|Photo: Connie Hatfield|
There was a bit of an upset in the CRC qualifier semi-finals as Clemson beat pre-tournament favorite Central Washington to join Lindenwood in the final. Lindenwood beat Notre Dame College in their semi-final. The final is at 1:12 p.m. et/10:12 a.m. pt in Sam Boyd Stadium.
The semi-finals proved to be somewhat anti-climatic. Lindenwood had no trouble beating Notre Dame College 40-0. Both teams were extremely physical but the passing of Lindenwood was sharper and they had speedy players that Notre Dame College couldn't match. In fact, Lindenwood have looked the best team all tournament and will be the heavy favorites in the final. To reach the semi-finals Lindenwood beat sister school Lindenwood-Belleville 40-12. Notre Dame College beat New England College 32-14.
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The semi-final between Central Washington and Clemson was more competitive. Central Washington were the favorites heading into the match but they got caught early as Clemson did the small things well. Clemson was especially good at possession as they starved the Wildcats of the ball and when Central had a player sent to the bin eventually that possession turned into a try.
When Central spilled the ball that allowed Clemson to claim their second try and a 14-0 lead. Even worse, Central had another player sent to the bin. Clemson would add a third try to take a 19-0 halftime lead. Central Washington showed good fight in the second half to score three tries, including one right at the death but they missed the conversion giving Clemson the win.
To make the semi-finals Clemson beat Santa Clara 21-5 and Central Washington beat a spirited Dixie State team 21-12.
Lindenwood 40-12 Lindenwood-Belleville
Notre Dame College 32-14 New England College
Clemson 21-5 Santa Clara
CWU 21-12 Dixie State
Lindenwood 40-0 Notre Dame College
Clemson 19-17 Central Washington