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In the quarterfinal round of the 2016 DI-AA Fall National Championships, Bowling Green State, Lindenwood-Belleville, Notre Dame College, and Cincinnati have each advanced to the semifinals on Sunday. For the right to play in the title game on December 3rd at Furman University, BGSU is set to play Lindenwood-Belleville and NDC takes on Cincinnati.
At Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., #2 Bowling Green blew out #7 Mount St. Mary’s, 78-20, and #6 Lindenwood-Belleville narrowly beat #3 James Madison, 37-34, on the last play. Playing in Pittsburgh, Pa. at Founders Field, #1 Notre Dame College blanked #8 Syracuse, 71-0, and #5 Cincinnati defeated #4 St. Joseph’s, 21-10.
After the Mount scored the game’s first points with a Tito Miranda penalty, the Falcons of BGSU put on a clinic scoring the next 47 points. Cole Shaffer, Adam Regini (2), Bobby Kiskin, Phil Bryant, Sean McFarland, and Neil McNamara found the endzone for BGSU and Nick Ross was 6/7 on conversions in the half.
The Mount found improvement with tries by Archie Cullen, Brandon Lough, and Travis Bewley in the second half, but BGSU kept up the pressure to score another five tries in the period. Chris Labadie, Alex Cramner, Bryant, and Adam Kibicki each scored and Regini completed the hat trick for the 78-20 victory.
In the matchup between the top seed of the Chesapeake and the talented independent, Lindenwood-Belleville grabbed the initiative in the first half taking advantage of JMU’s handing errors to score the game’s first four tries. Patrick Donavan, John Gilliam, Hunter Blanchard, and JP Aguirre dotted down tries for the 24-0 lead. JMU adjusted and hooker Nick Anzevino scored the next two tries to end the first half and start the second.
Discipline issues began to mount in second half culminating in a double red card for both clubs about 20 minutes into the session. With each team down to 14 players, the clubs traded tries as L-B led, 29-14. Kristian Poletti added a PK to increase L-B’s advantage, but JMU had other plans.
Behind tries by Grant Johnson and Ryan Maguire and a penalty by Gabriel Harrison, the Dukes attacked with veracity clawing all the way back for the 34-32 lead with three minutes left. With the match on the line, L-B stepped up the defense and charged down a clearing kick inside JMU’s zone. In the final moments of the match, the Lynx forwards pounded the ball at goal line before spinning the ball wide. Since the defenders were sucked inside, Aguirre waltzed in for the try with no time left and the 37-34 win.
Dealing with muddy and sloppy field conditions at Eastern Kentucky University, Notre Dame College adapted its speed-based backs oriented offense to a concentration on ball control in the forwards. Syracuse attempted to keep up with the Falcons, but was summarily denied to the tune of a 71-0 shutout.
NDC scored a total of 12 tries in route to victory as Christian Olsen scored a second half hat trick to go with tries from Roneil Reynolds, Andrew Guerra, John Santiago, Cian Grendon (2), Cullen Barelka (2), Sam Klimkowski, and Zach Forro. Logan Weinstock contributed to the win with a penalty and four conversions.
In the #4 versus #5 contest, St. Joseph’s from the Keystone and Cincinnati of the MAC battled the each other and the field conditions. In the end, the Bearcats triumphed with a 21-10 win over the Hawks.
Cincinnati was on the board first with a try and two penalties for the early 11-0 lead. St. Joseph’s returned fire with a score to cut the tally to six points, but the Bearcats’ Andrew Bard increased the lead to 16-5 at the half.
Each squad fought back and forth in the second half. Quinton Gallion’s try early in the period made St. Joseph’s ascent to victory hard and arduous. The Hawks were able to dent the scoreline with another try, but the Bearcat defense clamped down for the 21-10 win.