Troy St. 31, Portland St. 17
FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) _ Quarterback Mike Turk rebounded from a poor first half to conclude a brilliant collegiate career Saturday with two touchdowns and 190 yards rushing as Troy State beat Portland State 31-17 for the NCAA Division II national title.
The Trojans won their second crown in four years - the first coming in 1984 when Turk was a freshman starter - and finished the season with a 12-1-1 record.
The Vikings concluded their first-ever trip to the playoffs with an 11-2-1 mark.
Turk, the runner-up Friday night for Harlan Hill trophy - the Division II equivalent of the Heisman - clinched the victory with a 51-yard run with 1:43 remaining. The 5-foot-6 quarterback gained only 15 yards rushing in the first half and lost two fumbles deep in Portland State territory. But he finished with 190 yards on 25 carries as the Alabama team scored 28 points in the final 30 minutes.
Turk’s 51-yard run came after backup cornerback Doug Mims intercepted a pass from Portland State quarterback Chris Crawford at the goal line with 5:28 remaining. The Vikings had reached the 4 on the preceding play when Tommie Johnson ran 40 yards.
The Trojans trailed 10-3 at halftime, but exploded for 21 points in a wild third quarter. Turk took it in from the 1, and receivers Titus Dixon and Greg Harris scored on reverses of 49 and 15 yards, respectively.
Portland State’s only touchdown of the second half came when Crawford found Tim Corrigan open for a 37-yard scoring pass.
Portland State scored in the first half on a 2-yard run by Johnson and, with five seconds left in the half, Mike Erickson kicked a 22-yard field goal.
Troy State’s only first half points came on Ted Clem’s 43-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Crawford was harassed all day by a swarming Trojan defense, but still found time to hit 22-of-37 passes for 287 yards.
However, he also tossed two interceptions, including the critical one late in the game picked off by Mims that thwarted the final Viking chance.
Crawford’s favorite receiver was Corrigan, who caught eight passes for 141 yards.
Portland State kept Troy State’s potent wishbone attack, which was averaging more than 33 points per game, off the field for much of the first half. The Vikings held the ball for 19 minutes and 26 seconds in the opening 30 minutes, nearly twice as much as the Trojans.
But in the second half, Troy State compiled 300 yards rushing after gaining just 98 in the first two quarters.
Much of the yardage came on reverses to Dixon. The speedy, 5-foot-9 junior finished with 111 yards on the ground in just four carries.
Portland State gained just 135 yards rushing. The Vikings’ leading runner was Curtis Delgardo with 65 yards.
On the other hand, Troy State did little damage through the air. Turk completed only four of 10 passes for 71 yards, while his backup, Bob Godsey, hit one pass for 2 yards.