Local roundup: James Madison wins FCS title, beats Youngstown State 28-14

James Madison still had one more game after dethroning the five-time defending champs in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Now the Dukes have their second national title.

The team that knocked off North Dakota State in the semifinals, and made the trip from Fargo to Frisco instead, won the FCS championship game Saturday. Khalid Abdullah ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns after two early TD passes by Bryan Schor as the Dukes beat Youngstown State 28-14.

“A lot of the country probably thought when we beat North Dakota State that we’d have a really great chance to win the championship,” Schor said. “Something we really focused on the whole week … we have got to earn the right to win it, and that’s something we came out and I think we did today.”

James Madison, one of the University of Delaware’s biggest rivals, won its other championship in 2004, the only other time they made it to the title game.

The Dukes defeated Delaware 43-20 during the regular season.

Schor threw two touchdown passes in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game, the first after James Madison blocked a punt and the other after a shanked kick set the Dukes up at midfield.

“We didn’t start the way we wanted, and got behind the eight-ball,” Youngstown State coach Bo Pelini said. “The way we started didn’t help.”

“It means everything,” Abdullah said. “It just means that all the dreams and goals we had team came to fruition.”

Abdullah finished the season with a school-record 1,809 yards rushing and an FBS-best 22 touchdowns.

The four-time champion Penguins (12-4), who finished their second season under Youngstown native Pelini, made it to the title game for the first time since 1999. Their four titles came during the 1990s under Jim Tressel, now the school’s president after winning a national championship at Ohio State in 2002.

Abdullah’s 1-yard TD midway through the second quarter made it 21-0. He added a 2-yard score early in the third quarter, capping a drive set up by Curtis Oliver’s crazy interception after a pass that was deflected at the line ricocheted off the receiver’s toe without hitting the ground.

“At the beginning of the year, every college football program has this goal,” first-year JMU coach Mike Houston said. “The great thing about tournament play is, it’s not up to a vote system or anything like that. You go out there and play it out on the field.”

College track and field

Hens win three titles: The University of Delaware women’s indoor track & field team enjoyed a successful season opener Friday evening as three Blue Hens captured first place finishes at the Wagner Invitational held at the Ocean Breeze Park Athletic Complex.

Delaware had three individual first place finishes in the non-scoring meet as Caesar Rodney High product Tyra Reid won the 400 meters (56.79), Ashley Bailey won the pole vault title (11-11.75), and Carly Pettipaw was the winner of the 800 meters (2:15.54).

Reid and Bailey each posted marks that qualify them for the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships to be held in March at Boston University. Delaware’s 4 x 400 meter relay team of Reid, Pettipaw, London Freeland, and Carolyn Darr, which finished third in 3:51.65, and Isis Pinkney, who was fourth in the 60 meters with a time of 7.73, also recorded ECAC qualifying times.

The Blue Hens recorded 22 top 10 finishes overall, including nine top five showings.

College soccer

UD’s Delgado invited to MLS combine: The stage is set for Delaware forward Guillermo Delgado as he looks to embark upon a professional soccer career beginning this weekend with the 2017 Adidas MLS Player Combine.

The Combine, held at the StubHub Center, gives each Major League Soccer team an up-close and personal look at the 66 prospects that will be entering the 2016 SuperDraft, which will take place Jan. 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The 66 players were divided into four teams, which will play three games each, with doubleheaders set for January 8, 10 and 12.

Delgado, a member of Team Control will begin play Sunday with a 4:15 p.m. contest against Team Chaos. Action continues for Team Control on Tuesday with a 6 p.m. match versus Team Tango before wrapping action on Thursday against Team Copa at 1 p.m. Games will be streamed online at MLSSoccer.com.

In addition to playing three contests, the players will also be participating in interviews and physical testing. The physical tests occur on Saturday, with all players set to do a 30-meter speed test, vertical jump and 5-10-5 agility test.

“This week’s MLS Combine is where every college senior wants to be this week,” stated Blue Hens head coach Ian Hennessy. “It’s a great opportunity for Guillermo to showcase himself alongside the nation’s best players and to be directly in front of every MLS coaching staff.”

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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