By: Tony Thomas Down 24-3 at halftime, the Bearkats of Sam Houston outscored James Madison 28-0 over a five-minute stretch beginning late in the 3rd quarter and held on to defeat James Madison 38-35. With the win, Sam Houston advances to the FCS Championship Game to take on South Dakota State on Sunday, May 16th at 2 pm ET. The game will be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
Sam Houston came roaring back to win on the strength on 2 touchdown runs and a touchdown pass from QB Eric Schmid, a touchdown run from Ramon Jefferson, and an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jequez Ezzard.
James Madison came into the game 9th in the FCS in 3rd down conversions. The Bearkats held JMU to just 5 of 17 on 3rd down. On the James Madison possession late in the 4th quarter, Sam Houston forced a sack on 3rd and 9, moving them out of field goal range. It was Sam Houston’s 7th sack in the FCS playoffs.
The Sam Houston defense forced two turnovers.
James Madison QB Cole Johnson passed for three touchdowns and scored the only JMU rushing touchdown. He threw one INT.
Sam Houston Advances
Schmid threw for 218 passing yards and a touchdown along with his two rushing TDs (he rushed for 55 yards). Jefferson rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown. Ezzard made 4 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown in addition to his 80-yard punt return touchdown.
The last time Sam Houston played in the FCS Championship Game was 2012 against North Dakota State. The Bearkats lost 39-13.
Sam Houston Head Coach K.C. Keeler is now 30-0 in home playoff games. Keeler won an FCS Championship as the Head Coach at Delaware in 2003.
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