Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Thursday, November 19, 2009's Bob Eblen's National Column


What a first round. Two overtime games. Three six seeds winning. Three comebacks from double-digit deficits (and nearly a fourth if not for Albany State missing on a last-second field goal attempt). Two teams-- Nebraska-Kearney and Hillsdale-- won their first playoff games as D-II programs. West Alabama won its first playoff game in 34 years.

Then there is the remarkable Trevor Harris. Just nine days after having knee surgery, the Edinboro senior quarterback threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns in rallying his team past East Stroudsburg. Amazing.

Of course I couldn't forget to mention Garrett Lindholm's 64-yard game tying field goal in Tarleton State's 57-56 double overtime win over Texas A&M-Kingsville. That kick has to go down as one of the great clutch kicks in NCAA history.

But what many people are forgetting is that it took another small miracle just for that field goal attempt to take place. The Texans converted on a 4th and 18 play earlier in the drive when quarterback Scott Grantham appeared to just throw the ball up for grabs and receiver Arthur Buckingham came down with it for a 35-yard gain.

Then in the second overtime it was Grantham again, scrambling, breaking tackles, and running for a 20-yard touchdown on 4th down, then following up that play with the winning two-point conversion on a quarterback sweep. Keep in mind that the game hadn't even reached the third overtime, where teams are forced to go for two. Gutsy play call by TSU coach Sam McElroy, but hey, when your team seems to be playing with a rabbit's foot in its pocket, why not?

Can round two possibly replicate the excitement of round one? What we do know about round two is that many of these teams will be familiar with each other. Five of the eight games feature rematches from earlier in the season, and in four of them, I'm picking the team that lost the first time around to have the upper hand this week. It should be another very interesting week of playoff football in Division II.

Full Column

No comments:

Search The News and Comment

The Web News and Comment

Blog Archive

Google Analytics