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FCS Top 25 September 14

Central Arkansas 31, Abilene Christian 30
Carlos Blackman scored two touchdowns, including a 3-yard run to give Central Arkansas its first lead with 1:30 to play, and the Bears beat Abilene Christian 31-30. Blackman finished with eight carries for 16 yards and added a career-high 12 receptions for 82 yards and a TD. The senior running back came into the game with 35 career catches. Breylin Smith was 36-of-53 passing for 367 yards and Lujuan Winningham had 119 yards receiving and a score on six receptions for Central Arkansas (3-0). Smith hit Blackman for a 10-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter and BeSean McCoy ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 17-all. Blair Zepeda - whose 42-yard field goal in the second quarter was the first of his career - hit a 51-yarder fewer than 90 seconds later and Luke Anthony's 20-yard TD pass to Tyrese White gave ACU (1-2) a 27-17 lead with 11:07 remaining. Smith hit Winningham for a 20-yard score 58 seconds later and Zepeda added a 33-yard field goal to make it 30-24 with 5:28. Blackman's go-ahead TD run capped a nine-play, 72-yard drive. Zepeda's 46-yard attempt with 35 seconds left fell short. Juan Jackson, a 2018 first-team all-Southland Conference selection at defensive back for Central Arkansas, was ejected after a targeting foul midway through the fourth quarter. Luke Anthony was 24 of 41 for 322 yards and a score and Tracy James had 21 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns for ACU.

Kennesaw State 42, Alabama State 7
Tommy Bryant ran for two touchdowns and Demetrius Pettway had an interception return for a touchdown and Kennesaw State rolled to a 42-7 win over Alabama State. The Owls (2-1) had 481 yards rushing, with six different players gaining at least 60 yards and four reaching the end zone. One of those was quarterback Daniel David, who was 3 of 5 passing for 39 yards. He had 14 rushes for 63 yards and opened the scoring with a 2-yard run four plays after Tanner Jones blocked an Alabama State punt. Two snaps later, Pettway had a 35-yard interception return for a 14-0 lead. A 55-yard touchdown run by Bronson Reschsteiner made it 21-0 with a minute left in the first quarter. It was 28-0 at the half after Bryant's first touchdown with Kennesaw State piling up 232 yards and holding the Hornets to 78 yards with two interceptions. Kennesaw State, which lost two fumbles and had 10 penalties for 101 yards, ran its streak of scoring a rushing touchdown to 41 straight games. Alabama State (1-2) finished with 202 yards.

Villanova 45, Bucknell 10
Daniel Smith threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as Villanova took an early lead and held it to beat Bucknell 45-10. Smith had 109 yards passing for the Wildcats (3-0). Justin Covington ran for 119 yards on seven carries. The Wildcats scored 35 unanswered points, starting with Jaquan Amos' 34-yard interception return of a John Chiarolanzio pass on the third play of the game. Smith fired a 23-yard score to Todd Summers for a 14-0 lead and followed up on the team's next drive with a 3-yard keeper for another touchdown with 13:19 left in the second quarter. A second Chiarolanzio interception, this time by Drew Wiley, led to another Villanova scoring drive as Smith found Changa Hodge on a 6-yard touchdown throw and the Wildcats led 28-0 at halftime. Smith opened the second half with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dez Boykin for a 35-0 advantage and Villanova cruised to the win. The Wildcats held Bucknell to just 46 rushing yards. Chiarolanzio finished with 134 yards passing for the Bison (0-3).

Cal Davis 41, Lehigh 13
Jake Maier was 38-of-49 passing for 389 yards and four touchdowns and UC Davis cruised to a 41-13 win over Lehigh. Carson Crawford had nine receptions for 148 yards and a score, Khris Vaughn had two touchdown catches and Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. had 15 carries for 56 yards and a TD for UC Davis. Maier hit Vaughn for a 2-yard touchdown about 3 1/2 minutes into the game and, after the teams traded punts, led an 11-play, 94-yard drive capped by Wes Preece's 4-yard TD catch that made it 14-0. The Mountain Hawks (0-3), on their next possession, moved to the UCD (2-1) 23 before Roland Ocansey stopped Addison Shoup for a 2-yard loss and Nas Anesi sacked Tyler Monaco before Lehigh failed to convert on a fourt-and-20 from the 33. Gilliam and Tehran Thomas scored on runs of 3 yards in the second quarter and 1 yard in the third, respectively, to give UCD a 28-0 lead before the Mountain Hawks crossed midfield again. Devon Bibbers had seven receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Lehigh. The Aggies, who came in ranked No. 4 in the FCS Coaches poll, finished with 510 total yards and 13 tackles for losses, including seven sacks - 2 1/2 by redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Eaton.

North Carolina A&T 27, Charleston Southern 21
Jah-Maine Martin ran for a career-high 299 yards including two long touchdown runs and North Carolina A&T scored 21 points in the fourth quarter in beating Charleston Southern 27-21. Martin found a gap on the right side and broke tackles on his way to a 76-yard score that gave the Aggies (2-1) a 27-14 lead with 5 1/2 minutes to go. The Buccaneers scored with about 3 1/2 minutes left but Martin had runs of 13 and 33 yards to help FCS-ranked North Carolina A&T retain possession. Martin carried 25 times, including an 84-yard scoring run a minute into the fourth quarter with a 2-point conversion tying the game at 14. Noel Ruiz then added his third and fourth field goals of the night. Elijah Bell had 77 yards receiving for 2,347 for an Aggies career record, passing Herbert Harbison. Kameron Brown had 110 yards receiving on nine catches, including two for touchdowns, for Charleston Southern (0-3).

North Dakota State 47, Delaware 22
So much focus at national champion North Dakota State this offseason centered around the Bison replacing the winningest quarterback in FCS history that the many changes on defense flew under the radar. While many of the defensive players are different, the dominance hasn't changed. The top-ranked Bison smothered No. 18 Delaware in a 47-22 rout at Delaware Stadium - their 24th straight win to move into a tie for the third-longest streak in FCS history. NDSU (3-0) outgained Delaware 268-29 in the first half and built a 27-5 halftime lead. The Missouri Valley Conference power, which next hosts No. 5 UC Davis, led 33-8 after three quarters before the Blue Hens (2-1) gained most of their yards, and two Nolan Henderson touchdown passes, with the game was out of reach. Redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance, now piloting a Bison program that has won two straight and seven of the last eight FCS titles, completed 18 of 23 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns. He has accounted for 13 TDs in replacing Easton Stick, who went 49-3 as a starter in his career. Safety Michael Tutsie had a team-high 10 tackles and his third interception of the season set up NDSU's first touchdown, Kobe Johnson's 1-yard run to answer a Delaware safety off a blocked punt out of the Bison end zone. Eight Bison players combined on seven sacks. Running back Adam Cofield (24) and tight ends Ben Ellferson (5) and Noah Gindorff (4) had NDSU's touchdown catches. Cofield and Saybein Clark also rushed for touchdowns. Delaware lost at NDSU 38-10 last season. The CAA Football program is 3-11 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams and 3-10 against defending national champions.

South Dakota State 38, Drake 10
Kanin Nelson threw two touchdown passes to Cade Johnson and South Dakota State rolled to a 38-10 win over Drake. Pierre Strong and CJ Wilson both ran for more than 100 yards for the Jackrabbits (2-1), who won their 13th straight at home. Strong had 129 yards on 11 carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run. Wilson had 117 on 10 with a long of 52. Johnson had a 76-yard run on a reverse as South Dakota State had 369 yards on the ground. Johnson had five catches for 80 yards with scoring plays covering 5 and 36 yards in the third quarter to put SDSU up 31-3. He moved into the top 10 on the school career list for receiving yards with 1,889 yards. The touchdowns put him fifth on the career list with 22. Nelson was 12 of 18 for 158 yards. Drake (0-3) was held to 289 yards; 57 on the ground. Senior kicker Chase Vinatieri scored eight points, moving within nine of Drake's career record. The nephew of one-time school record holder and NFL career kicking leader Adam Vinatieri has 313 points, eight behind Park Douglass, who broke Adam Vinatieri's record of 195.

Illinois State 21, Eastern Illinois 3
James Robinson ran for three touchdowns and Illinois State beat Eastern Illinois 21-3. It was Robinson's second straight game with three TD runs for the FCS 13th-ranked Redbirds (2-1), who won their 12th straight home opener. Robinson had a pair of short scoring runs in the first half and broke loose with a 52-yard score early in the third quarter that capped the scoring. He finished with 146 yards rushing on 23 carries. Jeff Proctor had 71 yards on the ground and Brady Davis added another 39 yards on 10 carries and was 5-of-11 passing for 31 yards. Illinois State held Eastern Illinois (0-3) to 197 yards of offense and sacked Johnathan Brantley six times. The Panthers crossed into Illinois State territory just twice in the second half. One drive ended on Josh Delgado's missed 29-yard field goal attempt, and the second stalled at the Redbirds 25 with an incomplete pass on fourth-and-7. Delgado kicked a 34-yard field goal late in the second quarter.

Jacksonville State 49, Eastern Washington 45
Zerrick Cooper passed for three touchdowns and ran for one, and Michael Matthews scored the winning touchdown with 59 seconds left as No. 17 Jacksonville State rallied past No. 4 Eastern Washington 49-45. The Gamecocks (2-1) never led until Matthews scored on a 1-yard plunge to cap an 11-play, 73-yard drive that started with 4:38 to play. Eastern Washington had led from the opening kickoff, which Dre Dorton returned 90 yards for a touchdown. Eric Barriere then threw three touchdown passes and the Eagles (1-2) led 28-7 after one quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Marlon Bridges picked off a Barriere pass and returned it 67 yards, his school-recording-tying third pick-6 of his career. Late in the third quarter, Barriere threw his fifth touchdown pass to put Eastern Washington on top 45-28. Cooper capped a 75-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run, Matthews capped a 13-yard drive after a blocked point with a 3-yard run and then Matthews provided the winner. EWU had a 469-366 yards advantage in total offense, running 88 plays to 65, but Jacksonville State dominated the fourth quarter. The Eagles had 15 plays for 12 yards while the Gamecocks had 24 plays for 109 yards. EWU, which was 14 of 23 on third-down conversions, was 4 of 10 in the second half, 0 of 4 in the fourth quarter. Cooper was 14 of 31 for 249 yards and had 88 yards rushing. Jamari Hester had five catches for 133 yards. Barriere went 24 of 43 for 294 yards, but was 1 of 8 for 12 yards in the fourth. Antoine Custer carried 28 times for a career-high 184 yards.

Elon 42, Richmond 20
Davis Cheek threw a career-high five touchdown passes to five different receivers, Shamari Wingard returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score and Elon beat Richmond 42-20. Cheek hit Cole Taylor on a 28-yard TD pass on Elon's opening 75-yard drive and capped its second with a 4-yard scoring toss to Matt Foster. His 11-yard pass to Boyson Daughtry made it 28-7 and he hit Kortez Weeks on a 53-yarder and Avery Jones on a 10-yarder in the third quarter. Cheek was 18 of 30 for 234 yards and Weeks gained 125 yards on eight catches as the Phoenix (2-1) outgained the Spiders 421-384. Richmond's Beau English scored on an 8-yard run and backup Joe Mancuso threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Keyston Fuller and an 8-yarder to Isaac Brown. The Spiders (1-2) threatened late, reaching the Elon 6 after Fuller's 66-yard pass reception and run, but were stopped on downs with 6:49 to play. Mancuso was 11 of 16 for 234 yards passing with an interception and Fuller gained 208 yards on seven receptions.

James Madison 63, Morgan State 12
Ben DiNucci matched his career high with four touchdown passes and James Madison rolled past Morgan State 63-12. DiNucci was 18-of-23 passing with 240 yards. After lofting a 9-yard pass over a defender and into the arms of Devin Ravenel for the game's first score he threw for three scores in a 28-point second quarter: a 48-yarder to Brandon Polk on a post pattern, a swing pass to Jawon Hamilton that turned into a 50-yard score and a 19-yarder to running back Solomon Vanhorse. DiNucci's final two passes came after a lightning delay that lasted over an hour as the stadium was cleared. Percy Agyei-Obese rushed for two touchdowns for the Dukes and backup quarterbacks Cole Johnson and Gage Moloney each passed for a TD. Ravenal also grabbed an onside kick and returned it 43 yards to score. The Dukes (2-1), ranked second in the FCS, had 507 yards of offense while their defense held the Bears to 2 of 13 on third-down conversions. The Bears (0-2) scored their first touchdown this season on a 72-yard pass play from DeAndre Harris to Manasseh Bailey in the fourth quarter. Bailey finished with four catches for 172 yards.

Towson 45, Maine 23
Tom Flacco passed for 232 yards and a score and Yeedee Thaenrat added four short touchdown runs to power No. 8 Towson to a 45-23 victory over No. 7 Maine. Kenny Doak kicked two first-quarter field goals to stake Maine to a 6-0 lead, but Thaenrat capped an eight-play, 63-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run to put the Tigers (3-0) up 7-6 at quarter's end. Aidan O'Neill's 26-yard field goal stretched Towson's lead to 10-6, but the Black Bears (1-2) regained the lead when Chris Ferguson connected with Earnest Edwards for a 19-yard score and a 13-10 advantage midway through the second quarter. Thaenrat's 1-yard TD run came with 1:41 left and gave Towson a 17-13 lead at halftime. Maine pulled within 17-16 on Doak's 44-yard field goal with 4:34 gone in the third quarter, but Thaenrat's third scoring run - this one from 2 yards out - pushed the Tigers' lead to 24-16. Flacco put the Tigers up 31-16 with 1:09 left in the third when he hit Chris Clark for a 9-yard score. Thaenrat's final TD run came from the 1 just 43 seconds into the final quarter and Kobe Young pitched in with a 10-yard scoring run to cap the scoring for the Tigers. Ferguson completed 28 of 49 passes for 401 yards and a TD for Maine, but he was intercepted four times. Edwards finished with six catches for 116 yards and a score.

Montana State 23, Western Illinois 14
Logan Jones ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns and Montana State defeated Western Illinois 23-14. Jones, a senior who more than doubled his career rushing total of 152 yards, started in place of injured Isaiah Ifanse. Jones opened the scoring with a 14-yard run in the first quarter and added MSU's only other touchdown on an 87-yard jaunt in the third quarter. The game was tied at 7 at halftime before MSU (No. 15 in FCS Coaches' Poll) scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, the touchdown coming on Jones' long run. Western Illinois cut it to 17-14 on a 3-yard run by Jared Drake that capped an 8-play, 75-yard drive. Western Illinois (0-3) drove toward a go-ahead score and reached the MSU 25 before the Bobcats' Damien Washington intercepted a pass by Connor Sampson. Montana State (2-1) drove deep into Leathernecks territory but WIU held for a field goal and again drove for the potential go-ahead score. The Leathernecks reached the MSU 13-yard line, but offensive holding and two incomplete passes left them facing 4th-and-14 from the 18. They settled for a 35-yard field-goal attempt that was missed by Nathan Erickson. Montana State took possession with 6:57 remaining and drove to the WIU 30, facing 4th-and-5 with 2:45 to go. Tristan Bailey, who was good on all three of his tries, kicked a 47-yard field goal for the final margin. Sampson was 18 of 35 for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception. MSU's Casey Bauman was 16 of 30 for 149 yards.

Nicholls 42, Prairie View A&M 35
Chase Fourcade threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to guide Nicholls to a 42-35 victory over Prairie View A&M. Fourcade completed 17 of 22 passes for 224 yards for the Colonels (1-1), ranked 11th in the FCS coaches' poll, and added 35 yards rushing on 12 carries. Nicholls took the lead midway through the first quarter on Dion Ray's 15-yard TD run, but Gavin Lasseigne missed the extra point and the lead stood at 6-0 at quarter's end. The second quarter was dominated by the Panthers (1-2), who used Jalen Morton's 23-yard scoring run and two Morton TD throws - 16 yards to Tony Mullins and a 39-yarder to Kalen Riles for a 21-6 halftime lead. But the Colonels took control of the game with a 29-point third quarter. Fourcade opened the scoring with a 5-yard TD run. Fourcade then connected with Dal'Jean Dixon for a 14-yard score before added a 3-yard TD run to put Nicholls on top 28-21. On the ensuing possession for the Panthers, Morton fumbled on first down and Allen Pittman recovered the ball for Nicholls at the Prairie View 36-yard line. On the next play Fourcade connected with Dixon for a 36-yard score and a 35-21 lead after three quarters. Morton capped a 13-play, 73-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run to pull Prairie View within 35-28. Nicholls answered with a 10-play, 66-yard drive with Julien Gums scoring on a 2-yard run with 6:41 left to play. Morton found Mullins for a 36-yard score with 5:50 remaining but the Panthers could get no closer. Morton completed 22 of 36 passes for 327 yards with three TDs and two interceptions. He added 80 yards rushing and two scores on 14 carries. Dixon had seven catches for 126 yards and two scores for the Colonels.

North Dakota 27, Sam Houston State 23
Noah Larson forced a fumble recovered by Jalen Morrison as North Dakota halted a Sam Houston State drive late in the game to preserve a 27-23 victory. The Bearkats, trailing by four, drove to North Dakota's 10 with 1:06 remaining in the game. Larson then forced quarterback Eric Schmid to fumble and Morrison's recovery sealed the second straight win over SHSU. The Fighting Hawks knocked off SHSU on its home field last year, 24-23, to snap a 21-game home win streak. Tommy Schuster threw for 165 yards and a touchdown with Noah Wanzek pulling down nine tosses for 109 yards for the Fighting Hawks (2-1). It was an odds-evens game as North Dakota won the first quarter 14-0, SHSU scored 14 in the second to tie it by halftime and the Fighting Hawks scored 13 in the third to go up 27-14, but SHSU (1-2) came up short in the final quarter, scoring nine points. SHSU's Schmid threw for 114 yards and one touchdown, but was intercepted twice.

Samford 21, Wofford 14
Chris Oladokun dashed 30 yards for the game-winning score in the third quarter as Samford earned its first win of the season by knocking off Wofford, 21-14. Samford starred the season with a 45-22 loss to Youngstown State and a heartbreaker in two overtimes at Tennessee Tech. Wofford came into the game ranked No. 21 in the Football Championship Subdivision. Both teams came into the game after a bye week. Wofford lost its opener at South Carolina State. Samford now owns 12 victories in 17 games against Wofford. Oladokun completed 17 of 25 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown, but he was also picked off twice. He ran 12 times for 77 yards, including the game winning score. His 12-yard pass to Robert Adams in the first quarter tied the game at 14-14. Wofford attempted just six passes, completing two and finished with negative yardage. Joe Newman carried 16 times for 105 yards to lead the Terriers on the ground, where they gained 284 yards. Nathan Walker carried had 32 yards rushing on 10 carries and scored both Wofford touchdowns, staking his team to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

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September 14, 2019

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