Statesboro, Ga. Anthony Williams returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown as Georgia Southern beat Appalachian State 38-24 on Saturday in the NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals.
The Eagles (12-1), seeking their seventh national title and third in a row, will play Southern Conference rival Furman at home in the semifinals. The victory was Georgia Southern's second of the season over Appalachian State (9-4), also a Southern opponent.
Williams gave Georgia Southern a 10-3 lead it never relinquished on his excellent punt return with 3:32 left in the half. After the catch, Williams split two defenders, then weaved through the rest of the Appalachian State defense, cutting left for a second time and racing to the corner of the end zone.
Redshirt freshman Hakim Ford was forced into duty early in the third quarter after fullback Adrian Peterson went out for part of a series with a minor shoulder injury. Ford gave the Eagles a 17-3 lead on a 2-yard run with 8:50 left in the quarter.
N. Iowa 56, Maine 28
Adam Benge scored three touchdowns, including a 63-yard run that changed the momentum, as Northern Iowa pulled away in the second half to beat Maine.
Benge broke numerous tackles on the third-quarter run, which came one play after Maine was stopped on fourth down at the Northern Iowa 37 and snapped a 28-28 tie.
Northern Iowa, coached by former Kansas University assistant Mark Farley, then capitalized on two turnovers, including an interception that Ken Harris returned 47 yards for a touchdown.
Furman 34, Lehigh 17
Toreico O'Neal ran for 128 yards and Hindley Brigham had 105 as Furman beat Lehigh.
Lamar Rembert added 66 yards rushing as the Paladins rotated among three backs to replace the injured Louis Ivory, the most valuable player in Division I-AA in 2000.
Furman gained 332 yards rushing and held Lehigh (11-1) to 308 total yards. The Paladins had nine sacks, second highest total in school history.
Sam Houston St. 24
John Edwards and Yohance Humphery ran for two touchdowns each and Etu Molden caught two scoring passes in Montana's victory over Sam Houston State.
Montana, shut out in the first half of its first-round game against Northwestern State, scored on all five of its possessions in the first half against the Bearkats (10-3) to take a 35-10 lead.