ST. JOSEPH, MO. - Missouri Western stopped Minnesota Duluth on a two-point conversion attempt in the third overtime to hold on for a 57-55 victory in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (10-2) got within two points on a 3-yard scoring run by Austin Sikorski -- his fifth touchdown of the game -- but quarterback Chase Vogler tripped under center on the two-point try, giving the Griffons (11-1) a victory in the first playoff game in school history.
Minnesota Duluth had reached the quarterfinals the past four seasons -- winning national titles in 2008 and 2010. The loss leaves Minnesota State Mankato as the lone NSIC team remaining in the postseason. The Mavericks received a first-round bye.
The Bulldogs fell behind early 14-3 but by halftime had pulled ahead 20-14. The teams alternated touchdowns in the second half, three for Missouri Western and two for UMD.
Sikorski finished with 139 yards rushing on 26 carries. Three of this touchdowns came in the extra sessions. Vogler passed for 195 yards and rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs gained 603 yards.
Griffons quarterback Travis Partridge accounted for seven touchdowns -- four rushing, three passing -- and he threw for 319 yards. His 1-yard plunge tied the score at 35-35 in the fourth quarter, and his 1-yard run and two-point pass in the third overtime put his team ahead for good.
Michael Hill rushed for 187 yards for the Griffons.
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