Sunday, November 18, 2007

football championship subdivision

Dover, DE --- One week after clinching the 2007 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship, Delaware State wrapped up a perfect league season with a 29-13 win over Howard at Alumni Stadium Saturday. The Hornets won their eighth straight to wrap up the regular season with a 10-1 overall record and an 8-0 mark in the MEAC, each the best in team history. Delaware State, which clinched the league's automatic berth in the 2007 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the first time last week, will learn its playoff opponent and destination on Sunday. The Hornets scored 29 unanswered points after trailing 7-0 to send Howard to its third straight defeat. The Bison ended their season with a 4-7 overall record and 2-6 mark in the MEAC. Delaware State scored 12 points in a 1:55 span of the third quarter to take control of the game. The score was 7-7 when DSU linebacker Russell Reeves sacked Howard quarterback Brian Johnson in the end zone for
a safety to give the Hornets a 9-7 lead with 14:06 left in the third quarter.

After the free kick by Howard, Delaware State moved from its 40 to the Howard seven before Peter Gaertner connected on a 24-yard field goal to give the Hornets a 12-7 lead with 12:21 left in the third. On the ensuing Delaware State kickoff, Howard's Jarahn Williams fumbled the return. The ball was recovered by DSU's Brandon Hudson, who returned it 10 yards for a touchdown to give the Hornets a 19-7 lead with 12:11 remaining in the third quarter. Delaware State stretched its lead to 22-7 when Gaertner nailed his second field goal of the game, a 33-yarder, with 12:03 left in the fourth quarter. The DSU kicker has a school-record 19 field goals this season. The Hornets pulled ahead 29-7 when Lennox Norville capped off a 10-play, 67-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run with 4:39 left to play. Quarterback Vashon Winton completed three-of- four passes for 46 yards on the drive.

Winton completed 16-of-24 passes for 185 yards on the day. Delaware State's Kareem Jones rushed for a game-high 53 yards and a touchdown. The Hornets trailed 7-0 when Jones scored on a five-yard run to tie the game with 29 seconds left in the second quarter. The score capped off a 12-play, 83-yard drive. Jones also had five catches for 68 yards. Reeves led the Delaware State defense with 10 tackles. He also had two of the Hornets' seven sacks.

Akeem Green and Alimayo Wilder also had two sacks for the Hornets. Howard quarterback Brian Johnson completed 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. Bison defensive end Rudy Hardie led all players with 14 tackles. He also had his MEAC leading 11th sack in the game.

NOTES --- Delaware State is the third MEAC team to post an 8-0 league record since the conference expanded to nine teams in 1998, joining North Carolina A&T in 1999 and Hampton in 2005. The Hornets are 10-0 vs. Football Championship Subdivision competition this season. DSU's only loss was to Football Bowl Subdivision Kent State on Sep. 15 . ...Delaware State is 5-0 at home this season, and 14-1 in their last 15 games at Alumni Stadium ... Winton is 25-7 as a starting quarterback. For the second consecutive year, two Ohio Valley Conference teams will compete in the Division I Football Championship as it was announced by the NCAA on Sunday. Eastern Kentucky, the 2007 OVC Champions and recipient of the league's automatic bid, was joined by Eastern Illinois, who received an at-large bid, in the 16-team playoff field.

By putting two teams in the playoffs for the second straight season (Eastern Illinois and UT Martin represented the league a year ago), it marked the first time that had happened for the OVC in just over a decade. The last time it occurred was the 1995/1996 seasons, when Murray State and Eastern Kentucky appeared in 1995 followed by Murray State and Eastern Illinois in 1996.

Eastern Kentucky (9-2, 8-0 OVC), who is making its NCAA-record 18th Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff appearance and first in 10 years, will travel to Richmond, Va. to battle the Richmond Spiders (9-2) out of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Spiders shared the inaugural CAA Championship with Massachusetts this season and were ranked No. 7 in last week's Sports Network poll. EKU and Richmond have never played before on the gridiron.

EKU, ranked No. 12 nationally last week, has appeared in the FCS Playoffs in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2007. Those 18 playoff appearances are tied the most all-time with the Montana Grizzlies (who were the Big Sky Champions this season and also in the 2007 playoff field). The program won the national championship in each 1979 and 1982.

Eastern Illinois (8-3, 7-1 OVC), who is making its third consecutive playoff appearance and 12th overall, will travel to Carbondale, Ill. to battle the Southern Illinois Salukis (10-1) out of the Gateway Football Conference. The Salukis were runners-up in the Gateway this season and suffered its only loss of the season against Northern Iowa, who finished the year undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally. SIU was ranked No. 5 in last week's Sports Network poll. EIU and SIU have played 48 times previously (with SIU holding a 35-22-1 advantage) but not since the 2005 season.
Eastern Illinois, ranked No. 21 last week, has appeared in the FCS Playoffs in each 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. They are the first OVC school to make three straight playoffs appearances since EKU achieved the feat from 1993 through 1995. The have been in the FCS Playoffs in six of the last eight seasons.

The first round games are set for Saturday, Nov. 24 at campus sites. The quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1, with the semifinals being played on Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8. The 30th Division I Football Championship game will be held on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. CT at Max Finley Stadium/Davenport Field in Chattanooga, Tenn. (ESPN2). Chattanooga has served as the host of the game since the 1997 season.

2007 Division I Football Championship Schedule CHENEY, Wash. (AP) -- Matt Nichols threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns as Eastern Washington kept alive its postseason chances with a 38-16 victory over Weber State on Saturday.

Nichols added a career-high 103 yards rushing for the 15th-ranked Eagles (8-3, 6-2 Big Sky Conference), winners of four straight.

Freshman Cameron Higgins was 21-of-44 for 238 yards for the Wildcats (5-6, 4-4), with one touchdown.

EWU, second place in the Big Sky behind Montana, would need one of eight at-large berths to qualify for the 16-team Football Championship Subdivision field scheduled to be announced Sunday.

With Eastern trailing 16-14 midway through the third quarter, Nichols engineered back-to-back scoring drives, hitting Brynsen Brown and Nathan Overbay on TD passes that put EWU up 28-16.

The pass to Overbay came on a 4th-and-1 from the WSU 36 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.

Brown finished with six catches for 99 yards for the Eagles, who scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.

Nichols was 18-of-37, including first-half scoring passes to Shane Eller and A.J. Jimerson. He was sacked once and had no interceptions.

Eastern's defense and a muddy field combined to slow a Weber State offense that had averaged 57.7 points and more than 600 yards during its three-game win streak. The Wildcats managed 325 total yards.

Higgins' 40-yard scoring pass to Tim Toone had put Weber State up 16-14. Higgins was sacked three times and intercepted once.

Trevyn Smith rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown and Bryant Eteuati had seven catches for 74 yards for the Wildcats.
NCAA Division I-AA national football championship
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Logo for the 2007 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game

1 NCAA Division I Football Championship
2 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision
3 Champions
4 Most national championships
5 See also
6 External links

[edit] NCAA Division I Football Championship
The NCAA Division I Football Championship is a college football game played to determine the champion of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA).

Since 1997, the Championship Subdivision Championship Game has been played annually on Davenport Field at Finley Stadium, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Finley Stadium is the home field of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

[edit] NCAA Football Championship Subdivision
On August 3, 2006, the Division I Board of Directors took action regarding the two football subdivisions in Division I (Division I-A and I-AA), approving new labels. The university presidents approved a change in terminology to "Football Bowl Subdivision" for the former I-A classification and "NCAA Football Championship Subdivision" for the former I-AA group. The Collegiate Commissioners Association helped develop the new labels.

The presidents believe the new nomenclature, which became effective in December 2006, more accurately distinguishes Division I institutions for purposes of governing football, the only sport for which such a distinction is necessary. Members felt the old nomenclature inaccurately tiered Division I institutions in all sports, not just football, and produced instances in which media outlets and other entities incorrectly cited institutions as being Division I-AA in basketball or baseball, for example.

The new nomenclature does not affect the voting structure used in Division I governance matters.

When Division I-AA was formed for football in 1978, the playoffs included just four teams, doubling to eight teams in its fourth season of 1981. In 1982 the I-AA playoffs were expanded to 12 teams, with each of the top four seeds receiving a first-round bye and a home game in the quarterfinals. In its ninth season of 1986, the I-AA playoffs were expanded again, to the present 16-team format, requiring four post-season victories to win the title.


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