looking to return to the postseason after a first-round exit to Harding last season. Al McKellar and Toriano Clinton are a dangerous two-headed monster out of the backfield, combining for 1,590 yards and 20 touchdowns. Hillsdale’s quarterback Chance Stewart became the program’s all-time touchdown leader last weekend and hopes there is more in store. He’s already thrown for 2,740 yards and 23 touchdowns, so his first career 3.000-yard season is in his sight.

It’s not often you get a Week 11 top 25 matchup that pits two conference champions against each other. Enjoy this one if you can.

Chadron State at No. 15 Colorado School of Mines  🎥 WATCH LIVE

Both of these teams can put up points with anyone in the country. The Mines offense puts up a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference-best 50.2 points per game, while Chadron State drops 39.1. Last week, the Orediggers fell from the undefeated, upset in the final seconds by Dixie State 52-45. Earlier this season, Chadron State laid down the upset, taking down then-No. 14 Colorado Mesa 38-34.

This is RMAC football.

Chadron State can leave its mark with a win in this one. Sitting at 7-2, they trail the Orediggers and Colorado State-Pueblo (both 8-1) by just one game. The Mines offense is led by some of the best in DII football: quarterback Isaac Harker is No. 3 with 3,201 yards passing, running back Cameron Mayberry is No. 6 with 1,377 yards on the ground, and wide receiver Brody Oliver is No. 8 with 1,067 yards receiving and tied for No. 1 with 19 touchdowns. It won’t be easy for the Eagles, but don’t count them out.

Running back Kevin Coy, Jr. should eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in this one and already has 14 touchdowns. Quarterback Dalton Holst has 20 passing touchdowns. This game should be good old fashioned, explosive RMAC football, and could well come down to whoever has the ball last. The Mines offense is hoping it’s them to keep their postseason hopes alive.

No. 4 Ouachita Baptist at Henderson State

The Reddies are 5-5 and not playing for anything. Anything but bragging rights that is.

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Ouachita Tiger Football@OuachitaFB

Welcome to the Battle of the Ravine. It’s one of the coolest rivalries in all of college football. It’s certainly the closest.

[It is] literally across the street. If the wind is right, you can hit a golf ball from the end zone of Henderson State’s Carpenter-Haygood Stadium to the end zone of Ouachita Baptist’s Cliff Harris Stadium with a driver and 3-iron. The Reddies golf coach has done it. It’s a five-minute walk for Henderson State’s players to that away game, with state police stopping traffic on two-lane U.S. 67, so they can cross. The rivalry drew 12,228 in 2014 in Henderson State’s stadium, which was 1,500 more than every man, woman, child and football fan in Arkadelphia, Ark.”

Last season, the Tigers snapped Henderson State’s record 31-game road win streak with a thrilling 49-42 victory. This year? The Tigers are a perfect 10-0 and No. 4 in the country. You better be sure that Henderson State is awaiting its chance to play spoiler and end Ouachita Baptist’s current win streak.

But wait, there’s more:

No. 13 LIU Post faces off against New Haven for the Northeast-10 title. Both teams are undefeated in DII football play and this clash of the NE10 titans could boost the winner to the top spot should Notre Dame (OH) see an upset in the final week.

No. 24 Tiffin battles a tough unranked Findlay team. Not only did the Dragons drop in the AFCA rankings after their loss to Hillsdale, but they also fell to No. 8 in Super Region One. Their postseason hopes hang on the final score of this one (you can watch on NCAA DII Twitter and Facebook).

MORE: Regional rankings | Programs with the most DII football titles

DII football: These are the best stats and numbers from Week 10

(From NCAA.com, view the full article HERE)

Three upsets in the top 15. A tremendous amount of rushing yards piled up on the ground. Two teams combining for over 1,300 yards. Conference titles decided.

Yes, indeed, it was just another wild weekend in DII football.

Let’s break down the box scores and look at what stood out in Week 10.

MORE: Week 9 AFCA poll takeaways | Regional rankings

The top 25 by the numbers for Week 10

2

Shutouts posted by the top 25, the same number as last week. For the second week in a row, No. 12 Colorado State-Pueblo’s defense posted a zero, blanking Black Hills State 59-0. No. 5 Minnesota Duluth also handed out a goose egg to Mary, defeating them in dominating 55-0 fashion.

3

Upsets in the top 15. No. 6 Colorado School of Mines nearly pulled off the comeback, but unranked Dixie State answered in the final minute of play to win 52-45. Fort Hays State made its case for the postseason, defeating No. 10 Northwest Missouri State by one point, 17-16. No. 25 Hillsdale upended No. 15 Tiffin 48-26, taking the Great Midwest Athletic Conference along the way.

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Hillsdale College Chargers@HCChargers

Three was also the number of running backs who eclipsed the 100-yard mark for No. 8 Tarleton State. Xavier Turner piled up 128 yards and three touchdowns, while Adam Berryman added 114 and three touchdowns with Daniel McCants putting up 107 yards and a touchdown of his own.

MORE: Best mascots and nicknames in DII sports

10

Weeks in a row where Ferris State’s Jayru Campbell has produced at least three touchdowns. For those keeping score at home, that’s every week this season. Campbell threw for 142 yards and two touchdowns this week while rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 40 total touchdowns on the season.

MORE: Best dual-threat quarterbacks in DII football

11

Teams that scored more than 40 points this week, the same exact number as last week. No. 19 Central Washington led the way with 74 points as the top 25 teams combined for 883 total points on the week. No. 22 Indiana (Pa.) had the lowest output, though it was still able to hold on 13-6 over Edinboro.

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23

Consecutive wins in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for No. 1 Minnesota State. We’ll just leave this counter up until further notice. The Mustangs didn’t have it as easy this past week, taking down Sioux Falls, 31-21. The Cougars were the last NSIC team to defeat Minnesota State way back on October 29, 2016.

25-2

That’s the Bearcats’ record at home over the past four years, including a run of 21 straight games from the end of 2014 to the end of 2017. The only two losses have come by one-point each to Fort Hays State, this time the 17-16 grudge match.

MORE: Fort Hays State upsets No. 10 Northwest Missouri State, makes a postseason statement

514

Total rushing yards by Central Washington in its 74-28 victory over Southwest Baptist. Two running backs — Cedric Cooper (203) and Michael Roots (140) — broke the 100-yard mark, while quarterback Riley Hennessey chipped in 82 yards and running back Christian Cummings added another 61 to lead the attack. The four combined for nine touchdowns, with Cooper punching in four.

MORE: DII football’s most scenic stadiums

1,318

Combined total yards in Dixie State’s upset over No. 6 Colorado School of Mines. It comes one week after the Mines offense combined to put up 126 points, the most in a DII football game this season. The Trailblazers put up 692 yards, led by quarterback Michael Sanders’ 553-yard day. That set the school record, topping his own mark of 527 he set two weeks prior.

MORE: Dixie State stuns No. 6 Colorado School of Mines in an offensive explosion

Here is a position-by-position breakdown of this weekend’s standout performers in the top 25:

QUARTERBACKS

QUARTERBACK SCHOOL STATS
Nick Watson Tiffin 387 yards, 3 TD
Isaac Harker Colorado School of Mines 327 yards, 3 TD
Eric Nickel Kutztown 323 total yards, 5 total TD
Willie Candler West Georgia 307 yards, 2 TD
Layton Rabb MSU Texas 300 yards, 2 TD

 

RUNNING BACKS

RUNNING BACK SCHOOL STATS
Cameron Mayberry Colorado School of Mines 224 yards, 2 TD
Cedric Cooper Central Washington 203 yards, 4 TD
Ovie Urevbu Texas A&M-Commerce 195 yards
Michael Roots Central Washington 140 yards, 2 TD
Vincent Johnson MSU Texas 135 yards, 3 TD

 

MORE: Adam Thielen’s college numbers from Minnesota State

RECEIVERS

RECEIVER SCHOOL STATS
Marvell Ross Notre Dame (OH) 186 yards, 2 TD
Laperion Perry West Georgia 183 yards, 2 TD
Trey Brock Hillsdale 156 yards, 4 TD
Lex Rosario West Chester 121 yards, 1 TD
Malik Higgins Indianapolis 119 yards

Outside the top 25

Tired of hearing about Bowie State’s Amir Hall yet? Too bad, he’s done it again. Not only did he throw for 333 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw for his 97th career touchdown, the all-time Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association record.

Slippery Rock’s Wes Hills ran for 207 yards this week. That’s three straight weeks with at least 200 yards, a span in which he’s also scored eight touchdowns for the red-hot Rock.

Virginia Union’s Tabyus Taylor and Sioux Falls Gabe Watson continue piling up touchdowns for the race to the most in DII football. Taylor scored two more on Saturday, giving him 19, but that still leaves him four behind Watson who also tacked on two more this past weekend against a very formidable Minnesota State defense.

MORE: The championship heads to Texas | Most DII titles

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