Division III playoffs really heating up

Both the University of Mount Union and John Carroll University advance in the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs with victories on Saturday.

No. 8 ranked Mount Union (11-1) plays No. 15 ranked Alfred at noon Saturday at Yunevich Stadium, Alfred, N.Y. The Purple Raiders defeated Johns Hopkins (Md.) 28-21 in the second round and are the only team in this tournament to advance to the quarterfinals by winning two road games.

Alfred (12-0) earned an automatic bid the playoffs by winning the Empire 8 title. The Saxons beat Bridgewater State (Mass.) 33-27 in overtime in the first round then beat Western New England (Mass.) 30-24 in the second round.

This will be just the second all-time meeting between Mount Union and Alfred in football. The previous meeting was a quarterfinal game in the 2010 NCAA playoffs which the Purple Raiders won 37-7 at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Mount Union has won 12 NCAA Championships since winning its first in 1993. The Raiders have played in the national championship game 19 times since then and sport an all-time record of 93-15 in NCAA play. Mount Union has appeared in the tournament a record 28 times and appeared in the Stagg Bowl every year since 2005.

Alfred is making its fourth playoff appearance (1981, 2009, 2010, 2016) and has a 4-3 record in playoff games. The Saxons are in the quarterfinals for a second time in school history.

The game will be broadcast on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker. You can also hear the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900. Alfred will be offering a LIVE VIDEO feed of the game online at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/alfred/.

The winner of this game will play the winner of the Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) versus Wheaton (Ill.) game in the national semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 10 with a time and location to be announced.

No. 6 John Carroll (11-1) won a thrilling 20-17 double overtime game over Wesley in the second round. The Blue Streaks will face top-seeded Wisconsin-Whitewater at noon on Saturday.

The Blue Streaks never hosted a second round game in the NCAA Division III Football Championship and therefore have never won in a second round postseason game at home (although they are 2-0 in that situation on the road since the tournament field expanded to 28 teams in 1999).

Wisconsin-Whitewater defeated Wittenburg 37-9 in the second round.