Wagner 20, Emory & Henry 15
ABINGDON, Va. (AP) _ Greg Kovar completed 16 of 26 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns Saturday to lead Wagner College to a 20-15 victory over Emory & Henry in the NCAA Division III football semifinals.
Wagner, the East Region champion, improved to 12-1 while Emory & Henry, the South Region champion, finished at 11-3. The Seahawks meet Dayton next Saturday in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Phenix City, Ala., for the Division III title.
Kovar opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Abe Higgins, who finished with 107 yards on six receptions.
Jerry O’Riordan gave the Seahawks a 10-0 lead early in the second period with a 39-yard field goal. Kovar then tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to John Chaney, capping a 77-yard, nine-play march 41 seconds before intermission.
In the first half, Wagner’s defense limited the Wasps to just one first down and 31 total yards, shutting out Emory & Henry quarterback Gary Collier, the Division III passing efficiency, leader who failed to complete any of his seven passes. Wagner collected 249 yards and 14 first downs en route to its 17-0 lead.
The Wasps got on the board in the third quarter when freshman halfback Scotty Verran ran 20 yards for a touchdown, capping an 84-yard, five-play drive. The drive was helped by face mask and pass interference penalties called against Wagner.
O’Riordan countered for the Seahawks with a 24-yard field goal for a 20-8 lead.
Verran added a 6-yard run for Emory & Henry in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Emory & Henry recovered a Wagner fumble on the Wasp 9-yard line with 1:19 remaining in the game, but Collier misfired on four passes and the Seahawks, regaining possession on downs, ran out the clock.
Terry Underwood collected 128 yards on 34 carries for the Seahawks, who had 171 rushing yards on 58 attempts.
Verran paced the Wasps with 49 yards on seven carries. Collier finished the day 4 of 22 for 49 yards and was sacked twice.