Lenoir-Rhyne tops West Chester 42-14 in D-II semis

Lenoir-Rhyne tops West Chester 42-14 in D-II semis

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by Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 15 at 4:37 PM

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) -- Quarterback Josh Justice rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns, and Lenoir-Rhyne advanced to the NCAA Division II championship game by beating West Chester 42-14 on Saturday.

Isaiah Whitaker added two touchdown runs and Michael Patrick had a late scoring run for the option-oriented Bears (13-1).  

They scored the final 30 points after falling behind 14-12, rushed for 451 yards and didn't attempt a pass.  

Justice scored on runs of 4, 2 and 1 yard to help the Bears earn their first Division II title-game appearance. It's their first national championship game of any kind since the 1962 team lost to Central Oklahoma State in the NAIA final.

Sean McCartney was 12 of 22 for 135 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for West Chester (13-2).

The Golden Rams reached the semifinals for just the second time in school history but were denied their first berth in the championship game.

Lenoir-Rhyne, meanwhile, will play the Northwest Missouri State-Grand Valley State winner in the title game Dec. 21 in Florence, Ala.

Whitaker's 34-yard touchdown run capped Lenoir-Rhyne's opening drive and pulled the Bears to 7-6 after McCartney gave West Chester an early lead with a 9-yard scoring pass to Tim Brown.

West Chester took its last lead at 14-12 on McCartney's 60-yard touchdown pass to Rondell White with 10:55 left in the half.  

Justice capped Lenoir-Rhyne's next possession with his second TD run, a 2-yarder that made it 20-14 and put the Bears ahead to stay with 8:10 remaining.

Whitaker scored from 8 yards out with 28 seconds left in the half to make it 26-14, and Justice's 1-yard TD run with 27 seconds left in the third quarter made it 34-14.

Patrick iced it with a 1-yard score with 3:21 left.
 

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