FCS Playoffs 2021: Latest Semifinals Bracket After Friday Quarterfinals Results

Erin WalshDecember 11, 2021

HARRISONBURG, VA - May 02: A view of the NCAA FCS logo on the sidelines during the second half of the NCAA Division I FCS Football Championship Quarterfinal game between the James Madison Dukes and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks at Bridgeforth Stadium on May 2, 2021 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

After eliminating Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday, the No. 3 James Madison Dukes defeated the No. 6 Montana Grizzlies 28-6 on Friday night to reach the semifinals of the 2021 FCS Playoffs. It's the second consecutive season the Dukes have reached the semifinals. 

Villanova, South Dakota St., ETSU, North Dakota State, Sam Houston and Montana St. are also still alive in the playoffs. 

Here's what the FCS Playoff bracket looks like following JMU's win over Montana. 

Quarterfinals Schedule

No. 2 North Dakota St. vs. No. 7 ETSU: Saturday at 12 p.m. ET 

No. 5 Villanova vs. South Dakota St.: Saturday at 2 p.m. ET

No. 1 Sam Houston vs. No. 8 Montana St.: Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET

Semifinals Matchups

No. 3 James Madison vs. TBD on TBD 

JMU vs. Montana Recap 

The Dukes were in full control of Friday night's game from the start, taking a 7-0 lead on just their second drive of the night when senior quarterback Cole Johnson hit wide receiver Devin Ravenel for an 82-yard score. 

JMU Football @JMUFootball

TOUCHDOWN DUKES! 💨 💨 💨<br><br>Johnson finds Devin Ravenel on the slant and he turns on the jets - 82 yards to the house!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDukes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoDukes</a> <a href="https://t.co/EzF9d8w2Rk">pic.twitter.com/EzF9d8w2Rk</a>

However, JMU turned the ball over on downs, fumbled and punted before scoring again with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter. Running back Latrele Palmer rushed in for a 50-yard score to give the Dukes a 14-3 lead entering halftime. 

JMU Football @JMUFootball

TOUCHDOWN DUKES! 😤 😤 😤<br><br>Palmer finishes things himself from 50 yards out, capping a physically dominant drive with a house call of his own!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDukes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoDukes</a> <a href="https://t.co/GFgxWfaF9p">pic.twitter.com/GFgxWfaF9p</a>

Entering halftime, JMU had accumulated 305 yards of total offense, 210 passing and 95 rushing. They came out of halftime and put up another touchdown on their first possession of the third quarter. 

Johnson hit wide receiver Kris Thornton for a three-yard touchdown to take a 21-3 lead before the Dukes scored another touchdown to officially put the game out of reach with 11:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Here were JMU's big performers against Montana:

Cole Johnson, QB: 17/24 for 295 YDS, 2 TD

Latrele Palmer, RB: 19 CAR for 167 YDS, 1 TD

Devin Ravenel, WR: 2 REC for 87 YDS, 1 TD

Kris Thornton, WR, 6 REC for 82 YDS, 1 TD

The Grizzlies were unable to match the Dukes in any aspect of Friday's game. The team used three quarterbacks—Cam Humphrey, Robbie Patterson and Kris Brown—who combined to complete 15-of-34 for 143 yards and two interceptions. 

Running back Xavier Harris led the Grizzlies on the ground with 18 carries for 65 yards, while running back Junior Bergen led in the passing game with four catches for 45 yards. 

JMU finished with 487 yards of total offense, while Montana finished with 302.