FCS Playoffs 2018: Quarterfinals Results, Semifinals Schedule and Bracket Update

Jake RillContributor IDecember 9, 2018

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, North Dakota State wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, right, celebrates with quarterback Easton Stick, left, after catching a 20-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. North Dakota State begins its hunt for its seventh Football Championship Subdivision title in eight years with a familiar ingredient on offense: a high-quality quarterback with plenty of experience in senior Stick. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

North Dakota State has dominated the FCS playoffs in recent seasons, and Saturday was no different.

The top-seeded Bison handily defeated No. 8 Colgate 35-0 to advance to the semifinals. North Dakota State has won the FCS Championship in six of the previous seven seasons. The Bison have made the semifinals in eight consecutive years.

No. 3 Eastern Washington, No. 5 South Dakota State and No. 7 Maine were the other three teams to win in the quarterfinals and advance to the semis.

North Dakota State will host South Dakota State in the semifinals next weekend.

Senior quarterback Easton Stick led North Dakota State's victory over Colgate, passing for 205 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Bruce Anderson had 124 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Colgate allowed only nine touchdowns in its first 11 games but then gave up five to North Dakota State.


Updated Bracket

No. 1 North Dakota State vs. No. 5 South Dakota State

No. 3 Eastern Washington vs. No. 7 Maine

One semifinal matchup will take place on Friday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. ET, while the other will be played on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. ET. It has not yet been determined which matchup will be in which time slot, but both games will air live on ESPN2.

The winners of the two semifinal matchups advance to the championship game on Jan. 5 at noon ET on ESPN2.


Quarterfinal Scores

Friday, Dec. 7

Maine 23, Weber State 18


Saturday, Dec. 8

North Dakota State 35, Colgate 0
South Dakota State 27, Kennesaw State 17
Eastern Washington 34, UC Davis 29


Jackrabbits Ready for Rematch

South Dakota State has lost only two games this season. But one of those was a 21-17 loss to North Dakota State on Sept. 29.

Now, the Jackrabbits will get another chance to take down the Bison in the semifinals. North Dakota State eliminated South Dakota State from the playoffs in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

South Dakota State notched a 27-17 victory over Kennesaw State in Saturday's quarterfinal matchup. The Jackrabbits built a 17-3 lead by halftime and then held off a late push by the Owls.

Kennesaw State cut its deficit to 20-17 with 6:42 remaining. However, South Dakota State senior quarterback Taryn Christion scored a 15-yard touchdown run with 2:22 remaining to seal the Jackrabbits' victory.

Kennesaw State had won 15 games in a row at home, which was the third-longest streak in FCS entering Saturday.


Eagles Hold On, Advance

Eastern Washington beat UC Davis on Saturday, but it came down to a wild finish.

UC Davis took a 29-28 lead when junior quarterback Jake Maier threw a three-yard touchdown pass to freshman running back Ulonzo Gilliam and then scored a two-point conversion with a pass to senior running back Namane Modise with 1:13 to go in the fourth quarter.

However, Eastern Washington quickly responded, as senior running back Sam McPherson scored a 35-yard touchdown run with 26 seconds remaining. The Eagles then held on for the victory, improving to 11-2 and notching their sixth straight win.

This was the second time that Eastern Washington beat UC Davis this season. The Eagles earned a 59-20 win over the Aggies on Nov. 10.

Eastern Washington will host another playoff game next weekend, as Maine comes to town for a semifinal matchup.