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Minnesota-Duluth captures Division II title in dramatic fashion

Sat 18th, December 2010

Florence, AL (Sports Network) - David Nadeau kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired to give Minnesota-Duluth a 20-17 victory over Delta State in the NCAA Division II championship game.

Nadeau's kick capped a wild final few minutes and gave Minnesota-Duluth (15-0) its second national championship in three years. The Bulldogs also won the title in 2008.

Delta State (11-4) was also trying for its second championship and first since 2000.

Minnesota-Duluth held a 17-14 lead with just over six minutes to play and took possession on its own 20 trying to run out the clock. Brian Hanson, though, fumbled and Delta State recovered.

The Statesmen drove to the one-yard line and couldn't get into the end zone on third down, but set up to go for the touchdown on fourth down with 2:25 left. A false start pushed the ball back and Delta State set up for a field goal. A delay of the game penalty whistled the play dead as the kick was blocked, and Matt Snyder then drilled a 27-yard attempt to tie the game with 2:22 to play.

Zach Hulce then appeared to return the ensuing kickoff across midfield for UMD, but the play was challenged and reversed upon review as it was determined that Hulce's knee was down at the 11-yard line. The Bulldogs were soon forced to punt and the Statesmen took over at their own 46 with 70 seconds to play.

Micah Davis was then picked off on the second play from scrimmage and Cody Eich returned the interception 20 yards to midfield with 52 seconds remaining. Chase Vogler threw to Hanson for 25 yards to put Minnesota-Duluth in field goal range and Nadeau came on a few plays later to connect on the winning kick.

The game was tight throughout.

Nadeau kicked a 32-yard field goal early in the first quarter to put UMD on the board first and the Bulldogs recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff but were forced to punt. UMD punter Alex Miller had the snap go through his hands and retrieved the ball before trying to boot it away, but had it blocked and the Statesmen took advantage of the excellent field position to reach the end zone on an eight-yard scoring pass from Davis to Maurice Moore.

UMD answered with its first touchdown, as Vogler hit Ben Helmer with a 14-yard scoring strike for a 10-7 lead late in the opening quarter. The Statesmen went back in front just over a minute before halftime when Davis found L.J. Castille with a 28-yard touchdown pass.

After a scoreless third quarter, Brad Foss reached the end zone on a 12-yard run to give UMD a 17-14 edge with 8:20 remaining.

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