By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Complete Schedule) No. 1 Cumberlands (Ky.) and second-ranked Grand View (Iowa) continue their unbeaten seasons with each program’s first-ever quarterfinal victory Saturday in the 2013 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS). Other victors were No. 3 Carroll (Mont.), who improved to 12-1 in the round of eight dating back to 2000, and No. 5 Morningside (Iowa) – the only road team to earn a win.
The FCS Semifinal pairings are set with Carroll traveling to Cumberlands and Morningside heading to Grand View. Both games are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7.
Since 2000, the home teams in the quarterfinals are 42-13. Last season, host teams were 4-0.
Top-ranked Cumberlands road its NAIA-best rushing attack to a 28-14 win against No. 6 Saint Francis (Ind.). The Patriots (12-0) were led by an outstanding performance from running back D’Angelo Jordan, who ran for a career-best 270 yards on 25 carries, including a 64-yard touchdown run on the Patriots’ opening drive of the second half. Joining Jordan with 100-plus rushing yards was quarterback Adam Craig with 117 yards on 28 attempts. Craig also ran and threw for a touchdown. Saint Francis (9-3) ends its season for the second-straight year in the quarterfinals.
Grand View (12-0), who also punched a ticket to the semifinals for the first time in school history, downed its second-straight Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent, Tabor (Kan.), 44-24. The Blue Jays (10-3) held a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, however Grand View scored 23 unanswered points in the second en route to a 30-14 halftime lead. The Vikings, who eclipsed 500 yards of total offense for the fifth time this season, added two touchdowns in the second half en route to the 20-point victory. Grand View showcased a balanced attack with quarterback Derek Fulton throwing for 297 yards and four touchdowns, while tailback Mike Perez ran for 132 yards and a score. Defensively, the Vikings held Tabor’s second-ranked rushing attack to only 109 yards – 220 yards below its season average. Tabor is now 0-2 all-time in the FCS quarterfinals.
Carroll (12-1) advanced to the Semifinals for the 12th time since 2000 after knocking off Missouri Valley, 27-3. The Fighting Saints showcased a dominant defense, holding Missouri Valley (9-3) to only 177 yards of total offense, including only 37 yards in the first half. This is the first time the Vikings have been held below 200 total yards since 2010. Linebacker Sean Blomquist led the Carroll defense with 11 tackles (7 solo), including a sack. Blomquist now has seven double-digit tackle performances this season.
Morningside used 321 yards of total offense from quarterback Ryan Kasdorf to defeat Baker (Kan.), 36-28. Kasdorf threw for 222 yards and five touchdowns, while also running for 99 yards. Baker quarterback Jake Morse was equally dominant in the contest, throwing for a season-high 417 yards and three touchdowns. The Mustangs (11-1) move on to their second-straight semifinals, while Baker concludes the season with an 11-2 record.
For the sixth-consecutive season, the Rome-Floyd County Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the 58th annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship on Dec. 21 and Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga. The event will kick off at 4:30 p.m. EST.