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2016 NAIA FCS Quarterfinal Recap

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November 26, 2016
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
Photo by Dale G Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (FCS Schedule) Baker (Kan.), Eastern Oregon, Reinhardt (Ga.) and Saint Francis (Ind.) punch tickets to the semifinals with wins in quarterfinal action of the 2016 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) Saturday. Saint Francis is in the semifinals for the second-straight season.

2016 NAIA Football Championship Series Semifinal Pairings
Game 1 – Eastern Oregon (10-2) at Baker (Kan.) (13-0), TBA
Game 2 – Saint Francis (Ind.) (11-1) at Reinhardt (Ga.) (13-0), TBA

Since 1997, the host schools own a 212-65 (.756) record in the FCS, including a 58-21 (.734) mark in the quarterfinals. Hosts posted a 3-1 record in this year’s quarterfinals.

The 61st annual NAIA Football National Championship, presented by Waste Pro, is slated for Saturday, Dec. 17 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The City of Daytona Beach hosts the event at Municipal Stadium for the third-straight season. For fan and visitor information, click here.

2016 NAIA Football Championship Series – Quarterfinal Game Notes
Game 1 – Eastern Oregon (10-2) def. Marian (Ind.) (11-1), 17-0
• Eastern Oregon’s defense shined on the afternoon, as the Mountaineers forced seven Marian turnovers, including six interceptions.
• Neither of the Mountaineers’ touchdowns were scored by the offense.
• After a scoreless first quarter, Eastern Oregon lit the scoreboard in dramatic fashion when John Payne stalled a Marian drive with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
• Offensively, Zach Bartlow led the offense with 131 yards passing on 34 attempts, while Alfred Gross was the club’s leading rusher at 87 yards on 16 attempts.
• Eastern Oregon is appearing in the FCS for the first time in program history.
• The loss for Marian snaps a 20-game winning streak for the Knights. Entering today, that winning streak was the longest active in NAIA football.
• Standout wide receiver Krishawn Hogan posted eight catches for 72 yards. The performance is only the fourth time this season that Hogan has been held to less than 100 yards receiving.
• Despite tallying 228 yards passing, quarterback Ethan Darter struggled on the afternoon for Marian. The Schererville, Ind., native tossed a career-high six interceptions. Previously, Darter had only thrown one interception this season.
• Marian, which started football in 2007, had previously never been shutout.
• The Knights fall to 4-2 all-time in the FCS quarterfinals.

Game 2 – Baker (Kan.) (13-0) def. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (11-2), 42-27
• Baker (Kan.) advances to the semifinals for the first time since the 1993 season with a 42-27 victory over Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
• With the win, the Wildcats improve to 5-3 all-time in the quarterfinals.
• Turnovers keyed the victory for Baker, as the Wildcats forced a season-high six turnovers, including four interceptions. Prior to today’s game, Lindsey Wilson had 12 turnovers through 12 games.
• Baker quarterback Logan Brettell had a strong game with 254 passing yards and three touchdowns. Wide receivers Ladai Shawn Boose and Damon Nolan both posted 100-plus receiving yards outings for the Wildcats. Boose tallied six catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, while Nolan had eight catches for 109 yards and one score.
• In addition to the turnovers, Baker’s defense sacked the Blue Raider quarterback five times, including four sacks by defensive lineman Josh Kock. The Concordia, Mo., native entered the game with seven sacks.
• Lindsey Wilson, which were appearing in the FCS for the third-straight season, falls to 0-2 all-time in the quarterfinals.
• The Blue Raiders’ top performer on the day was wide receiver Allen Cooks, who tallied seven receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
• Another notable performance for Lindsey Wilson came from tailback Jalen Sublett. The Glasgow, Ky., native ran for 90 yards – his fourth highest total of the season – on 13 carries.

Game 3 – Reinhardt (Ga.) (13-0) def. Montana Tech (10-2), 27-0
• Reinhardt continued to make program history Saturday afternoon, as the Eagles downed Montana Tech, 27-0, to advance to the program’s first-ever FCS quarterfinals.
• The Eagles (13-0) are one of two remaining unbeaten teams in NAIA football.
• Reinhardt’s defense, which entered Saturday ranked top three nationally in scoring defense and total defense, flexed its muscles against Montana Tech. The Eagles held the Orediggers to a season-low 231 total yards, including only 23 yards rushing.
• Quarterback Ryan Thompson led the offense with 247 yards passing and a touchdown on only 17 attempts. Wide receiver Tyler Bradley was his top target with five catches for a season-high 182 receiving yards.
• Tailback L.J. Stegall posted nine carries for 54 yards and two touchdowns, while battery mate Montralius Mosely had nine carries for 69 yards to lead Reinhardt’s top-ranked rushing attack.
• The loss drops Montana Tech to 0-4 all-time in the FCS quarterfinals.
• Quarterback Andrew Loudenback, who was making his first appearance under center this season for Montana Tech, threw for completed 21-of-43 passes (48.8 percent) for 208 yards, but was intercepted twice.
• Saturday’s 23 rushing yards marks only the second time this season that the Frontier Conference champions have been held under 100 yards.

Game 4 – Saint Francis (Ind.) (11-1) def. Morningside (Iowa) (10-2), 42-35
• Saint Francis (Ind.) punched its ticket into the FCS semifinals for the second-straight season with a 42-35 win against Morningside (Iowa).
• Prior to last season, the Cougars had not reached the semifinals since 2008.
• Saint Francis outscored Morningside, 35-15, in the second half, including a 21-7 spread in the fourth quarter.
• Tailback Justin Green was the key performer on offense for Saint Francis. The Griffin, Ind., native raced for a career-high 296 yards on 25 carries, including a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Cougars a 42-28 lead.
• Quarterback Nick Ferrer was also efficient once again for Saint Francis. The junior threw for 175 yards and five touchdowns. Ferrer has thrown for five-or-more scores five times this season.
• The victory improves Saint Francis to 25-15 all-time in the FCS, which is the most victories among this year’s qualifiers.
• Morningside falls to 5-6 all-time in the FCS quarterfinals in its 13th all-time and 13th-consecutive appearance.
• Despite the loss, the trio of Trent Solsma, Tyler Kavan and Jason Vander Kool had strong performances for the Mustangs. Solsma threw for 441 yards and three touchdowns, while Vander Kool caught nine balls for 171 yards and a score. Kavan paced the Morningside ground game with 162 yards rushing and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship