N. Colorado 24, Pittsburg St. 16
PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) _ Bryan Applewhite had a 27-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and defending NCAA Division II champion Northern Colorado held off eighth-ranked Pittsburg State 24-16 Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.
Billy Holmes, who rushed for 1,074 yards this season to break the Northern Colorado record he set last year, gained 112 yards on 24 carries for the Bears.
Applewhite rushed only three times in the game, finishing with 32 yards for No. 11 Northern Colorado, which beat Carson-Newman last year in the title game.
Northern Colorado plays Northwest Missouri State in the second round. Northwest Missouri defeated North Dakota State 39-28 on Saturday.
Northern Colorado (10-2) took a 17-0 lead at halftime over Pittsburg State (9-2) as the two teams met in the first round for the third straight year. The two teams, former rivals in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, had split the two previous games with Northern Colorado winning last year on a last-second field goal by Mike Schauer.