There will be a new champion in NCAA Division-II football, and a new finalist for the NAIA championship.
Northwest Missouri State, the two-time defending Division II champion, fell at Ashland (Ohio) 21-18.
Baker University, which played for the NAIA championship last season, fell to Georgetown (Ky.) 36-33 at Baldwin City, Kan.
Northwest Missouri and Ashland waited out a 15-minute lightning delay and played through a rain-drenched first half. The game featured seven turnovers and two blocked punts.
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The Bearcats (9-3), playing in their 14th consecutive NCAA championship, entered the game with Division II’s top-ranked defense but gave up a 94-yard scoring drive to open the second half as Ashland extended its lead to 21-10. Northwest cut it to eight on Zach Martin’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Grove and a two-point conversion and drove to the Ashland 38 but could get no farther on their final drive.
Baker (10-2) was held to 282 total yards — the Wildcats’ lowest output of the season — in the loss to Georgetown.
The game started fast for Baker, an 83-yard touchdown pass to JD Woods from Logan Brettell, who had been out with an injury since Oct. 21, on the game’s first play.
But Georgetown scored the game’s final nine points and ended the season for Baker, which was making its fifth NAIA postseason appearance in the past six years.