North Dakota wears Division II crown

Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2001

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- Jed Perkerewicz scored on a 1-yard with 29 seconds to play as North Dakota outlasted Grand Valley State 17-14 on Saturday for its first NCAA Division II championship.

Grand Valley State (13-1) appeared poised to win its first national championship when quarterback Ryan Brady scored his second touchdown of the day on a 12-yard run with 2:46 to play.

North Dakota (14-1) then drove 80 yards in nine plays for the winning score. On fourth down with 38 seconds to play, Kelby Klosterman hit Luke Schleusner with a 58-yard pass to the 1. Perkerewicz scored on the next play.

Perkerewicz ran 26 times for 96 yards to lead a North Dakota team that did most of its damage on the ground on an overcast, damp day.

North Dakota took the lead with 12:55 to play on Klosterman's 9-yard run. The Fighting Sioux quarterback ran for 61 yards and completed 8 of 27 passes for 139 yards.

For Grand Valley State, Brady and Todd Wojciechowski split quarterbacking duties, with Brady rushing for 89 yards. Wojciechowski was the Lakers' passing quarterback, completing 11 of 22 attempts for 128 yards.

Brady, a receiver for much of the season, and Wojciechowski were filling in for injured Curt Anes, a finalist for Harlon Hill Trophy who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Lakers' first playoff game.

Grand Valley State led 7-3 at halftime after a sloppy first half that featured three missed field goals by North Dakota and two turnovers by the Lakers.

The Fighting Sioux took the opening kickoff and drove 56 yards in 10 plays to set up a 36-yard field goal by Cameron Peterka. The North Dakota kicker missed field-goal attempts from 47, 38 and 36 yards later in the half.

The Lakers drove 70 yards in 10 plays late in the first quarter with Brady scoring on a two-yard-run. The drive featured both Grand Valley State quarterbacks, with Wojciechowski completing passes of 19 and 20 yards to David Kircus, and Brady setting up the score with an 18-yard run to the 5.

North Dakota's Mike O'Neil intercepted two of Wojciechowski's passes in the first half, including one at the goal line when the Lakers were threatening midway through the second quarter.

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