Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association football is once again making its mark in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
The top two MIAA teams in Pittsburg State and Northwestern Missouri State emerged Saturday with first-round victories.
The Pitt State Gorillas increased their record to 12-0 with a 35-0 home win over Indianapolis.
Northwest Missouri, meanwhile, shook third-placed and previously undefeated Ouachita Baptist 47-17 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Northwest Missouri meets Grand Valley No. 1 in Allendale, Michigan on November 26th. Pittsburg State, ranked 3rd in the country, fought a showdown with 5th-ranked Ferris State in Big Rapids, Michigan.
The Gorillas wasted no time in their game against Indianapolis: Kolbe Katsis returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and the run was on.
Belton native Antoine Nunn, Jr. ended three more Gorilla touchdowns with a 68-yard interception return for a TD that finished the goal 35-0 and pushed Pitt State into the second round.
As for the Northwestern state of Missouri…well, the Bearcats’ defense was obviously the right thing to do. Northwest Missouri stopped Ouchita Baptist for 18 yards rushing. for the game, and Ouchita Baptist was the No. 4 rushing team in Division II.
The Bearcats had 499 total offensive yards versus the Tigers’ 258 yards.
Kashan Griffin had five receptions for 109 yards and one TD for the Bearcats, while Zach Howard registered two sacks for the Bearcats, who are ranked 8th in the coaches’ poll.
Benedictine rolls in the first round of NAIA: The Ravens, seeded at No. 6 in the NAIA playoffs, got an early start and finished 35-7 in the No. 10 at Atchison, Kansas, Southwestern (Kan.) on Saturday. Benedictine was extremely effective at pushing Southwestern out of the end zone to keep out. The Ravens led 28-0 before the Moundbuilders finally got on the board in the fourth quarter. It was Southwestern’s lowest total in a game since 2016, despite the Moundbuilders totaling 344 yards of offense against Benedictine’s 339. With the win, the Ravens advance to the quarterfinals where they meet No. 6 seed Indiana Wesleyan on November 26 in Marion, Indiana. Indiana Wesleyan defeated Avila on Saturday:
Avila loses in the opening round: The Eagles’ legendary season ended with a 14-7 loss in the opening round of the NAIA playoffs to Indiana Wesleyan in Marion, Indiana. It was the first time the Avila football program was in the NAIA playoffs. The Eagles finished the season with a record of 10-2. Malik Nesbitt ran for 67 yards on a touchdown and collected five passes for 48 against Indiana Wesleyan.