SPRINGFIELD, Oh. – One of the most lop-sided improbable post-season victories happened at Edwards-Maurer Field on Saturday afternoon when the Frostburg State Bobcats (10-1) recorded their first-ever victory at the NCAA Division III Men’s Football Tournament against the best Division III football program ever, the Wittenberg Tigers (10-1), 35-7, in front of 2,347 stunned fans.
Last year, Frostburg State recorded their first post-season victory at the ECAC Asa S. Bushnell Bowl against St. John Fisher College, 38-14. This was the first time they made the tournament field and they were one of only five programs that received an at-large bid.
Coming into this first-round game, Wittenberg had the second most victories in the history of Division III football (736) and they had only lost one time at home in their program history.
Junior QB Connor Cox completed 11 of his 19 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown for Frostburg State. But it was the running game for the Bobcats that dominated this game as two of their rushers, Junior RB Jamaal Morant and Sophomore RB Gavin Lavat each rushed for 100 yards plus (100 yards and one touchdown for Lavat and 170 yards and two touchdowns for Morant).
Frostburg State even turned a fake punt into a 93-yard touchdown run at the hands of Senior DB Dante Chinnery.
For Wittenberg, Junior QB Jake Kennedy was only 15 for 34 and 179 yards. He didn’t thrown a touchdown pass and was intercepted twice by the Bobcat defense. The Tigers could only muster 74 rushing yards total as a team and their only score of the game came on a trick play by two other quarterbacks (Junior QB Ryan Fallon connected with Junior QB Liam Duncan on a 2-yd touchdown pass in the third quarter).
In this stunning upset, the Bobcats had a 501-251 advantage in total yards. One of the most telling stats of the game was on 3rd and 4th down efficiency. For Frostburg State, they were 11 for 17 on third-down conversions and 1 for 2 on fourth-down, where Wittenberg was a horrible 2 for 10 on third downs and 0 for 3 on fourth.
Another glaring stat was play in the red-zone. Wittenberg found itself there four times in the game, but could only manager to score on one of those.
Frostburg State will look to continue this Cinderella run when they take on Washington & Jefferson in the second round in Washington, Pennsylvania. The Presidents took out Johns Hopkins Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon with a 31-28 come from behind victory on one of the most outrageous field-goal attempts ever.
With the score tied 28-28 and only 1:03 left on the clock, The Presidents drive stalled at the Johns Hopkins 29-yard line and Freshman K Mauricio Garibay came in to attempt a 46-yard field goal. Prior to this attempt, Garibay was only one for three for the entire season and his longest was in the Presidents’ season opener at 28 yards.
The kick didn’t look like it had the distance, but the ball hit the horizontal crossbar and bounced straight up in the air and then fell good on the other side of the post. The Presidents’ defense would sack the quarterback three consecutive plays to seal the victory.
The date and time for the second round game is TBD.