No. 6 Villanova 55, No. 16 Colgate 28
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Matt Szczur returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a score and added two more TDs as Villanova cruised to a 55-28 victory over Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Saturday.
Villanova, ranked No. 6 in the FCS, will face the winner of the game between James Madison and Wofford next week in a quarterfinal round game.
Villanova (10-2) won its fifth straight game and picked up its first playoff victory since 2002, when it advanced to the semifinals before losing to McNeese State.
Jordan Scott scored three touchdowns for Patriot League champion Colgate (9-3), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped. It was Colgate's first loss since falling to Furman 42-21 on Sept. 13.
Szczur gave the Wildcats a quick 6-0 lead 13 seconds into the game.
Before Joe Marcoux's PAT attempt missed wide right, the game was delayed nearly 15 minutes as Villanova safety Darrel Young was carted off the field in an ambulance with a neck sprain. He was taken to University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and after the game Villanova coach Andy Talley said all tests came back negative.
Colgate eventually cut the lead to 13-7 when Scott scored on a 2-yard run with 1:22 left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats responded with 28 unanswered points for a commanding 41-7 halftime advantage. Four Villanova players scored in the second quarter.
Aaron Ball's 8-yard touchdown run for Villanova came with 1:41 remaining for the final score of the first half. Ball also scored from 6 yards in the first.
Szczur added a 4-yard run in the second and a 16-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Chris Whitney early in the third.
Scott, who rushed for 94 yards on 27 carries, set the FCS record for career carries with 1,240. He needed only three carries to break the previous all-time Division I record of 1,215 held by Steve Bartalo of Colorado State.
No. 7 Richmond 38, No. 21 Eastern Kentucky 10
RICHMOND, Va. -- Eric Ward threw for 245 yards, Tre Gray had a pair of touchdown receptions and Richmond took advantage of four turnovers to defeat Eastern Kentucky 38-10 in the first round of the Football Championship Series playoffs on Saturday.
The Spiders (10-3), who have won six consecutive games, advanced to play at Appalachian State in the quarterfinals next Saturday. The Colonels (8-4) had a seven-game winning streak snapped and dropped their 13th straight non-conference road game.
Ward was 16 of 23, completing seven passes to Gray for 87 yards. Kevin Grayson caught five passes for 107 yards.
Richmond's Josh Vaughan rushed for 90 yards on 23 carries.
The Spiders broke a 10-10 halftime tie by scoring on their first four possessions of the second half.
After Shawn White returned a short kickoff to the Eastern Kentucky 34, a pair of catches gave the Spiders a first-and-goal on the 9, and Vaughan scored on an 11-yard run around the left side.
The next drive began on the 20 following Patrick Weldon's interception. Ward and Gray connected on a 14-yard score.
Gray's leaping, 23-yard touchdown catch pushed the Spiders' lead to 31-10 with 13:38 remaining in the game.
The Colonels failed on a fourth-and-4 from their 38 setting up the Spiders' final scoring drive. Vaughan then scored on a 17-yard run.
The teams traded turnovers in a scoreless first quarter with each quarterback throwing an interception and the Spiders losing a fumbled punt.
The Colonels had a second fumble recovery deep in Richmond territory negated by a penalty for roughing the punt receiver.
The Colonels began a drive on their 20 late in the first quarter and Cody Watts replaced Allan Holland as quarterback. The new-look offense was successful, moving 48 yards before stalling for a 49-yard field goal by Taylor Long.
Richmond took the lead on a 45-yard pass from Ward to Grayson.
Eastern Kentucky capped a 92-yard scoring drive with Holland's 1-yard run. The Colonels began with 2:07 left and Holland completed six straight passes, the last a 48-yarder to Garnett Phelps to Richmond's 1.
The Spiders retaliated with Andrew Howard's 26-yard field goal after Ward had completed passes of 27 and 19 yards. The Colonels stuffed Richmond's running attack in the first half, holding the Spiders to 30 yards on 16 carries.
The Spiders finished with 412 yards, controlling the ball for 36:09, 12:35 in the fourth quarter.
Eastern Kentucky was limited to 84 yards rushing, the sixth straight game the Spiders have held their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing. Holland was 20 for 35 for 181 yards.
No. 10 New Hampshire 29, No. 9 Southern Illinois 20
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- R.J. Toman threw for 257 yards as No. 10 New Hampshire defeated No. 9 Southern Illinois 29-20 in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
New Hampshire (10-2) capitalized on three SIU turnovers and a blocked punt return for a touchdown to advance to its fourth second-round playoff appearance since 2004.
With the game tight at 19-13 in the last minutes of the third quarter, New Hampshire defensive back John Clements returned a blocked SIU punt 26 yards to put New Hampshire up 26-13 heading into the final quarter.
SIU quarterback Chris Dieker answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Haruff to come within a score, but Kicker Tom Bishop iced the game with a 32-yard field goal, his fifth on the day.
Bishop's five field goals tied the Division I playoff record set previously by Fordham in 2002 and Western Illinois in 2003.
Bishop and the Wildcats were given a short field on many scores because of SIU turnovers. Dieker, who finished with 163 yards, threw two interceptions and running back Larry Warner recorded a costly fumble on an early Saluki drive to set up a New Hampshire score.
New Hampshire wide receiver Mike Boyle finished with 131 yards. Nearly half of those yards came on a 54-yard reception late in the second quarter that set Toman up for a two-yard rushing touchdown to put the Wildcats up 16-13 at the half.
The loss was Southern Illinois' first at home since last season's semifinal playoff defeat against Delaware.
No. 1 James Madison 38, No. 8 Wofford 35
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Rodney Landers passed for three touchdowns and rushed for 166 yards and another score to lead James Madison to a 38-35 victory over Wofford in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs on Saturday.
Landers scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on a 6-yard run with 3:21 remaining in the game after throwing scoring passes of 15, 27 and 23 yards as the Dukes (11-1) built a 28-14 halftime lead.
James Madison advanced to play Villanova (10-2) in the quarterfinals next Saturday. Villanova defeated Colgate 55-28 in the first round.
Wofford (9-3) kept pace with the Dukes behind Mike Rucker, who had 11 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown; Ben Widmyer, who rushed for 98 yards, and Dane Romero, who had 25 carries for 87 yards and four touchdowns.
Romero's fourth score -- a 1-yard run with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter -- tied the score at 28.
However, James Madison's Dave Stannard kicked a 24-yard field goal with 11:39 remaining in the game for a 31-28 lead and Landers ran for a score to build a 38-28 advantage with 3:21 left.
Rucker's touchdown cut the lead to 38-35 with 1:02 left in the game, but the Dukes recovered the onside kick to run out the clock.
James Madison rushed for 343 yards and Wofford rolled up 301 yards on the ground.
Landers was 8 of 15 for 126 yards, throwing two touchdown passes to Rockeed McCarter and one to Bosco Williams.
Widmyer was 8 of 14 for 94 yards.
No. 4 Northern Iowa 40, No. 20 Maine 15
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Pat Grace threw two long touchdown passes to Jarred Herring to spark a second-quarter burst that carried Northern Iowa to a 40-15 victory over Maine on Saturday in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
Derrick Law ran for two touchdowns and Corey Lewis became Northern Iowa's career rushing leader while also scoring a TD for the third-seeded Panthers (11-2), who improved to 9-0 in first-round playoff games in the UNI-Dome. They'll host New Hampshire in a quarterfinal game next Saturday.
Maine (8-5) stayed with the Panthers until UNI scored 16 points in just 5 minutes late in the first half to break a 7-7 tie.
Herring got behind the defense and Grace hit him in stride on a 42-yard touchdown to make it 14-7 and Northern Iowa got a safety when Maine quarterback Michael Brusko slipped and fell in the end zone.
That came after two false start penalties and a sack moved Maine back to its own 2-yard line.
Three plays after Maine's free kick, Grace looked as if he was going to run, then noticed Herring running free and hit him with a 55-yard touchdown pass, making it 23-7 with 2:51 left in the half.
Grace finished 15-of-24 for 229 yards and one interception and added 54 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Lewis carried 14 times for 75 yards and scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter, three plays after De'Veon Harris' interception. He ran his career total to 3,886 yards, breaking the school record of 3,835 set by Jeff Stovall from 1993-96.
Law finished it off with a 10-yard TD run late.
Northern Iowa, the Missouri Valley Conference co-champion, took a 7-0 lead on Law's 2-yard TD run. Maine capitalized on Tyrell Jones' punt block to tie it on Derek Session's 1-yard run at the 10:16 mark in the second quarter.
But the Black Bears didn't score again until Brusko threw an 10-yard touchdown pass to Session with 5:49 left. By then, the Panthers led 33-7.
Northern Iowa intercepted Brusko four times, sacked him three times and held Maine to 103 yards through the first three quarters. Brusko finished 15-of-23 for 180 yards.
Maine ended up beginning and finishing its season in Iowa. The Black Bears lost to Iowa 46-3 in Iowa City in their opener.