Note: As you read through this post, please be aware that I list the matchup of next week’s game in every other recap.
Wesley (10-2) at Mount Union (12-0)
This was one entertaining and wild game, though it seemed far from that by the end of the 1st quarter. Mount Union jumped out to a 31-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan threw 3 first quarter interceptions that were turned into 21 points for Mount Union. Wesley started making headway in the 2nd quarter, but their defense was still giving up points. Mount Union held a 48-20 lead at halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, Wesley’s defense stepped up and so did quarterback Joe Callahan. Joe Callahan threw two touchdowns as Wesley cut the lead to 48-34 after the third quarter. Early in the 4th quarter Joe Callahan found Bryce Shade to cut Mount Union’s lead to 48-41. On their ensuing drive, Mount Union finally got back on track and used a Kevin Burke touchdown pass to Sherman Wilkinson to lead 55-41. Eventually, Wesley cut the lead to 62-59 with 1:30 left, but Mount Union was able to run the clock out to hold on for the win.
Mount Union quarterback Kevin Burke accounted for 5 total touchdowns (3 passing, 2 rushing) and all 3 of his passing touchdowns were thrown to Sherman Wilkinson. Wilkinson had 135 yards on 5 catches to go along with his three receiving touchdowns. In a losing effort, Joe Callahan had a monstrous game. He threw for 633 yards and 8 passing touchdowns. Callahan also had 4 interceptions, three of which came in the 1st quarter. Wesley wide receiver Steve Koudossou had 11 catches for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Mount Union will face the winner of the North Central (IL) at Bethel (MN) game in the semifinals.
North Central (IL) (12-0) at Bethel (MN) (12-0)
Playing in the frigid air of Arden Hills, Minnesota, North Central took a 21-3 lead 6 seconds into the 2nd quarter and did not look back. North Central running back Ryan Kent had 109 yards on the ground while punching the ball in for a touchdown 4 times. Quarterback Spencer Stanek added 249 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air for North Central. Bethel running backs Marshall Klitzke and Jesse Phenow both had 90+ yards of rushing and a touchdown apiece on the ground.
North Central will face Mount Union in the semifinals next week.
Linfield (11-0) at Wisconsin-Whitewater (12-0)
Linfield had a 17-0 lead with 12:55 left in the 2nd quarter, but UW-Whitewater shut them out for the rest of the game as Whitewater won 28-17. Linfield got a quick start with a Josh Yoder 3 yard touchdown rush after just 1:39 elapsed in the 1st quarter. Linfield had a chance to score again after UW-Whitewater fumbled the kickoff, but Linfield fumbled the ball at the Whitwater 1 on 4th and goal.
With 12:55 left in the 2nd quarter Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder found Evan Petersen for a 60 yard touchdown and Linfield held a 17-0 lead. On their ensuing drive, Whitewater got great field position on the kickoff return and then quickly got to the end zone thanks to Matt Behrendt’s 19 yards touchdown pass to Tyler Huber. Whitewater added a touchdown with 4:07 left to cut the lead to 17-14 at halftime.
Whitewater added a touchdown in both the 3rd and 4th quarter to make the final score line 28-17. Whitewater quarterback Matt Behrendt threw for 275 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Jake Kumerow had 7 receptions for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns for Whitewater. Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder ended up with 374 yards passing and a touchdown in the loss. Whitewater also held Linfield to 24 yards rushing on 40 attempts.
UW-Whitewater will take on the winner between St. John Fisher and Mary Hardin-Baylor.
St. John Fisher (10-2) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-0)
Mary Hardin-Baylor led comfortably throughout their 45-23 victory over St. John Fisher. Mary Hardin-Baylor did not have the dominant rushing performance that you would expect (only 120 yards on 40 carries), but they did get help on defense and special teams. Brodrick Crain intercepted St. John Fisher quarterback Tyler Fenti and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown in the 1st quarter. Speaking Tyler Fenti, he had a great statistical performance throwing for 411 yards and a touchdown for St. John Fisher. St. John Fisher’s Dan Rudy had 11 catches for 167 yards as well.
Mary Hardin-Baylor will play Wisconsin-Whitewater next week in the semifinals.
Both semifinal games are to be played on December 14th at the host institutions.
North Central (IL) (13-0) at Mount Union (13-0)
Wisconsin-Whitewater (13-0) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (13-0)