Georgia Southern waited a year to redeem itself in the NCAA Division I-AA championship game. Once the game started, the Eagles ended the suspense by halftime.
Adrian Peterson rushed for a record 247 yards in 25 carries and scored three touchdowns as Georgia Southern scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter Saturday and routed Youngstown State, 59-24, at Chattanooga, Tenn., becoming the first team to win five I-AA titles.
The Eagles (13-2) missed a chance at a championship last year when they turned the ball over seven times in losing to Massachusetts. They never let the ball out of their hands Saturday except to hand it to an official as they scored on their first six possessions.
"A year ago, we didn't play as well as we would've liked in this game, and we made a commitment in the locker room," Georgia Southern Coach Paul Johnson said.
"I'm not sure anyone realizes how tough it is to get back in this game. They did all that was asked, worked their tails off and they didn't leave much doubt today."
It's the first title since 1990 for Georgia Southern, which also won I-AA titles in 1985, 1986 and 1989.
Youngstown State (12-3) had not lost to Georgia Southern in three previous games, but the Eagles had Peterson on their side Saturday.
The Walter Payton Award winner scored on runs of three, 22 and one yard. The sophomore has topped 200 yards rushing 11 times, and he bettered the 244 yards rushing by Massachusetts' Marcel Shipp in last year's title game.
Afterward, police protecting the goal posts at Finley Stadium used Mace on some fans after officers were pelted with coins, bottles and beer cans. It was not immediately evident how many people were sprayed. Police said two people were arrested and that three officers suffered minor injuries.
DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP
Pacific Lutheran 42, Rowan 13--Chad Johnson directed a nearly flawless offense and the Lutes (13-1) kept the Profs' dynasty of disappointment alive at the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl at Salem, Va.
Pacific Lutheran, which moved from National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II before last season, won the fourth championship in Frosty Westering's 28 years as coach, adding the Division III title to NAIA championships in 1980, '87 and '93.
Westering, 72, won his first title with son Scott playing tight end, and got this one with his son as his offensive coordinator and his grandson at quarterback. Johnson completed 18 of 28 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
Rowan (12-2), which stunned longtime nemesis and Division III powerhouse Mount Union, 24-17, in overtime last weekend to reach the Stagg Bowl for the fifth time in seven years, failed once again to earn its first championship.
Northwestern Oklahoma State 34, Georgetown College 26--Al Hunt passed for two touchdowns and ran for another--all in the second half--to lead the Rangers (13-0) over the Tigers (13-1) at Savannah, Tenn.
The second-ranked Rangers, trailing 20-0, scored 34 consecutive points in the second half to win their first title. Georgetown entered the game ranked No. 1.
Hunt, chosen the game's most valuable offensive player, completed a 41-yard drive after a short punt with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Christenson with 10:40 to play in the third quarter. He finished with 129 yards rushing and passed for 141, completing eight of 13 passes.