DIVISION II PLAYOFFS
Minnesota State Mankato at the Colorado School of Mines, Saturday 1 p.m.: The Mavericks and Colorado Mines meet for the first time. … Last week, the Mavericks (10-2) broke away in the second half for a 26-9 win over Wayne State in Mankato. At halftime the teams were tied 3-3. … Shen Butler-Lawson, who has rushed for 923 yards and 10 TDs this season, rushed for 113 yards while the Mavericks gained 214 yards on the floor. … Colorado Mines at Golden opened the season with back-to-back losses — both by three points — to No. 5 Grand Valley State and No. 7 Angelo State. The Orediggers have since won ten straight games — including a 45-24 win in the first round against CSU-Pueblo. Michael Zeman has rushed for 1,069 yards and 20 touchdowns, and John Matocha has rushed for 3,731 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Orediggers. Matocha, one of the Harlan Hill Award nominees (Top Player in DII), completed 70.7% of his passes and threw just five interceptions.
Bemidji State in Angelo State, Saturday 1:00 p.m.: With a memorable win in its first home playoff game in program history, Bemidji State has advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year. The Beavers (10-2) weathered freezing temperatures — 9 degrees with gusty winds — last Saturday to defeat Winona State 31-7. After a scoreless first half, Brandon Alt threw four TD passes – each to Brendan Beaulieu – in the second half as the Beavers fired. Alt, a Cottage Grove junior, has rushed for 3,686 yards and 37 touchdowns this season. … Angelo State (11-0), which had a bye in the first round, has the fourth-best defense in DII. The Rams, who reached the quarterfinals of the DII playoffs last season, conceded just 11.7 points per game and 216.5 yards per game. … Nate Omayebu, a junior, has rushed for 1,065 yards — averaging 5 yards per carry — and Zach Bronkhorst, a senior, has passed 2,508 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Rams. … Beaver and Aries meet for the first time.
DIVISION III PLAYOFFS
Wartburg near St. John’s, Saturday noon: Wartburg and St. John’s meet for the first time since 2014 when Wartburg defeated the Johnnies 21-10 in the second round of the playoffs in Waverly, Iowa. … Wartburg (11:0) defeated No. 7 Wisconsin-La Crosse 14:6 in the first round. … The Knights are third in DIII in scoring defense, allowing just 6.1 points per game. The Knights have a school record five shutouts this season. … Hunter Clasen has rushed for 1,261 yards and 16 TDs. … The Johnnies (10-1) advanced with a 49-0 win over Northwestern (St. Paul) in Collegeville. The Johnnies built a 35-0 halftime lead en route to their fourth postseason shutout win in program history. … Aaron Syverson completed 19 of 23 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
Bethel at Linfield Saturday 2:00 p.m.: Bethel (9-2) passed host Wheaton (Illinois) 34-32 last Saturday to advance. Royals QB Jaran Roste, MIAC Offensive Player of the Year, has passed 2,159 yards and 17 TDs and rushed for 388 yards and 4 TDs. … Linfield (10-0) of McMinnville, Ore., defeated Pomona-Pitzer 51-24 at home in the first round. The Wildcats defeated Pomona-Pitzer 24-0 in the fourth quarter. … Sophomore QB Blake Eaton has passed 2,551 yards and 31 TDs for the Wildcats, who are unbeaten in their last two regular seasons. … The Royals and Wildcats meet for the first time.