[MSFA] Concordia, Marian advance in NAIA Playoffs

Trailing by 11 at halftime, No. 7 Marian rallied with a pair of second-half TDs and a shutout from the Knights defense after the break, to earn a 21-17 win over No. 9 Southwestern (Kan.) in their NAIA FCS First Round matchup.

Following a Southwestern field goal, the Knights took a first-quarter lead after Chamaar Smith’s strip-sack led to a recovery in the end zone by Tyler Bukur for the 6-3 lead. The Moundbuilders then reclaimed the lead with a pair of TD drives in the second quarter, taking a 17-6 advantage at the break.

The Knights made it a one-possession game after the defense pinned Southwestern deep in their own territory, giving the offense a short field, leading to a 26-yard TD pass from Zach Bundalo to Ben Stevens. The two-point conversion from Bundalo to Johnny Williams was good, making it a three-point deficit for Marian. The Knights then took the lead early in the fourth, after Ricky Kwak’s interception set up the offense near the red zone. Four plays later, a 25-yard TD pass from Bundalo to Williams woud put Marian in front for good.

Bundalo finished with 205 passing yards in the win, completing 16 of 32 attempts and throwing a pair of TD passes. Stevens led the Marian receiving corps, with eight catches for 128 yards and a TD. As a team, the MU defense registered five sacks, including two from Smith, while Sir’Zion Dance tallied 13 tackles.

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