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Ferris State has earned the No. overall seed in the DII football championship semifinals after a commanding 25-3 victory over Northwest Missouri State on Saturday, Dec. 7.  Slippery Rock, Minnesota State and West Florida will be joining the Bulldogs as the final four teams left standing in the DII football season after a thrilling quarterfinals.

2019 CHAMPIONSHIP: Interactive bracket | Printable bracket | Selection show

This is your one-stop-shop for schedule, scores, the bracket and updates from the opening kickoff to the championship game on Dec. 21 from McKinney, Texas.

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🚨2019 DII football semifinals: Seed, schedule announced 🚨

The 2019 DII football semifinals are set. Ferris State earned the top seed and will play a West Florida team that has already ended No. 1 Valdosta State’s season in upset fashion. Minnesota State and Slippery Rock will battle in what should be a high scoring affair.

Here is the schedule and seeds for the semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 14 (all times Eastern):

2019 DII football quarterfinals: What you may have missed Saturday

Slippery Rock and Notre Dame (OH) featured two Harlon Hill candidates that may very well be the frontrunners for the DII football Heisman Trophy. They certainly delivered. Roland Rivers III passed for 436 yards and combined for eight touchdowns while Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a 96-yard kickoff return in a wild 65-59 win for The Rock.
BIG STATS: 7 crazy numbers from Slippery Rock’s 65-59 victory

West Florida can now add a No. 2 seed to its upset resume for the 2019 postseason. One week after taking down Valdosta State in the final seconds, the Argos went into Hickory, North Carolina and defeated Lenoir-Rhyne 43-38. It was the first time in 15 games that the Bears lost at home and the second time in the past three years West Florida has made it to the semifinals.
After a quiet first half in which only three points were scored, Ferris State dropped 22 en route to a 25-3 victory over Northwest Missouri State. Marvin Campbell rumbled for 149 yards and a touchdown as the Bulldogs are back in the semifinals for the third time in four years. 
Nate Gunn had himself a day (again). The Minnesota State running back reeled off 173 yards and three scores to lead the Mavericks to a 42-21 victory over Texas A&M-Commerce. 
Here are the scores from Saturday:

The 2019 DII football championship: What to read

Consider this your crash course, a DII football championship 101 if you would.

2019 DII FOOTBALL: Top stories | Subscribe to the newsletter | D2 hub

The DII football championship is a five-round, single-elimination tournament in which 28 schools vie for the national title. The tournament concludes in McKinney, Texas, with this year’s game taking place at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 21. For a complete look at how the tournament works, check this out: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE DII FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
How is Augustana (SD) playing in Colorado? There is a new format this year. The selection committee had the flexibility to move teams from their traditional Super Regions if it reduced travel and expenses. To find out exactly how the new format works, tap here: THE NEW DII FOOTBALL BRACKET, EXPLAINED
The eight Harlon Hill Trophy finalists have been released. You can see the complete list here, and find out everything you need to know about the DII football version of the Heisman, tap here: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE HARLON HILL TROPHY
2019 DII football championship: Second-round recap 

Get a field-level view of West Florida’s game-clinching drive in huge DII upset

West Florida snapped Valdosta State’s 25-game winning streak. Elsewhere in second-round action, Texas A&M-Commerce soundly upset third-seeded Colorado School of Mines, 23-3. The 2019 DII football championship tournament hasn’t gone as expected, to say the least.

DII UPSET: How West Florida ousted Valdosta State from the tournament

2019 DII football championship first round recap

The first round showed why the DII football championship is one of the best tournaments in all of college sports. 

Anything can happen.

Some incredible upsets and fantastic finishes went down. Here are the highlights.

Lindenwood went into Cliff Harris Stadium and took down No. 2-seeded Ouachita Baptist 41-38, getting the go-ahead field goal with just over a minute left. It was a back and forth battle all day long, but in the end, the Lions defeated their third top-25 team of the season. Lindenwood will be heading to one of the winningest teams in DII football history and try to make Northwest Missouri State its next top-25 victim.
Not to be outdone, Texas A&M-Commerce traveled to Tarleton State — owners of the best home record in DII football — and upset the No. 2-seeded Texans in a rematch from earlier in the season. Quarterback Miklo Smalls led the Lions through the air (197 yards passing) and on the ground (126 yards rushing), but it was the defense that deserves the credit here. The Lions held one of DII football’s best offenses to 16 points and 330 total yards in the upset. 
You could barely catch your breath with the three games played at noon. All three came down to the final minutes of play. Indiana (Pa) took the lead over Shepherd with 1:40 left, but Tyson Bagent led the Rams right back down to field connecting with Devin Phelps for the 31-27 win with just 11 ticks on the clock. Notre Dame jumped out to a big lead but was able to hold off West Chester’s 17-point second half and win 31-24. Tiffin’s star running back Ja’Quan Hardy gave the Dragons the late lead with 1:26 remaining, but Collin DiGalbo found big tight end Jack Pilkerton for the six-yard touchdown and 33-31 lead with 44 seconds left on the clock and inevitably the win. 
Carson-Newman and West Florida did their best to shake things up in Super Region Two. Both teams went on the road and pulled off impressive wins. The Eagles defense struggled to maintain dual-threat Ja’Rome Johnson but stepped up when it needed to in a 17-9 win. West Florida, our team to watch in this part of the bracket, dominated Wingate. Quarterback Austin Reed and Quentin Randolph hooked up for two more scores in the 38-17 win after connecting three times a week ago.
Saturday, Nov. 23 | First round (all times Eastern)

Shepherd 31, Indiana (Pa) 27
Kutztown 33, Tiffin 31
Notre Dame (OH) 31, West Chester 24
West Florida 38, Wingate 17
Carson-Newman 17, Bowie State 9
Lenoir-Rhyne 36, Miles 7
Central Missouri 37, Indianapolis 27
Lindenwood 41, Ouachita Baptist 38
Northwest Missouri State 7, Harding 6
Texas A&M-Commerce 23, Tarleton State 16 
Colorado School of Mines 24, Sioux Falls 21
Colorado State-Pueblo 17, Augustana (SD) 0

Click here to enlarge the full bracket. 

DII football championship: History

Valdosta State defeated Ferris State in a thrilling championship game last year to win its fourth national championship in program history. The Blazers enter the 2019 DII football championship as the No. 1 seed in Super Region Two with an undefeated record.

The Blazers are looking to match Northwest Missouri State’s incredible 2015 and 2016 run when the Bearcats won back-to-back seasons without losing a game. The complete history of the DII football championship game is below. 

YEAR
CHAMPION
COACH
SCORE
RUNNER-UP
SITE
2018
Valdosta State
Kerwin Bell
49-47
Ferris State
McKinney, Tex.
2017
Texas A&M-Commerce
Colby Carthel
37-27
West Florida
Kansas City, Kan.
2016
Northwest Missouri State
Adam Dorrel
29-3
North Alabama
Kansas City, Kan.
2015
Northwest Missouri State
Adam Dorrel
34-7
Shepherd
Kansas City, Kan.
2014
Colorado State-Pueblo
John Wristen
13-0
Minnesota State-Mankato
Kansas City, Kan.
2013
Northwest Missouri State
Adam Dorrel
43-28
Lenoir-Rhyne
Florence, Ala.
2012
Valdosta State
David Dean
35-7
Winston-Salem State
Florence, Ala.
2011
Pittsburg State
Tim Beck
35-21
Wayne State (Mich.)
Florence, Ala.
2010
Minnesota-Duluth
Bob Nielson
20-17
Delta State
Florence, Ala.
2009
Northwest Missouri State
Mel Tjeersdma
30-23
Grand Valley State
Florence, Ala.
2008
Minnesota-Duluth
Bob Nielson
21-14
Northwest Missouri State
Florence, Ala.
2007
Valdosta State
David Dean
25-20
Northwest Missouri State
Florence, Ala.
2006
Grand Valley State
Chuck Martin
17-14
Northwest Missouri State
Florence, Ala.
2005
Grand Valley State
Chuck Martin
21-17
Northwest Missouri State
Florence, Ala.
2004
Valdosta State
Christ Hatcher
36-31
Pittsburg State
Florence, Ala.
2003
Grand Valley State
Brian Kelly
10-3
North Dakota
Florence, Ala.
2002
Grand Valley State
Brian Kelly
31-24
Valdosta State
Florence, Ala.
2001
North Dakota
Dale Lennon
17-14
Grand Valley State
Florence, Ala.
2000
Delta State
Steve Campbell
63-34
Bloomsburg
Florence, Ala.
1999
Northwest Missouri State
Mel Tjeersdma
58-52 (4ot)
Carson-Newman
Florence, Ala.
1998
Northwest Missouri State
Mel Tjeersdma
24-6
Carson-Newman
Florence, Ala.
1997
Northern Colorado
Joe Glenn
51-0
New Haven
Florence, Ala.
1996
Northern Colorado
Joe Glenn
23-14
Carson-Newman
Florence, Ala.
1995
North Alabama
Bobby Wallace
27-7
Pittsburg State
Florence, Ala.
1994
North Alabama
Bobby Wallace
16-10
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Florence, Ala.
1993
North Alabama
Bobby Wallace
41-34
Indiana (Pa.)
Florence, Ala.
1992
Jacksonville State
Bill Burgess
17-13
Pittsburg State
Florence, Ala.
1991
Pittsburg State
Chuck Broyles
23-6
Jacksonville State
Florence, Ala.
1990
North Dakota State
Rocky Hager
51-11
Indiana (Pa.)
Florence, Ala.
1989
*Mississippi College
John Williams
3-0
Jacksonville State
Florence, Ala.
1988
North Dakota State
Rocky Hager
35-21
Portland State
Florence, Ala.
1987
Troy
Rick Rhoades
31-17
Portland State
Florence, Ala.
1986
North Dakota State
Earle Solomonson
27-7
South Dakota
Florence, Ala.
1985
North Dakota State
Earle Solomonson
35-7
North Alabama
McAllen, Texas
1984
Troy
Chan Gailey
18-17
North Dakota State
McAllen, Texas
1983
North Dakota State
Don Morton
41-21
Central State (Ohio)
McAllen, Texas
1982
Texas State
Jim Wacker
34-9
UC Davis
McAllen, Texas
1981
Texas State
Jim Wacker
42-13
North Dakota State
McAllen, Texas
1980
Cal Poly
Joe Harper
21-13
Eastern Illinois
Albuquerque, N.M.
1979
Delaware
Tubby Raymond
38-21
Youngstown State
Albuquerque, N.M.
1978
Eastern Illinois
Darrell Mudra
10-9
Delaware
Longview, Texas
1977
Lehigh
John Whitehead
33-0
Jacksonville State
Wichita Falls, Texas
1976
Montana State
Sonny Holland
24-13
Akron
Wichita Falls, Texas
1975
Northern Michigan
Gil Krueger
16-14
Western Kentucky
Sacramento, Calif.
1974
Central Michigan
Roy Kramer
54-14
Delaware
Sacramento, Calif.
1973
Louisiana Tech
Maxie Lambright
34-0
Western Kentucky
Sacramento, Calif.

Wayne Cavadi has covered all things Division II sports for NCAA.com since 2016. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report, MLB.com, AJC.com, SB Nation and FoxSports.com and in publications like The Advocate and Lindy’s Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @UofDWayne.The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.

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