CALDWELL, Idaho — The College of Idaho won its first playoff game in 66 years Saturday as the Coyotes beat Ottawa University (Arizona) 70-23 in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series at Simplot Stadium.
Former Hermiston standout Keegan Crafton caught two touchdown passes, including the first of the game.
With 5:31 remaining in the second quarter, Crafton hauled in a 10-yard scoring pass from Darius-James Peterson on third-and-goal to give the Yotes a 28-16 lead.
Crafton finished the game with seven catches for 88 yards.
“Keegan is a big-play guy,” Yotes coach Mike Moroski said Monday morning. “He is a problem to match up with his size (6-foot-5, 235 pounds). He is valuable on the perimeter. We are glad to have him.”
Landon Clark-Gammel, a 2015 Hermiston grad, had two tackles and one blocked pass from his defensive end position, but Moroski said his value goes beyond tackles.
“Landon has emerged as the consummate leader of the defense,” Moroski said. “Landon has improved more than any one player of anyone I have had in my coaching career. Not only as a person, but as a player. The defensive coaches say he plays lights out.”
The Yotes (11-0), who are on a 17-game win streak, advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will play Grand View University at 10 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time) Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. It will be the first meeting between the teams.
The Viking (12-0) advanced with a 31-30 win over the Concordia Cardinals.
“This team is very good,” Moroski said of Grand View. “They have a very storied history. They are in the playoffs on a consistent basis. They are a formidable opponent.”