FCS Playoff Roundup
Stony Brook, NY (Sports Network) - Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore felt his running backs could carry the load when the Seawolves learned they would be without injured quarterback Kyle Essington for their FCS playoff game against Villanova.
Had Essington been able to play Saturday, it would have been best to keep the ball in the hands of Miguel Maysonet and Marcus Coker anyway.
Maysonet rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns and Coker added 107 yards on the ground as Stony Brook beat Villanova, 20-10, in a first-round game at LaValle Stadium.
The Seawolves (10-2), from the Big South Conference, will travel to No. 3 seed Montana State (10-1) for a second-round game on Dec. 3.
Essington, the FCS leader in passing efficiency, missed the game because of a right thigh contusion. His backup, Lyle Negron, a junior who attempted only five passes in the regular season, made his first career start.
Negron was only 3-of-6 against Villanova because the game plan relied on Maysonet and Coker, who combined for 54 carries to allow the Seawolves to dominate the game clock, 39:32 to 20:28.
Maysonet scored on two runs in the second quarter - from 1 and 14 yards out - to provide a 14-0 halftime lead. His first score capped a 21-play, 98-yard drive that started in the first quarter and lasted 12 minutes, 43 seconds.
Wesley Skiffington kicked 37- and 29-yard field goals in the second half and Stony Brook took a 20-3 lead.
Redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson scored Villanova's only touchdown, a 21-yard run with 6:57 left. He finished with 85 yards on 15 carries, and was 15-of-31 for 135 yards and two interceptions.
The Wildcats, who earned the automatic playoff bid from CAA Football, saw their season end with an 8-4 record. They won six more games than a year ago, when they finished 2-9.
Wagner 31, Colgate 20
Staten Island, NY (Sports Network) - It might have been easy to overlook Wagner considering a Northeast Conference program had never won an FCS playoff game.
But Wagner never trailed on Saturday while it forced five turnovers in a 31-20 victory over Patriot League champion Colgate in the first round.
The Seahawks, who improved to 9-3 with a ninth straight win, were playing in their first postseason game since 1988, when the team competed at the Division III level.
The third team to represent the NEC in the playoffs, the Seahawks will travel to No. 2 seed Eastern Washington for a second-round matchup Dec. 1.
Wagner's defense stifled Colgate's dangerous rushing attack, led by quarterback Gavin McCarney and running back Jordan McCord, by holding the Raiders to just 296 yards of offense and only 177 rushing yards. McCarney and McCord both rushed for touchdowns, however.
Wagner jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the game's first 17 minutes behind a Nick Doscher touchdown pass and a Dominique Williams rushing touchdown. Doscher only threw for 95 yards, but tossed two touchdowns, became the Seahawks' all- time passing yardage leader (5,975) and upped his streak of passes without an interception to 210. He added 91 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Williams finished with 106 rushing yards and one touchdown on 21 carries, moving into fourth place on the Seahawks' all-time rushing list. He has rushed for 100 or more yards in 20 of his 31 career games.
The Seahawks didn't commit a turnover, leaving them with just one in their last nine games.
The defense forced five turnovers from McCarney - three fumbles and two interceptions - and held Colgate's fifth-ranked FCS rushing offense (294 yards per game) and third-ranked FCS scoring offense (41 points per game) well in check.
Colgate, ranked 24th nationally, ended its season with a 8-4 record. Their 20 points were the lowest total for the team this season.
Coastal Carolina 24, Bethune-Cookman 14
Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - A 2-4 start to the season was hardly reason to think Coastal Carolina would be playing in the FCS playoffs, let alone win for the first time there.
But hidden in that record was a difficult strength of schedule that paid off after the Chanticleers got into the heart of their Big South Conference schedule.
On Saturday, the Chanticleers continued their hot late-season run with their sixth straight win, 24-14 at 22nd-ranked Bethune-Cookman in the first round of the playoffs.
It was Coastal's first FCS playoff win in three all-time appearances. The Chanticleers (8-4) next play at No. 4 Old Dominion (10-1) in the second round Dec. 1.
Coastal, which has a first-year coach in Joe Moglia, overwhelmed Bethune- Cookman with 17 second-quarter points, scoring on its first three possessions.
Marcus Whitener opened the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run at the 13:50 mark before quarterback Aramis Hillary connected on a 3-yard scoring pass to Matt Hazel with 7:23 left.
After Quenton Davis recovered a fumble by Bethune-Cookman's Jordan Murphy in Wildcats terrority, the Chanticleers went ahead 17-0 on Alex Catron's 35-yard field goal with 3:05 remaining.
Coastal extended its lead to 24-0 on Johnnie Houston's 68-yard interception return for a touchdown with 10:26 left in the fourth quarter. He also forced a pair of fumbles in the game.
Bethune-Cookman (9-3) tightened the score with two touchdowns, a Quentin Williams 74-yard touchdown pass to David Blackwell at the 6:44 mark and an Isidore Jackson 10-yard run with 1:22 left.
It was the 17th straight playoff loss for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team, dating to 1999.
Hillary completed 19-of-24 pass attempts for 180 yards, the touchdown and one interception.
Coastal's schedule has been a difference-maker. The schedule became bearish after the Chanticleers won their first two games. They lost to Eastern Kentucky, FBS member Toledo, Appalachian State and Stony Brook - teams that were 33-11 heading into Saturday's action.
But the Chanticleers averaged 46.2 points in their final five Big South games to earn a share of the conference title and the automatic bid to the playoffs on a tiebreaker.
South Dakota State 58, Eastern Illinois 10
Brookings, SD (Sports Network) - In a game featuring one of the FCS' top running backs and one of the better passing attacks, the run game was better suited in South Dakota State's 58-10 FCS playoff win over Eastern Illinois Saturday.
Running back Zach Zenner accounted for a school-record 295 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and South Dakota State had 434 on the ground. The Jackrabbits jumped out to a comfortable 34-3 halftime lead before literally running away to the first-round win.
It was the first FCS playoff win in three appearances for the Jackrabbits (9-3), who will play in an intriguing second-round matchup on Dec. 1 against fellow Missouri Valley Conference member North Dakota State (10-1), the No. 1 seed and the defending FCS champion.
SDSU already played at North Dakota State on Nov. 10, losing, 20-17.
The Jackrabbits totaled 580 yards of offense and 29 first downs. Quarterback Austin Sumner completed 13-of-28 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. Reggie Gandy also rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
Zenner broke the game open with a 68-yard touchdown run to put the Jackrabbits up 7-0 with 4:27 left in the first quarter. They scored 24 second-quarter points.
Zenner, the FCS rushing leader, raised his season total to 1,998 yards.
Eastern Illinois came into the game ranked No. 6 in the FCS in passing offense (354 yards per game) and total offense (480 yards per game), but was held to just 221 and 366 yards, respectively. They also had been averaging nearly 39 points per game.
EIU quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 25-of-41 for 221 yards and one interception, and receiver Erik Lora caught 12 passes for 133 yards. Lora finished his junior campaign with an FCS single-season record for receptions with 136. He totaled 1,664 receiving yards.
Jake Walker rushed for 125 yards and the Panthers' only touchdown in the loss.
The Panthers, the Ohio Valley Conference champion, finished the season with a 7-5 record. OVC teams have lost 18 straight playoff games dating to 2000.
South Dakota State is ranked 19th in The Sports Network FCS Top 25, while Eastern Illinois is 25th.
11/24 20:54:14 ET