- High School
NCAA D-II and III playoffs begin
Now that the season is over, on to the post-season for Division II and III schools as IUP and W & J begin their quest for a national championship.
In the Northeast Conference, Wagner looks to wrap up the conference title and hold defending champion Albany at bay. Duquesne, Robert Morris and Saint Francis will all close out their season.
Here are previews of ALL the games, including one that can be heard here on the Network:
NCAA Division II Playoffs/1st Round: Shepherd(8-2) at IUP(10-1) Noon
The Rams clinched the WVIAC title with a 49-23 at Fairmont State last week. Shepherd last made the playoffs in 2010, when they made the national semifinals. Shepherd has won 3 straight games coming into the playoffs.
The Rams are led by QB Bobby Cooper, he's thrown for 2,150 yards and 15 touchdowns. Billy Brown has 5 td catches and Larry Lowe has 2 scores. Allen Cross is a short yardage specialist, with 9 touchdowns. Cooper and TE John Frick were named to the WVIAC First Team Offense.
Howard Jones leads the defense with 8 sacks. De'Ontre Johnson and Keon Robinson each have 4 interceptions. Shepherd leads the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 37 yards per game.
IUP defeated Shippensburg 41-10 in the PSAC State Title Game last week.
QB Mike Box and Terill Barnes connected for 3 touchdowns. RB D'Antwan Williams ran 30 times for 129 yards, filling in for Harvie Tuck. Tuck was named PSAC West Offensive Player of the Year, at 141 yards per game, he is 6th in D-II in rushing with 1,552 yards. Wiliams is 8th in the PSAC with 938 yards.
LB Carl Fleming was named the championship game's MVP. Fleming made 12 tackles and picked off a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
The IUP defense allows only 11 points per game, they lead the PSAC in scoring, total and rushing defense.
NCAA Division III Playoffs/1st Round: W & J(8-2) at Johns Hopkins(9-1) Noon on WJPA 1450-AM and the MSA Sports Network
The Presidents will make their 22nd appearance in the D-III playoffs and their first since 2009.
Alex Baroffio was named PAC Offensive Player of the Week, catching 11 passes for 139 yards, including a 62 yard touchdown in a 31-14 victory over Waynesburg in the Backyard Brawl. Baroffio has 74 catches on the season for 655 yards to lead the PAC. Hunter Creel added 42 catches for 556 yards.
QB Matt Bliss threw for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win, Bliss has thrown for 1,962 yards, he was third in the conference. Bliss threw for 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
RB Dion Wiegand finished 9th in the PAC in rushing with 611 yards.
DE John Hunter set a career mark with 15 tackles. Ian Hennessy had 11 tackles. Hennessy and Hunter are tied for the team lead in tackles with 82.
Johns Hopkins makes it's 4th NCAA playoff appearance and 3rd in the last 4 years. The Blue Jays are ranked 15th in this week's AFCA D-III poll.
The Blue Jays won the Centennial Conference championship. Johns Hopkins defeated McDaniel 49-7 last week. Robbie Matey was 15-21 for 188 yards and a td in the win. Jonathan Rigaud ran for 89 yards and 2 scores as the Blue Jays led 21-0 after one quarter.
It's the first meeting ever between the Presidents and the Blue Jays.
ECAC Division III Southwest Bowl: Carnegie Mellon(6-4)Waynesburg(9-1) 1pm
CMU fell to Case Western Reserve 36-24 in the Academic Bowl last week.
QB Rob Kalkstein has thrown for 1,960 yards this season with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His main target is Tim Kitka, who has 800 receiving yards on 39 catches.
Patrick Blanks leads the Tartans with 686 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns, he did not play last week.
DB Liam McGrath needs just one interception to tie the CMU single season record, he has 6 picks on the season.
CMU has won both of their trips to an ECAC bowl, in 1999 and 2007.
Waynesburg suffered their first loss of the season to W & J last week to knock the Yellow Jackets out of the NCAA playoffs.
Betrand Ngampa scored on a 5 yard td run in the loss. Ngampa ran for 144 yards on the day, he finished second in the PAC in rushing with 883 yards.
Christian Jackson returned a punt for a touchdown.
Waynesburg is 2nd in the PAC in scoring defense and first in rushing defense.
Monmouth(4-5)at Robert Morris(4-6)Noon
Monmouth is 3-3 in the NEC, falling to Saint Francis last week. Kyle Fraizer threw for 246 yards and a td in the loss, he was picked twice and sacked 2 times. Fraizer leads the NEC in passing at 241 yards per game, throwing for 2,173 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Julian Hayes is the leading rusher at 516 yards.
Robert Morris is 3-4 in the NEC and has won 2 straight games, knocking off Sacred Heart 21-17 last week. The Colonials got 2 4th quarter td passes from Jeff Sinclair, the 2nd to Nick Groat from 2 yards out, gave RMU the lead with 35 seconds to play.
Evan Taylor is 7th in the NEC in rushing at 769 yards, Taylor has not scored a rushing td. Sinclair is 5th in passing with 1,442 yards, he has 13 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Donte Jeter has only 33 catches but is 4th in the conference with 607 yards, he has 5 td catches.
Cameron Chadwick was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week. Chadwick made 9 tackles and picked off 2 passes in the win.
Sacred Heart(2-8) at Saint Francis(4-6) Noon
The Pioneers are 1-6 in the NEC and have lost 4 straight. Keshaudis Spence ran for 113 yards on 21 carries in the loss. Spence has ran for 685 yards this season, 9th in the NEC.
Saint Francis is 3-4 in the NEC, beating Monmouth 45-31 last week. Dane Domonkos was named NEC Special Teams Player of the Week. The junior returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown that gave Saint Francis the lead for good.
RB Anthony Abeid was named NEC Rookie of the Week, he ran for 119 yards on 18 carries and a score in the win.
QB John Kelly threw for 263 yards and 2 td's in the win. A.J. Alexander had 6 catches for 110 yards. Kelly is 8th in the conference in rushing at 731 yards, he has thrown for 1,288 yards with 11 td's and 4 interceptions.
Keion Wade is 6th in the NEC in rushing at 92 yards per game, Wade has ran for 921 yards and 12 scores.
Duquesne(5-5) at Wagner(7-3) Noon
The Dukes are 3-4 in the NEC and have dropped 3 straight games, falling to Albany 38-31 last week. Sean Patterson threw for 286 yards and 2 scores, he is 2nd in the NEC with 2,183 yards passing, including 17 td passes.
Larry McCoy leads the conference in rushing average at 110 yards per game. McCoy needs just 5 yards to hit 1 thousand for the season.
Gianni Carter is 2nd in the NEC in receiving yards with 773 on 52 catches, Sean Brady has 45 catches for 560 yards.
The Seahawks are 6-1 in the NEC and take the conference title with a win or an Albany loss. Wagner has won 7 straight games, defeating HolyCross 31-30 in comeback fashion last week. RB Domonique Williams was named NEC Offensive Player of the Week, he ran for 177 yards on 23 carries, he also had 5 catches for 47 yards.
Williams leads the NEc with 1,064 yards rushing, he is 3rd in rushing average at 106 yards per game. QB Nick Doescher has thrown for 1,468 yards with 11 touchdowns and just 1 interception. David Crawford is his favorite target with 32 catches and 414 yards.
Wagner leads the NEC in scoring defense, allowing just 16 points per game.