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Cal Poly upsets Montana as I-AA playoffs kick off

MISSOULA, Mont. — James Noble rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown in each quarter Saturday to lead Cal Poly to a victory over Montana.

The No. 10 Mustangs (9-3) beat No. 9 Montana (8-4) for the first time in 11 tries and avenged a 36-27 loss to the Grizzlies on Oct. 22.

Noble, a freshman, had touchdown runs of 3, 4, 5 and 35 yards for Cal Poly, which advances to a second-round game next Saturday at No. 4 Texas State (10-2).

Matt Brennan passed for 130 yards and a 38-yard touchdown to Ramses Barden.

Lex Hilliard rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns and turned a shovel pass into a 66-yard score for Montana, which ended its season with two straight losses.

NEW HAMPSHIRE 55, COLGATE 21: At Durham, N.H., Ricky Santos threw three touchdowns passes to David Ball and John McCoy ran for three more scores as top-ranked New Hampshire routed Colgate 55-21 Saturday in a snowy first-round game in the Division I-AA playoffs.

New Hampshire (11-1) plays at home in the quarterfinals next Saturday against the winner of the game between Eastern Washington and Northern Iowa.

Santos connected with Ball on scoring plays of 27 and 48 yards as the Wildcats took a 34-0 halftime lead. They combined on one other score from 18 yards in the fourth quarter to make it 55-14.

Santos also ran 8 yards for a score on the opening drive of the third quarter to end any hopes of a comeback by Colgate (8-4), the Patriot League champion.

FURMAN 14, NICHOLLS STATE 12: At Greenville, S.C.. Ingle Martin ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 8:06 left to lead Furman past Nicholls State.

The Paladins came into the game averaging more than 38 points, but managed only a couple of touchdowns. The game was in doubt until the middle of the fourth quarter. Trailing by two, the Colonels (6-4) drove to the Furman 39, but Joseph Tobias was stopped short on fourth-and-two with 4:52 remaining.

Furman (10-2) never gave the ball back, running down the clock deep in Nicholls State territory as Felton gained 35 yards on the final drive.

The Paladins will face the winner of Hampton-Richmond.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 21, EASTERN ILLINOIS 6: At Charleston, Ill., Arkee Whitlock ran for three touchdowns and Southern Illinois' defense kept Eastern Illinois out of the end zone.

Southern Illinois (9-3) moves on to face Appalachian State in the second round next Saturday.

The Salukis are making their third straight appearance in the playoffs, and Saturday's outcome was strikingly different from a year ago when they were ranked No. 1 before being upset in the opening round by Eastern Washington.

Whitlock scored on a 6-yard run in the first quarter to cap a 70-yard drive after Eastern Illinois' Zach Yates opened the scoring with a 32-yard field goal. Whitlock added a 5-yard scoring run in the third and a 3-yarder in the fourth.

APPALACHIAN STATE 34, LAFAYETTE 23: At Boone, N.C., Richie Williams threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Daniel Bettis, leading Appalachian State to a victory.

Williams, who also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Dexter Jackson in the third quarter, completed 10-of-17 for 151 yards and ran for 32 yards for the Mountaineers (9-3).

The Leopards (8-4) were led by Jonathan Hurt, who scored Lafayette's touchdowns on a 3-yard pass from Pat Davis with 12:55 remaining in the second quarter, and on a 1-yard run less than four minutes later.

Hurt had 115 yards on 25 carries.

Zodd Kelly of the Mountaineers had 12 tackles, a sack, and a fourth-quarter interception with less than 6 minutes remaining that effectively ended the Leopards' hopes for a comeback.

Texas State 50, Georgia Southern 35: At San Marcos, Texas, Barrick Nealy passed for 400 yards and four touchdowns, and Texas State scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat Georgia Southern.

Texas State (10-2) trailed 35-23 at the end of the third quarter before Nealy threw two touchdowns in the final quarter to key the comeback.

Georgia Southern (8-4) was led by Jayson Foster, who ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Foster also threw for 135 yards and two TDs.