LAWRENCE TECH 21, BLUEFIELD STATE (W. VA.) 14
Tyler Kulka’s fourth-quarter TD pass to Matthew Ransome gave Lawrence Tech the lead late in the game, as the Blue Devils came from behind in the second half to secure a 21-14 road win over Bluefield State (W. Va.), earning Lawrence Tech back-to-back victores for the first time since the program’s debut in 2018.
LTU got on the board first, when Christian Broaden recovered a fumble and carried it 31 yards into the end zone, but Bluefield State responded with a game-tying score later in the first quarter. Another TD for the home side after the halftime break put the Blue Devils behind 14-7, but late in the third quarter, Lawrence Tech capitalized on a bad punt, taking over inside their opponent’s 5-yard line. Kulka found C.J. Thompson for a six-yard TD pass to even the score, then reclaimed the lead with 11:26 to play on Ransome’s TD catch.
Kulka finished with 183 yards and a pair of TD passes in the win, completing 25 of 39 passes on the day. Jaden Rembert made a team-high five receptions for 57 yards. Defensively, Tommy Lappin led the Blue Devils with seven tackles, including one and a half tackles for loss
TIFFIN (OHIO) 34, #9 MARIAN 10
A defensive battle to start, Marian and Tiffin (Ohio) were scoreless through the first quarter, but went on to combine for 30 points before the half, with Tiffin taking the victory by scoring 28 unanswered in a 34-10 win over Marian.
The Knights held a 10-6 lead following Marlon Pomili’s 21-yard field goal with just under three minutes left in the second quarter. Tiffin quarterback Nick Watson responded quickly, breaking free for a 72-yard TD run just three plays later. The Dragons then capitalized on a late interception, getting the ball back and finding the end zone again with 30 seconds remaining in the first half to take a 20-10 lead into the break.
Marian’s offense slowed again in the second half, and were unable to reach the end zone to try and get back into the game. A pair of late TDs for Tiffin would put the game out of reach.
Zach Bundalo would collect 189 yards and one TD through the air, completing 11 of 22 passes for the Knights. His favorite target was Johnny William, who secured four catches for 104 yards on the day. On the other side of the ball, Logan Blake led MU with 11 tackles, including two and a half tackles for loss.
MISSOURI BAPTIST 31, IOWA WESLEYAN 7
Missouri Baptist starts the season with a 2-0 record for the first time in the program’s short history, as Ronald Allen’s three TDs led the way for a 31-7 Spartan victory over Iowa Wesleyan.
The home team would take advantage of a fumble on MBU’s opening drive, as Iowa Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead after taking over with a short field. The Spartans would claim the lead by the end of the first quarter, with a 56-yard TD run from Allen and a 36-yard Jonah Cox field goal to make it a 10-7 game.
Allen found the end zone again late in the third, while Josh Munn threw his lone TD pass of the game, finding Easton Locke, and the Spartans were in control throughout the rest of the second half.
Allen finished the day with 194 yards and three TDs on 26 carries. Munn completed 17 of 27 passes for 160 yards, with Jacob Triplett making a game-high eight catches for 58 yards in the win. Rook Rowe had a team-high five tackles with an interception for the Missouri Baptist defense.
#10 OLIVET NAZARENE 20, SIENA HEIGHTS 17
A pair of field goals from Bryce Deguira, including a 50-yarder at the end of the first half, proved to be the difference as No. 10 Olivet Nazarene held on for a 20-17 win over Siena Heights in an MSFA crossover matchup.
The Saints would jump out early, as Hayden Lehmann connected with Eric Williams for a 43-yard TD pass just two plays into their opening drive. Taking advantage of a blocked punt, Olivet would even the score after gaining the ball deep in SHU territory, with a nine-yard Aaje Grayson TD.
Antonio Simley nearly put his team in front again with his interception, returning the ball to the ONU 1-yardline, and Lehmann would finish the job one play later, finding paydirt and a 14-7 SHU lead. Deguira’s field goal would close the gap but Siena Heights remained in front at the half, 14-10.
The ONU defense would hold their opponents to just three second-half points, as Grayson capped a 78-yard drive early in the third quarter with another score. Both sides would trade field goals the rest of the way but the Tigers would keep Siena Heights out the end zone the rest of the way for the win.
David Hutton paced the ONU attack, throwing for 312 yards on 25-for-39 passing. Brian Jenkins had 97 receiving yards on just three catches. Defensively, Jason Freeman was dominant, making a team-high 16 tackles, with five tackles for loss and two sacks.
Lehmann finished with 120 passing yards, completing 9 of 22 attempts, while linebacker Kole Murlin collected 23 tackles on the other side of the ball.
INDIANA WESLEYAN 28, VALPARAISO (IND.) 10
Twenty-one points in the first quarter set the tone early for Indiana Wesleyan, as the Wildcards cruised to a 28-10 win over NCAA FCS foe Valparaiso.
TD rushes from Jacquez Carter and Devodney Alford, as well as a 71-yard punt return TD from Justin Johnson gave Indiana Wesleyan a 21-0 lead wil five minutes still to play in the first quarter. Valparaiso would get on the board with a field goal early in the second, but Alford would find the end zone for a second time, and IWU would lead at the break 28-3. The Crusaders would tack on a touchdown early in the third quarter, but were unable to get any closer as the Wildcats secured the win in their season opener.
Alford finished with 120 yards on 22 carries to lead the IWU offense, while Brayden Smith collected a game-high six receptions for 126 yards. Defensively, Donovan Shelton made 11 tackles to pace the Wildcats, along with one of the team’s four interceptions on the night.
TAYLOR 42, JUDSON 26
In their program debut, Judson football would find the end zone four times, but the visiting Taylor Trojans were able to out-gun the Eagles, taking a 42-26 road win in their MSFA crossover matchup.
Brenden Lamb rushed for three TDs in the win, including a pair in the second quarter to put the Trojans ahead 14-0 at the half. Judson responded early in the third quarter, scoring the first-ever points in program history with a 31-yard TD pass from Aubrey Williams to Dakari Ferguson. Taylor came back with two quick scores, taking advantage of an interception, to lead 28-6 and remain in control throughout the rest of the game.
Levi Frazier threw three TDs for the Trojans, finishing with 136 yards on 5-of-13 passing. Lamb tallied 106 yards rushing on 33 carries, while Dakohta Sonnich had 105 receiving yards and two TDs on just two catches. Aven Jones led the TU defense with 11 tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble.
Williams collected 337 yards through the air for Judson, completing 28 of 44 passes with two TDs. O’Vauntay Vickers led the Eagles’ receivers with seven catches, 107 yards, and a TD. On the other side of the ball, DeMarius Farmer led Judson with eight tackles and one tackle for loss.
INDIANAPOLIS 34, SAINT XAVIER 10
Saint Xavier would throw for over 300 yards against NCAA Division II Indianapolis on Saturday night, but four turnovers would prove costly as the visiting Greyhounds took a 34-10 win over the Cougars.
The Cougars opened with a 10-0 advantage, after a 32-yard TD pass from Stuart Ross to Justin Pringle, and a 37-yard field goal from Peyton Benes to start the second quarter. Indianapolis evened the score by the end of the first half, and behind three rushing TDs from Toriano Clinton, scored 34 unanswered points to take the season-opening victory.
Ross would complete 30 of 50 passes for Saint Xavier, posting 306 yards and one TD on the night. Mason Gray led the SXU receiving corps with eight catches for 116 yards. Ron Carroll finished with a team-high 15 tackles, with two pass breakups and a half-tackle for loss.
WALDORF (IOWA) 24, ST. AMBROSE 17
Seventeen unanswered points to start the second half put St. Ambrose in the lead, but a pair of late scores for the visitors would give Waldorf a 24-17 road win over the Bees on Saturday.
The Warrors opened with a touchdown in each of the first and second quarters, before Tom Casey got SAU on the board with a 20-yard TD pass to Blake Wittman early in the third. Following a 22-yard Tom Gillen field goal, St. Ambrose took the lead on another TD pass from Casey, this time to Sam Kerr from three yards out, giving SAU a 17-14 lead.
Waldorf rallied back with a 64-yard TD drive on their next possession, and capped it with a late field goal to build a seven-point advantage. St. Ambrose had a pair of potential game-tying drives, but both eneded in turnovers to secure the win for Waldorf.
Casey finished with 238 yards through the air, completing 26 of 51 yards with two TDs. T’Nahleg Hall rushed 24 times for 85 yards on the day, while on the other side of the ball Bernard Buhake registered two and a half sacks and two forced fumbles.