The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 26, 2000 · Page 47
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 47

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Sunday, November 26, 2000
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THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER C C7 Wiclener advances in Division III playoffs Sunday, November 26, 2000 By Frank Fitzpatrick INQUIRER STAFF WRITER A banner identified this as NCAA postseason football. But it was a world away from the dollar-drenched atmosphere of the Rose Bowl or even the marching band, playoff frenzy at Division I-AA schools like Delaware or Georgia Southern. Admission to Widener's Leslie J. Quick Stadium for yesterday's second-round Division III playoff game against Hobart cost $5. Tail-gating fare consisted of six-packs consumed on car bumpers. The only sign visible on the gray afternoon was the remarkably unimaginative "Widener Pioneers" waved proudly by a small boy. It was on the field where the distinctive charm of this small-college football came through. Where else, after all, could you see a wide receiver who would rush for more touchdowns (three) than he caught (two) and on consecutive plays knock down an end-zone pass as a defender and on the very next snap catch a 95-yard scoring pass? That's exactly what Widener's Jim Jones did. And his two-play tango late in the first quarter catapulted the Pioneers to a 40-14 victory over outgunned Hobart before 3,500 chilled but contented fans. Widener (11-1) now has won two posteason games for the first time since its national-championship season of 1981. On Saturday the Pioneers, seeded sixth in the East bracket, will play at fourth-seed Springfield (Mass.), a 13-6 winner over top-seed Brockport State yes-- terday, in the regional final. Jones, a lanky 6-foot-2 junior from Wilmington, scored five touchdowns on rushes of 4, 38 and 4 yards and receptions of 95 and 15 yards. On the day, he collected 78 yards on six carries and 173 yards on six catches. If that weren't enough, he and fellow junior wide receiver Michael Coleman played a few snaps as defensive backs. Delaware puts it all together and rolls in Round 1 The Hens were razor-sharp as they routed Portland State to start the I-AA playoffs. By Shannon Ryan INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF NEWARK, Del. - The University of Delaware showed Portland State a winning formula yesterday in the first round of the Division I-AA football playoffs. The second-ranked Blue Hens played a near-perfect game on their way to a 49-14 victory. They picked up 620 yards of total offense and limited Chip Dunn, the top running back for the 15th-ranked Vikings, to 53 yards. "Great schemes plus great players equals a great performance," Tim Walsh, the Portland State coach, said. With the win, Delaware advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals against Lehigh, a 37-7 winner over Western Illinois yesterday. The Hens' running attack, combined with the strong arm of quarterback Matt Nagy, wore down Portland State early, and they took a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. Delaware (11-1), the Atlantic Ten Conference champion, gained 357 yards on the ground without one player going over 84. Four backs combined for five of its seven touchdowns. Craig Cummings and James O'Neal led the way. Cummings carried 11 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns, while O'Neal carried 12 times for 83 yards and one TD. Nagy completed 14 of 23 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. He broke the single-season school passing record that he had set in 1998, reaching 2,981 yards. With a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brett Veach in the second quarter, iNagy broke another school record by extending to 13 the streak of games in which he had thrown for at least one TD. "I don't want to build a monument to Nagy," Hens coach Tubby Raymond said, "but if you leave Matt Nagy standing back there long enough, he's going to find somebody." Expect some sort of monument if Nagy keeps throwing passes like the ones he threw to Jamin Elliott in the third quarter. Two and a half minutes into the quarter, Nagy connected with Elliott, who was all alone at the Portland State' 40-yard line. Elliott dashed into the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown that put him over 1,000 yards receiving for the season. Scott Collins kicked the extra point for a 28-7 Dela- It was vintage small-college football as the Pioneers v " ' 1M llll III! II . - RON CORTES Inquirer Staff Photographer Widener offensive lineman Jeff Faust gives his grandmother, Marie Hills, 85, a push up the hill after the Pioneers' victory over Hobart in the second-round playoff game. Faust is a graduate of Frankford High. "We don't normally use them there that much," said Widener coach Bill Zwaan, "but I told them that in the playoffs we were probably going to need them. I didn't want to be in a position where those guys were standing next to me on the sideline when I could have used them out on the field." Trailing, 6-0, with just over 4 minutes left in the opening period, Hobart tried a halfback pass on a Delaware 49, Portland State 14 Portland State Delaware 7 -7 - Flnrt quarter Del-O'Neal 15 run (Collins kick), 6:27 Second quarter DeMeach 9 pass from Nagy (Collins kick), 1 :53 Del-Cummings 20 run (Collins kick), 5:28 PS-Bryant 8 pass from Blanchard (Frantz lock), 8:37 TrM quarter Del-Elliott 64 pass from Nagy (Collins kick) , 1 :33 Det-Jenkins 7 run (Collins kick), 6:37 Del-Cummings 5 fun (Collins kick), 14:01 Fourth quarter PS-Teigen 1 pass from Blanchard (Frantz kick), 6:41 DeWressey 11 run (Collins kick), 10:14 A: 12,945. PS Del First downs 17 30 Rushes-yards 22-66 54-357 Passing 272 263 Comp-Alt-Int 2537-0 14-23-1 Return Yards 22 24 Punts-Avg. 5-39.0 2-39.5 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 M Penalties-Yards .5-40 6-74 Time of Possession 27:32 32:28 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing: Portland State, Dunn 14-53, Blanchard 2-7, Robinson 1-4, Washington 1-2, Bryant 1-0, Tuipolutu 1-0, Jakubowski 2-0. Delaware, Cummings 1 1-84, O'Neal 12-83, Pressey 8-67, Jenkins 11-63, Patrick 7-34, Veach 1-12, Howard 1-10, Irvin 2 3, Mleczkowski 1-1. Paninr Portland State, Blanchard 26-37-0-272. Delaware, Nagy 14-23-1-263. RecehrlnF Portland State, Bryant 13-128, Floyd 5-76, Jackson 440, Dunn 1-10, Heater 1-7,Teigen 1-1. Delaware, Elliott 5-146, Cummings 3-54, O'Neal 2-32, Veach 2-14, Jenkins 1-12, Pressey 1-5. WU2 It , . n 5 k ItV ' W-v'': -s TIM SHAFFER For The Inquirer The Blue Hens' James O'Neal is brought down by Tamoni Joiner. O'Neal . wound up rushing for 84 yards and a TD for the Atlantic Ten champions. ware advantage. Five minutes later, Nagy and Elliott got in touch again. Nagy dropped back on second and 2 from the Delaware 37nd launched a pass that landed in the outstretched hands of a diving Elliott The play, which covered 56 yards and drew wild cheers from the crowd of 12,945, set up a 7-yard v 5 fourth down from Widener's 5. Jones stepped in front of open receiver Scott Yoder and swatted down Keith Brandon's throw, giving the Pioneers possession. On the next play, instead of catching his breath, Jones caught a pass from quarterback Mike Granato in stride. He shook off a tackier at the Pioneers' 40 and raced unimpeded into the end zone, the 95-yard scoring play giving Widener a 12-0 lead Airtawn Jenkins celebrates his 7-yard touchdown run, which gave Delaware a of its 49-1 4 victory. The TD was set up by a diving catch by Jamin Elliott of a touchdown run by- Antawn Jenkins for a 35-7 lead. "The offensive line was awesome," said Nagy, deflecting credit. "They rJbviously deserve the MVP today. They gave me a lot of time when I was dropping back." They also split the Vikings' de-fense, opening gaping holes forjriirn- - 'i why;?-(- 'Z - t over Hobart (9-2), a school of 1,800 in Geneva, N. Y. In the west end zone at this onetime military college, roaring cannons drowned out the delighted yells of the crowd, and two ROTC students dropped to the ground for the pushups that traditionally accompany all Pioneers points. "Our thinking on calling the pass play for Jimmy was, 'Let's do it now because he's going to get tired lat- If fir t I J :Y TIM SHAFFER For The Inquirer Jenkins is stopped by Portland State's Tino Retamoza on a first-quarter run. Jenkins helped second-ranked Delaware pile up 357 yards on the ground. mings and O'Neal. Cummings ran 5 yards for his second touchdown of the day, giving the Hens a 42-7 lead. The Vikings (8-4) scored on a 1-yard pass from 'Jimmy Blanchard to Taylor Teigen before Butter Pressey capped Delaware's offensive show, scoring on an 11-yard run with less than five minutes to eliminated Hobart, 40-14. Widener 40, Hobart 14 0 7 7 - 14 13 7 13 7 - 40 Fkttq WW-Jones 4 ran (kick blocked), 1 0:58 Wid-Jones 95 pass from Granato (Ragan kick), 3:51 Second quarter Wid-Gandy 32 run (Ragan kk),6:13 TNnl quarter WioMones 36 run (kick failed), 13:08 Hob-Brandon 20 run (Crisafulli kick) , 9:38 Wid-Jones 4 run (Ragan kick) Foartli quite Hoo-Leeper 44 pass from Swanson (CrisatuHi kick), 7:48 Wid-Jones 15 pass from Granato (Ragan kick), 4:33. fcnya. er,' " said Zwaan. "And after that play, I know he was tired." Widener, playing in the postseason for the 10th time, was never again seriously challenged by the Statesmen, playoff newcomers. Granato completed 11 of 21 passes for 239 yards as the normally pass-happy Pioneers ran the ball 40 times for 208 yards. All of Jones' ground yardage came on wide sweeps that the slower Statesmen couldn't contain. Inside, Sean Selover (11 carries for 64 yards) and Michael Gandy (10 for 52) did damage. "That's a very talented team," said Hobart coach Mike Cragg. "They've got too much quickness for us, and those two wide receivers are special." Hobart's defense spent much of its energy trying to stop Coleman, who had collected 170 receiving yards and two touchdowns the previous week in a 33-26 victory over Union. Yesterday he caught just two balls but opened up room for Jones. "And if they had played Jim that way on the other side, I'd have done the same thing," said Coleman. "We feed off each other." When Brandon answered Jones' 38-yard scoring run at the start of the third period with a 20-yard touchdown of his own on the ensuing drive, Hobart's sideline sparked to life. But TIM SHAFFER For The Inquirer 35 - 7 lead In the third quarter 56-yard pass from Matt Nagy. go in the game. The Blue Hens' defense gave up 338 yards but was effective in stifling Dunn, who had entered the game with 1,792 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns this season. Shannon Ryan's e-mail address is srvanrphillynews com the Pioneers responded with a 12-play, 69-yard drive capped by another Jones rushing touchdown, and it was 33-7 with 3 minutes, 54 seconds left in the third. The game began with Widener comically mishandling the opening kickoff as a series of sky-blue-shirt-ed players pushed it back toward their own goal in a hapless attempt to recover. Hobart finally fell on the ball at the Pioneers' 15. That infuriated Zwaan, who spent much of the first half tossing his hat angrily to the turf, stomping down the sidelines and chewing out whichever assistants and players he happened to pass on his tempestuous trots. "The kids know I'm like that," he explained. "They don't even listen to me anymore. ... But I didn't think we came out with the same excitement we did last week. Last week we came out flying. This week we were more businesslike. But that worked too." After the game-opening turnover, the Pioneers' defense not only held Hobart without a point, they pushed them back 15 yards. "That was huge," said Cragg. "We're thinking we're going to get at least a field goal out of it and we came up with nothing. The emotion really turned there." After the 2-hour, 40-minute game was completed with no TV timeouts, youngsters played touch football behind the stadium as their parents waited for the victorious team to shower and change. One child caught a long pass and trotted triumphantly toward an adjoining creek. "Springfield loses!" he shouted prophetically, Zwaan hopes. "Touchdown Widener!" Frank Fitzpatrick's e-mail address is ffifzpatrickphillynews.com Area Colleges Lehigh cruises, will face Hens next ASSOCIATED PRESS Phil Pleasant scored on a 9-yard pass and a 2-yard run in the first half as unbeaten Lehigh jumped to a big lead and crushed host Western Illinois, 37-7, in a Division I-AA playoff opener yesterday. Lehigh (12-0) will face Delaware (11-1) in Saturday's quarterfinals. The Blue Hens beat Portland State, 49-14, in another first-round game. ' Brant Hall threw three touchdowns passes, completing 22 of 30 passes, and Lehigh had scoring drives of 75, 84 and 63 yards in the first half to take a 30-7 lead. Lehigh's defense intercepted five passes and sacked Western quarterback Sam demons four times, while allowing only 32 yards net rushing. After Pleasant took the 9-yard scoring pass, Hall later threw an 8-yarder to Dustin Grande to make it 14-0 after one quarter. Pleasant's 2-yard TD run made it 21-0 in the second quarter before Western finally scored on a 14-yard pass from Clemons to J.R. Niklos. Hall also led Lehigh rushers with 78 yards on 17 carries, and Pleasant gained 69 yards on 16 carries. Lehigh finished with a whopping 534-194 advantage in total yards. Western finished 9-3. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 38, Northwood 14 Mike Lelko caught 10 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns as host Bloomsburg beat Northwood to advance to the NCAA Division II semifinals. Quarterback Eric Miller finished 23 of 35 for 274 yards and four touchdowns. The game marked the 11th con- . . . . ,-: . ..... r-r ti -i - (11-2). Bryant Stone started it off with a 41-yard kickoff return to put the ball at the Huskies' 44-yard line. They scored 13 plays later on a 1-yard run by Marques Glaze. The Timberwolves (10-2) answered with a 49-yard opening run of their own, and later scored on a short run by Bryant Lawrence. Lelko followed with three successive touchdowns, on throws from Miller of 12, 11, and 8 yards, to make it 29-7 with 6 minutes, 52 seconds left in the half. After a Northwood punt, the Huskies moved downfield again, setting up a career-best 36-yard field goal by Chris Thompson, to make it 31-7 at the half.

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