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The DIAA Fall Championship is set with St. Joe’s and Bowling Green reaching the December 2nd final in Charlotte, N.C.
Muddy conditions marred the Mt. St. Mary’s venue and the games turned into grind it out affairs. After winning the MARC conference, the St. Joseph's met Salisbury in the round of eight. The Hawks' flyhalf Noah Niu was crucial in orchestrating the Hawks offense. With the score 10-5, Nui assisted on a try and scored the next two to put the game away as St. Joe’s ended up winning the game 53-22. In the other quarterfinal, Western Michigan shocked second-seeded Lindenwood-Belleville, 24-10.
In the semifinal, the Hawks raced out to an early 15-0 lead and the field conditions turned the game into a slop fest. Western Michigan managed to score twice but St. Joe’s held on for a 15-10 win. The Hawks return for its second consecutive DIAA fall championship. Last year, the Hawks lost to Mary Washington.
On the other side of the bracket, Mary Washington blew away West Chester, 71-14, on Saturday while Bowling Green edged Kentucky, 31-24, to set up a semifinal matchup.
Despite the weather, the game was a shootout. Mary Washington grabbed an early 14-0 lead but Bowling Green bounced back to trail 22-19 at the break. BGSU stormed out early in the second half and led 40-29. The Mothers battled through a slew of injuries to cut the lead to 40-39 but the Ohio school kept Mary Washington at bay.
After 43 consecutive years of winning the MAC, Bowling Green reached its second fall DIAA final in three years. Notre Dame College upended Bowling Green in 2016.
The final is set for December 2nd in Charlotte, NC.