CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Northern Iowa scored 10 fourth-quarter points to hold off San Diego with a 17-3 win Saturday in the opening round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
Northern Iowa took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Brawntae Wells returned an interception for a 34-yard touchdown. San Diego cut the lead to 7-3 in the second quarter on a Brandon Eickert 33-yard field goal.
In the final quarter, Matthew Cook booted a 39-yard field and Trevor Allen scored on a seven-year touchdown run with less than three minutes remaining to ice the win.
Northern Iowa limited San Diego to 213 total yards. Northern Iowa managed only 268 totals yards.
Freshman quarterback Will McElvain completed 13 of 27 passes for 186 yards and ran 12 times for 34 yards. Allen was Northern Iowa’s leading rusher with 46 yards.
Northern Iowa, now 9-4 overall, advances to next Saturday’s second-round game at No. 7 seed South Dakota State (8-4).
Illinois State 24, Southeast Missouri State 6
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — James Robinson carried the ball 41 times for 297 yards and one touchdown to help Illinois State build a 21-3 halftime lead.
Robinson scored on an 11-yard run to give Illinois State a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Bryce Jefferson ran for a 16-yard scored and threw a 33-yard scoring pass to Andrew Edgar to give Illinois State its 21-3 halftime lead.
Illinois State, now 9-4 overall, advances to next Saturday’s second-round game at No. 8 seed Central Arkansas (9-3).
Albany 42, Central Connecticut State 14
ALBANY, N.Y. — Freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler completed 19 of 30 passes for 304 yards and six touchdowns to help Albay outscore Central Connecticut State 35-7 in the second half.
Jerah Reeves caught six passes for 134 yards and one touchdown while Juwan Green caught seven passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Albany, which improves to 9-4, advances to a second-round game at No. 5 seed Montana State (9-3) next Saturday.
Austin Peay 42, Furman 6
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Led by Javaughn Craig’s 264 yards passing, Austin Peay outscored Furman 28-0 in the third quarter to claim a first-round win.
Craig completed 18 of 23 passes for three touchdowns. Kentel Williams caught four passes for 103 yards and one touchdown.
Nursing a 7-3 lead, Craig threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter while P. Momodu and Williams each scored on touchdown runs.
Austin Peay, now 10-3 overall, advance to next Saturday’s second round game at No. 4 seed Sacramento State (9-3).
Kennesaw State 28, Wofford 21
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Kennesaw State scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to claim its opening-round win.
Kennesaw State’s Jonathan Murphy scored on a one-yard touchdown and a 61-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Murphy carried the ball 23 times for 206 yards and three touchdowns for Kennesaw State.
Kennesaw State, which limited Wofford to 282 total yards, will take a 10-2 record to next Saturday’s second-round game at No. 3 seed Weber State (9-3).
Southeastern Louisiana 45, Villanova 44
HAMMOND, La. — Chason Virgil threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to CJ Turner with less than three minutes remaining to lift Southeastern Louisiana to a first-round win.
Virgil completed 36 of 49 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns. Turner caught 11 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns while Bransen Schwebel caught six passes for 119 yards and Javon Conner caught nine passes for 102 yards and one touchdown.
Southeastern Louisiana, now 8-4 overall, advances to next Saturday’s second-round game at No. 6 seed Montana (9-3).
Monmouth 44, Holy Cross 27
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Pete Guerriero carried the ball 31 times for 220 yards and three touchdowns to lift Monmouth to an opening-round win.
Monmouth jumped out to a 26-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Kenji Bahar completed 19 of 32 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown.
Monmouth, 10-2 overall, advances to a second-round game against No.2-seeded James Madison (11-) next Saturday.