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N. Dakota, Grand Valley St. Win in Div. II

December 6, 2003

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) _ John Bowenkamp led North Dakota to the NCAA Division II championship game Saturday, throwing three touchdown passes in the Sioux’s 29-22 victory over North Alabama.

Jeff Glas kicked field goals of 27, 45 and 32 yards help North Dakota (12-1) advance to the title game next week in Florence, Ala., against defending champion Grand Valley State, a 31-3 winner at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Bowenkamp had scoring passes of 30 yards to Travis Lueck, 5 yards to David Wisthoff, and 15 yards to Matt Vanderpan. The scoring pass to Vanderpan came on a fake field goal midway through the fourth quarter, giving North Dakota a 26-9 lead.

Will Hall, a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy awarded annually to the top player in Division II, threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score for North Alabama (13-1).

In the NCAA Division III quarterfinals, three-time defending champion Mount Union beat Wheaton 56-10, St. John’s of Minnesota topped Linfield 31-25, RPI edged Ithaca 21-16, and Bridgewater’s game at Lycoming was postponed a day because of snow.

In the NAIA semifinals, defending champion Carroll College beat St. Francis of Indiana 38-14, and Northwestern Oklahoma State defeated Sioux Falls 16-13. The championship game is Dec. 20 in Savannah, Tenn.

Grand Valley St. 31, Texas A&M-Kingsville 3

At Kingsville, Texas, Michael Tennessee ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Cullen Finnerty had 117 yards rushing and also scored twice for Grand Valley State (13-1).

Texas A&M-Kingsville finished the season 11-2.

NCAA Division III

Mount Union 56, Wheaton 10

At Alliance, Ohio, Zach Bruney threw four touchdown passes to help Mount Union (12-0) to its 54th straight victory, matching the NCAA record it set from 1996-99.

Bruney completed 11 of 18 passes for 185 yards and had touchdown passes of 31 and 6 yards to Randell Knapp, 17 yards to John Healy and 3 yards to Brian Miller.

Jeff Strauch ran for 128 yards on 23 carries and had a 7-yard TD run for Mount Union. Wheaton finished the season 12-1.

Mount Union will face the winner of the Bridgewater-Lycoming game Sunday in the semifinals.

St. John’s 31, Linfield 25

At Collegeville, Minn., Ryan Keating ran for two touchdowns and passed for another for St. John’s (12-0).

The victory was the 412th for St. John’s coach John Gagliardi, who passed former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson’s career record of 408 this season to become college football victory leader.

The Johnnies will play RPI at home next week in the semifinals. Linfield finished 11-1.

RPI 21, Ithaca 16

At Troy, N.Y., Dan Cole threw for 268 and three touchdowns to lead RPI (11-1) past Ithaca (10-3).

RPI scored on its first two possessions, with Cole throwing a 59-yard TD pass to Pat Hughes and a 37-yarder to Jon Branche.

NAIA

Carroll 38, St. Francis, Ind. 14

At Helena, Mont., D.J. Dearcorn ran for 80 yards and four touchdowns for Carroll College (14-0).

Tyler Emmert completed 25 of 34 passes for 280 yards and ran for 36 yards and Carroll’s other touchdown.

St. Francis finished 12-1.

NW Oklahoma St. 16, Sioux Falls 13

At Sioux Falls, S.D., Patrick Crayton scored on a 2-yard run with 41 seconds left and Keith Vermillion made a 20-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining for Northwest Oklahoma State (11-1).

Sioux Falls finished 12-1.

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