DII and DIII recap: Belhaven suffers first loss of season against Maryville

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Hopes of a perfect season were crushed when Belhaven fell in overtime to Maryville 20-7 on Saturday.

The Blazers (7-1, 5-1 USA South) and the Scots (6-2, 3-2) were scoreless after one quarter of play when Maryville found a big fourth-down stop on their own 40-yard line. The short field was turned into a scoring drive capped off by a touchdown pass from Bryson Rollins to Steph Carter, Jr. for a 7-0 Maryville lead.

The score remained the same for the next two quarters as both defenses were stout while both offenses looked flat. Midway through the fourth quarter, the usually explosive Belhaven offense got the ball back and was able to put together a game-tying drive as running back Kolbe Blunt scampered into the end zone with just under two minutes remaining.

Each team then had a chance to win late but couldn’t get done as the defensive units made the necessary stops to force overtime.

In what was Belhaven’s first game with extra time this year and Maryville’s second as the Scots lost in triple overtime to Brevard in week four, Maryville got the ball first and had nowhere to go on three straight plays. On fourth down from Belhaven’s 25-yard line, the Blazer defense needed one more stop to set the offense up with a chance to win. However, a pass interference call extended the drive and Rollins was able to score two plays later for a 14-7 lead.

Needing a touchdown to send the game into double overtime, Belhaven was stopped on its first three plays as two rushing attempts from quarterback Tim Johnson proved nil. Johnson then tried to find a receiver downfield on fourth-and-10, but the pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown as the Scots secured their second win in a row over the Blazers.

Can Belhaven still make the Division III playoffs?

The short answer is yes, but it very well could come down to the last game of the season. With the loss to Maryville, Brevard (5-3, 4-0) now takes full control of the top spot in the USA South as the Tornados remain undefeated in conference play. However, Belhaven and Brevard are set to play on Nov. 11 in Jackson in the regular season finale. Say both teams win their week 10 games – which might be more difficult for Brevard as they face off against third-place Huntingdon in comparison to Belhaven’s match with bottom-dweller Southern Virginia – the two teams will be fighting for the USA South’s lone automatic bid.

Other Division II and Division III scores

Staying in Division III for a second, Millsaps had their hands full with No. 5 Trinity. Almost 17 years to the date of the “Mississippi Miracle,” the Tigers didn’t need a miracle this time around as they handled the Majors with ease, winning 63-0 in San Antonio. No one on the Millsaps offense was able to exceed 100 yards as Trinity went off for nine touchdowns.

On the Division II side, Delta State had a much-needed breather after falling to West Florida last week while Mississippi College traveled to North Greenville in search of their second win in a row. Unfortunately, the Choctaws couldn’t get it done as they fell to North Greenville 34-10 on Saturday afternoon. Leading the box score was running back Marcus Williams, who rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Want more Division II and Division III football news? Tune in to the weekly “From D2 to D3” podcast with J.T. Mitchell here.  

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