Monday, November 17, 2008

NCAA Football Playoffs: Ashland Wins in Division II 1st Round, Three AICUO Members Qualify for Division III

Billy Cundiff hit Joe Horn for a 66-yard fourth-quarter touchdown strike to lead Ashland over Minnesota State 27-16 in a first-round NCAA Division II football tournament game, November 15 at Ashland.

It was Ashland’s first postseason football playoff victory in four tries. The Eagles play at Division II power Grand Valley State (Mich.), a rival in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, in a national quarterfinal game on Saturday.

In the meantime, other college football playoffs begin this weekend. Three AICUO members qualified for the 32-team NCAA Division III tournament. Ohio Athletic Conference champion Mount Union, who lost the national championship game last season, starts its postseason this Saturday at home against Randolph-Macon (Va.).

Two other AICUO members with at-large tournament bids host first-round games as well. Case Western Reserve, champion of the University Athletic Association, takes on Wabash (Ind.), the champion of the North Coast Athletic Conference, in Cleveland; and Otterbein, runner-up in the OAC, plays Franklin (Ind.), the Heartland Conference champion, in Westerville.

No colleges from Ohio qualified for the 16-team NAIA football playoff.

-- Bob Burke