Daily Press (Sunday)

Jackets turn away Captains’ upset bid


Christophe­r Newport took a surprising lead at No. 8 Randolph-Macon in the third quarter Saturday, but the undefeated Yellow Jackets rose to the challenge with a 28-20 victory in the NCAA Division III playoffs’ first round at Day Field in Ashland.

R-MC (11-0), which weathered a late CNU comeback, advanced to a second-round game against Ithaca of New York. CNU, which made the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and won the New Jersey Athletic Conference for the first time, finished 7-4.

Nick Hale’s 1-yard touchdown with 7 minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter gave R-MC a 7-0 lead. The Captains bounced back, getting Ryan Castle’s 20-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, but they lost standout tailback Gunner White to an injury. He neverthele­ss ran 15 times for 80 yards.

CNU moved ahead 10-7 with 12:11 left in the third quarter on

Matt Dzierski’s 1-yard touchdown sneak. But the Jackets took control with drives for three consecutiv­e touchdowns — Cameron Chatmon’s 4-yard run, Hale’s 3-yard run and Drew Campanale’s 27-yard pass down the middle to David Wallis.

That made the score 28-10, though CNU wasn’t finished.

Dzierski connected with Hart for a 60-yard touchdown pass with 8:14 remaining, and after blocking a punt the Captains pulled to within 28-20 on Ryan Castle’s 45-yard field goal at the 2:56 mark.

R-MC recovered an onside kick and clinched the victory with a first down when Chatmon gained 7 yards on third-and-4, enabling the Jackets to run out the clock.

Dzierski was 10 of 20 for 164 yards and carried eight times for 28 yards. Hart made three catches for 84 yards.

Campanale passed for 208 yards with an intercepti­on. Chatmon (18 carries for 89 yards) and Hale (20 for 68) paced the Jackets’ ground game.

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