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Week one saw all the top teams pull out wins. It was close though as some teams where down or tied at halftime. After being down 14-10 at halftime, Simpson was able to come back in the 2nd half and defeat Framingham State 37-21.
Franklin & Marshall pulled off a 4th quarter miracle against Amherst to stave off a defeat. Down 7-0 at Halftime and 20-7 with under 3 to go, Franklin & Marshall benefited from some poor play calling. Rather than kick a FG and go up 2 scores, Amherst went for it with 1:30 to go at F&M's 30. Amherst failed to convert and F&M stormed down the field with no timeouts to score the go ahead and winning TD. F&M survives 21-20.
And Thiel won a OT thriller against Lebanon. Up 17-2 to start the 4th Lebanon Valley crawled back and tied it with a 2pt conversion on the last play in regulation. The two teams traded FG's in the first OT. After Thiel scored on their first play in the 2nd OT, a 25 yard TD pass, their defense was able to stand up and stop Lebanon from scoring in the 2nd, securing the win for Thiel.
Other close games this week include, Nichols over McMurry 41-38 and Wheaton over Wesleyan (CT) 20-16.
And Hiram showed why they are the favorite and #1 EPR team, trouncing Aurora 87-13. Key player Carl Hayes has started the year with a bang, catching 6 balls for 220 yds and 2 TDs, a ridiculous 36.7 average.
Boy did the Cortland/Wheaton game live up to its billing. At halftime Cortland was looking to run away with it, up 17-3. However after a stirring speech from Coach Elkhour and the home crowd getting behind their team, Wheaton surged back in the 2nd half. Wheaton even led, in the final moments but Cortland's Jr kicker was able to connect on a 36 yard FG. In the first OT, the teams traded FGs, however in the 2nd OT Wheaton's own Jr kicker who had moments before saved the team, missed a 33 yard FG and Cortland was able to capitalize and score a TD, winning a thriller, 36-30. Wheaton was ultimately hurt by the abysmal 3rd down conversion rate, 1/15 a rate of 6.7%.
Another "can't miss game" was the Simpson/Washington matchup. These two heavyweights battled hard and it was unfortunate one had to walk away with the "L." At half, the home team, Washington (MO) held a small lead 14-7. And it was a slugfest in the 2nd. Simpson was able to pound in a 1 yard run by key player Michael Robinson to tie it up at 14-14. After a couple 3 and outs, Washington (MO) caught a break an with three 3rd down conversions, scored from 10 yards out with a minute left to take a 21-14 lead. Simpson was looking to hopefully respond quickly but the Washington (MO) secondary quickly put an end to that thought, intercepting Simpson's first pass attempt. Washington pulls off an early season clutch victory, 21-14.
Continuing on close games, we had another double OT game in Defiance/Albion. This game also involved a clossal comeback in the 4th quarter. This time it was the home team, Albion that scored 15 unanswered points in the 4th to send the game into OT. Albion can thank there defense for putting them into that position, causing 4 turnovers in the 2nd half. Both teams turned the ball over in the first OT, but Defiance was able to overcome their 2nd half missteps and turnovers to pull out the win, 38-31.
And with our final; "can't miss" games of the week, we had another OT game. These two power rushing teams seemingly traded scores back and forth all game. Eventually, someone was going to have to miss and unfortunately for South-Sewanee, they couldn't get into FG range at the end of the 4th and missed on their OT opportunity. Maryville comes out with the early season "W," 33-27.
Both teams statistically had good games however, Maryville's slow start and turnover on their best chance to score in the 1st half is what ultimately hurt the most. It looked like Maryville's gameplan was to limit how much Austin's offense saw the field and in that regards, they won heavily in T.O.P 36:10 to 23:50. Three turnovers and a solid outing by Austin So.* QB Daniel Wilson nullified any advantage that may have given. Austin comes out on top rather convincingly, 42-26.
In another matchup with two great teams, ETBU showed that they should be mentioned in the best of the best class. Jumping out to an early 17-0 halftime lead curtesy of two 2 yard rushing TDs by Tony Taylor, ETBU coasted the rest of the way. Nichols gave a good fight in the 2nd half, actually outscoring ETBU 15-14, but ETBU's first half dominance was too much to overcome. ETBU 31-15 in a solid home victory
Hiram overcame some difficulties over a very good Millsaps team to win on the road. It took a 99 yard final game winning drive to score a victory on the road. Millsaps had some trouble getting started offensively early on, not getting a yard till the 2nd Quarter, but they definitely had the right defensive game plan. Forcing 3 sacks and apply pressure, Millsaps limited the high powered Hiram O to 27 points, but the offense just never seemed to get into a rythym. Hiram squeaks by 27-24.
Wheaton was looking to avenge their early season defeat, but couldn't connect and follow through on the grand opportunities presented to them. Luck was on Wisconsin-Platteville's side as Wheaton had a chance to score twice in the final moments in the 4th quarter, having a drive start on WP's 19 but throwing an INT and also having a drive start on WP's 33 after forcing a turnover with 6 seconds left and missing a 50 yard FG. And finally in the second OT, Wheaton through an INT and Wisconsin-Platteville was luck out, winning 34-28.
Week 4 "Cant Miss" Games of the Week
Moravian (3-0) @ Hiram (3-0)
La Verne (3-0) @ ETBU (3-0)
Cortland (3-0) @ Simpson (2-1)