Scores

Final

Delaware 39

(10-3, 4-2 away)

Northern Iowa 27

(12-1, 6-1 home)

2:00 PM ET, December 1, 2007

UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls, IA

1 2 3 4 T
DEL 0 19 10 1039
UNI 10 3 7 727

Top Performers

Passing: J. Flacco (DEL) - 312 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: C. Lewis (UNI) - 20 CAR, 150 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Duncan (DEL) - 8 REC, 112 YDS, 1 TD

Delaware 39, N. Iowa 27

Associated Press

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) -- Joe Flacco passed for 312 yards and two touchdowns and Erik Johnson returned a fumble 55 yards for a score, sending Delaware past top-seeded Northern Iowa 39-27 Saturday in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.

Omar Cuff added 102 yards rushing and a TD for the Blue Hens (10-3), who will play Southern Illinois next weekend for the right to advance to the national championship game Dec. 14 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Southern Illinois defeated Massachusetts 34-27 on Saturday.

Delaware won the national title in 2003.

Northern Iowa (12-1), which had been the last unbeaten team in the playoffs, got 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Corey Lewis and sacked Flacco five times. But the Panthers struggled much of the time after jumping to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and their defense couldn't make enough stops to get off the field.

Lewis finished with 1,513 yards rushing to break the school record of 1,383 set by Adam Benge in 2001.

Flacco finished 25-of-45 with no interceptions and 7-yard touchdown passes to Mark Duncan and Robbie Agnone. Duncan ended up with eight catches for 112 yards.

Northern Iowa's Eric Sanders completed 26 of 38 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown. But Sanders overthrew several receivers, failed to see some open receivers and didn't look like the smooth-operating quarterback who had completed 76 percent of his passes coming in.

Trailing 20-19 in the third quarter, Delaware went ahead to stay on Jon Striefsky's 47-yard field goal, the longest of his career.

Cuff's 15-yard touchdown run made it 29-20 and finished a drive that Flacco saved with a big third-down conversion. Facing third-and-13 at his own 25, Flacco scrambled to avoid a sack, rolled to his right and fired a pass on the run to Duncan for a 44-yard gain.

Five plays later, Cuff burst up the middle and into the end zone.

Defensive end Matt Marcorelle then made a huge play, stripping the ball from Sanders after the Panthers had driven to the Delaware 15 and recovering it at his own 39. Delaware converted the opportunity into a 46-yard Striefsky field goal to make it 32-20.

Sanders hit a leaping Austin Howard in the far right corner of the end zone with a 4-yard pass to draw the Panthers to 32-27. But Flacco led the Blue Hens right back down the field and scored on a 1-yard sneak to secure the victory.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DEL
UNI
1st Downs2631
Total Yards388465
Passing312291
Rushing76174
Penalties7-628-47
3rd Down Conversions13-204-10
4th Down Conversions1-10-0
Turnovers03
Possession33:2726:33

Passing Leaders

DelawareC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Flacco25/453126.920
Northern IowaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Sanders26/382917.711

Rushing Leaders

DelawareCARYDSAVGTDLG
Cuff281023.6115
Thaxton11111.0011
Northern IowaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lewis201507.5225
Williams7355.0015

Receiving Leaders

DelawareRECYDSAVGTDLG
Duncan811214.0144
Michaud36521.7033
Northern IowaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gray910311.4018
Lewis7639.0021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERDELUNI
TD11:01Corey Lewis 25 Yd Run (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 5 plays, 64 yds, 1:54
07
FG03:26Billy Hallgren 33 Yd
Drive: 9 plays, 70 yds, 2:55
010
SECOND QUARTERDELUNI
TD13:05Mark Duncan 7 Yd Pass From Joe Flacco (Pat Blocked)
Drive: 7 plays, 37 yds, 1:40
610
TD03:22Robbie Agnone 7 Yd Pass From Joe Flacco (Pat Blocked)
Drive: 12 plays, 80 yds, 4:47
1210
TD03:02Erik Johnson 55 Yd Fumble Return (Jon Striefsky Kick) 1910
FG00:29Billy Hallgren 29 Yd
Drive: 12 plays, 60 yds, 2:33
1913
THIRD QUARTERDELUNI
TD10:45Corey Lewis 7 Yd Run (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 71 yds, 4:15
1920
FG07:40Jon Striefsky 47 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 46 yds, 3:05
2220
TD02:56Omar Cuff 15 Yd Run (Jon Striefsky Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 72 yds, 3:09
2920
FOURTH QUARTERDELUNI
FG08:03Jon Striefsky 46 Yd
Drive: 11 plays, 32 yds, 5:43
3220
TD05:12Austin Howard 4 Yd Pass From Eric Sanders (Billy Hallgren Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 70 yds, 2:51
3227
TD00:41Joe Flacco 1 Yd Run (Jon Striefsky Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 55 yds, 4:31
3927