Grand Valley State repeats as Division II champions

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2003

FLORENCE, Ala. Grand Valley State won its second straight NCAA Division II title Saturday, with Mike Hoad intercepting a fourth-down pass with 27 seconds left to seal the Lakers' 10-3 victory over North Dakota.

Grand Valley State (14-1) dominated most of the game. But led by John Bowenkamp's passing, North Dakota (12-2) cut it to 10-3 in the final period and fell just short in the final minute.

Bowenkamp completed eight passes in a drive that started on North Dakota's 25 with 3:54 to play. On fourth-and-10 from the 17, Hoad intercepted Bowenkamp's pass on the 6.

Bowenkamp finished 28-of-41 for 281 yards and the interception. He set a championship game record for completions.

It was the second time in three years that North Dakota and Grand Valley State have played for the title. In 2001, North Dakota won 17-14, scoring the go-ahead TD with 29 seconds left.

Also Saturday, Colgate and Delaware advanced to the Division I-AA title game, and record-setting Mount Union reached the Division III championship against St. John's of Minnesota.

Colgate beat Florida Atlantic 36-24, and Delaware edged Wofford 24-9. The I-AA championship is Friday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In Division III, Mount Union broke its own NCAA record by winning its 55th consecutive game, 66-0 over Bridgewater of Virginia. The Purple Raiders are looking for their seventh national title in the past eight years. St. John's beat RPI 38-10 to reach the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., next Saturday.

Colgate 36, Florida Atlantic 24

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Chris Brown threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns and Jamaal Branch set three NCAA season records, leading Colgate (15-0) to its 21st straight victory.

Brown also ran for a score and accounted for 285 of Colgate's 412 yards of total offense. Branch rushed 45 times for 130 yards and one touchdown. He eclipsed NCAA records for carries in a season (430), touchdowns (29) and I-AA yards rushing in a season (2,271).

Delaware 24, Wofford 9

At Newark, Del., Germaine Bennett had a career-high 186 yards on 31 carries and scored three TDs, all in the second half. He also set a school single-season record for yards rushing (1,583).

Delaware (14-1), which set a school record for wins in a season, is seeking its first I-AA title. The Blue Hens have outscored the opposition 109-23 in their three playoff games.

Mount Union 66, Bridgewater (Va.) 0

At Alliance, Ohio, Randell Knapp and Nick Sirianni each caught three touchdown passes to help the Purple Raiders (13-0) break the NCAA record of 54 straight victories that they set from 1996-99.

Oklahoma set the record for consecutive victories in major college football, winning 47 straight from 1953-57.

St. John's (Minn.) 38, RPI 10

At Collegeville, Minn., Josh Nelson caught three TD passes and ran for a fourth score, leading St. John's (13-0) past RPI (11-2).

The Johnnies gave coach John Gagliardi his 413th career win, the most in college football history.

Nelson caught eight passes for a career-best 192 yards.

Nelson scored on an 80-yard reception, catching the ball at the 50 and outrunning defenders for the score. His second score came on a 6-yard screen pass late in the third quarter.



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