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I-AA: Bethune-Cookman falls in first round

©Associated Press

December 1, 2002

STATESBORO, Ga. -- New coach, new players, same old results for Georgia Southern. When playoff time rolls around, the Eagles find ways to win.

Chaz Williams, running the option, rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles beat Bethune-Cookman 34-0 in the first round of the Division I-AA playoffs Saturday.

"That was a good football team," Georgia Southern coach Mike Sewak said. "They gave us everything we could handle."

Sewak took over as coach this season, replacing four-time I-AA coach of the year Paul Johnson, who left for Navy. Williams, a sophomore, earned the quarterback job after J.R. Revere graduated.

Redshirt freshman Germaine Austin, replacing Adrian Peterson at fullback, added 104 rushing yards including a 17-yard score for the Eagles, who seek their seventh national title and third in four years.

Brad Lee rushed for 71 yards on 10 carries for the Wildcats, who trailed 27-0 at halftime and fell to 0-6 against Georgia Southern. B-CC gained 269 total yards and allowed 401.

"It was a good for us to finally get playoff experience, but a bad experience for us to lose the game," Wildcats coach Alvin Wyatt said. "We just lost to a much better football team."

The closest B-CC came to scoring in the one-sided first half was a missed field goal from 42 yards by Daniel King midway through the first quarter.

* * *

MAINE 14, APPALACHIAN ST. 13: Marcus Williams rushed for 157 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter for the visiting Black Bears. Williams scored on a 41-yard run with 9:41 to play, capping an 80-yard drive. Maine visits Georgia Southern in a quarterfinal Saturday.

W. ILLINOIS 48, E. ILLINOIS 9: Attley Lawson ran for 104 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for a score to lead the host Leathernecks, who took control by scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter. Quarterback Russ Michna scored from a yard and threw a 23-yard score to Lawson to give Western Illinois a 21-0 lead.

W. KENTUCKY 59, MURRAY ST. 20: Jeremi Johnson rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown and Maurice Bradley had three 1-yard touchdown runs, two in the first quarter, for the host Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky had 350 yards rushing and allowed 103. The Hilltoppers play in the second round next week at Western Illinois.

VILLANOVA 45, FURMAN 38: The host Wildcats rallied with 24 fourth-quarter points, capped by Terry Butler's 5-yard touchdown run with 58 seconds left. Brett Gordon was 27-of-40 for 250 yards and three TDs for Villanova, which erased a 24-7 third-quarter deficit.

FORDHAM 29, NORTHEASTERN 24: Matt Fordyce kicked five field goals, a I-AA playoff record, and Kevin Eakin threw for 269 yards and a touchdown for the visiting Rams. Tim Gale scored on a 1-yard run with 52 seconds left to get the Huskies within five but Akeen Greenfield recovered the ensuing onside kick for Fordham, which next faces Villanova.

MONTANA 45, N'WESTERN ST. 14: Herb Fernandez returned an interception for a touchdown and Jefferson Heidelberger returned a punt and a kickoff for scores for the host Grizzlies. Fernandez tipped a pass by Kevin Magee and returned it 16 yards for a 21-0 lead with 7:06 left in the second.

MCNEESE ST. 21, MONTANA ST. 14: Scott Pendarvis threw for two touchdowns and ran for another for the host Cowboys. Pendarvis' 1-yard run in the fourth quarter broke a tie at 14. Top-ranked McNeese State faces Montana in the quarterfinals.

Division II quarterfinals

GRAND VALLEY ST. 62, INDIANA (PA.) 21: Curt Anes passed for 191 yards and Reggie Spearmon and Brent Lesniak combined for 237 rushing yards for the host Lakers, who scored on their first eight possessions.

N. COLORADO 23, NW MISSOURI ST. 12: Mark Passard threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns for visiting Northern Colorado, which faces Grand Valley State in the semifinals Saturday.

TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE 27, UC DAVIS 20 (OT): Freshman tight end J.R. Wood recovered his team's fumble in the end zone for the host Javelinas, who held Cal-Davis scoreless in its overtime series.

VALDOSTA ST. 31, CARSON-NEWMAN 28: Buster Faulkner hit C.J. Lofton with a 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left to rally host Valdosta State, which faces Texas A&M-Kingsville in the semifinals.

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