Last-second field goal ends season for Dukes
COLGATE 23, JAMES MADISON 20
Chris Puzzi kicked a 38-yard field goal as time ran out to give Colgate a 23-20 win over James Madison on Saturday and send the eighth-seeded Raiders to the Football Championship Subdivision playoff quarterfinals.
Puzzi’s winning kick, his third field goal of the game, went inside the right upright and came after James Madison came up short on a fake punt on fourth and five, giving the Raiders the ball at their 39-yard line with 2:46 left.
The Dukes (9-4), who have won two national championships and were making their 15th playoff appearance and fifth straight, tied the game at 20 on Ben DiNucci’s seven-yard run with 8:22 left in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 10-6 at halftime, Colgate (10-1), hosting its first FCS playoff game in 15 years, got touchdowns on Grant Breneman’s 32-yard run and his 14-yard pass to Owen Rockett in the third quarter to lead 20-13. Rockett finished with 104 yards receiving on five catches.
James Madison scored first on Cardon Johnson’s two-yard run, and Ethan Ratke kicked two field goals. But DiNucci was intercepted five times, two by Tyler Castillo.
Colgate will face top-seeded North Dakota State, which has won six of the past seven FCS titles, in the quarterfinals.
LIBERTY 52, NORFOLK STATE 17: Kentory Matthews rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns and Frankie Hickson ran for 100 yards and a score to power the Football Bowl Subdivision independent Flames (6-6) to a romp over the FCS Spartans (4-7) in a game that was originally scheduled for Sept. 15 but was postponed because of Hurricane Florence.
Liberty took the lead for good on Stephen Calvert’s 18-yard touchdown toss to Michael Bollinger with 52 seconds left in the first quarter. The Flames tacked on four touchdowns in the first 12:03 of the second quarter to make it 38-3.
JOHNS HOPKINS 37, RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE 14: David Tammaro passed for 284 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 81 yards and a score, and the Blue Jays won in Baltimore to advance to the Division III national semifinals for the first time in program history.
Stuart Walters added 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns for Johns Hopkins (12-1), which held RPI (10-2) to 42 rushing yards and moves on to face top-ranked Mount Union.
“I don’t reflect very much on a lot of things,” said Blue Jays Coach Jim Margraff, who is in his 29th season leading his alma mater. “But to take a moment and [think about] where we were when I was a player, where we were when we first got here in 1990, to being one of the final four teams in the country . . . it’s really exciting for us.”