FCS Semifinal, Division II & III title games to have local flair

Texas A&M-Commerce quarterback Luis Perez will look to lead his team to a Division II national title this weekend. (John Markon/The Herald-Banner via AP)
Texas A&M-Commerce quarterback Luis Perez will look to lead his team to a Division II national title this weekend. (John Markon/The Herald-Banner via AP) AP

The college football playoffs kick into overdrive this weekend, including three teams from Texas.

Sam Houston State takes on North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D., at 7 p.m. Friday in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinal, while Mary Hardin-Baylor meets Mount Union in the Division III championship at 6 p.m. Friday. A&M-Commerce meets West Florida in the Division II championship at 5 p.m. Saturday. All three games will be televised on ESPN’s family of networks.

FCS Semifinal

Sam Houston State (12-1) vs. North Dakota State (12-1), 7 p.m. Friday, Fargo, N.D. (ESPN2)

The Bearkats have been deep in the postseason the past seven seasons, including losses to North Dakota State in the FCS National Championship in 2011 and ’12. They also lost to NDS in the semifinals in ’14 and to Jacksonville State in the semifinals in ’15. The Bison have won five FCS titles since 2011.

Local ties

Quarterback: Caleb Griffin, Keller; Defensive back: Donovan Boyce, Mansfield (Arkansas State); Defensive end: Bryson Wallace, Mansfield Lake Ridge; Darron Harris, Arlington; Offensive linemen: Ty Barrett, TCU (Dallas Skyline); Dorian Kessler, Mansfield Timberview; Running back: Kyran Jackson, South Hills.


A&M Commerce (13-1) vs. West Florida (11-3), 5 p.m. Saturday, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Mo. (ESPN2)

Commerce quarterback Luis Perez won the Harlon Hill trophy as the Division II player of the year on Thursday and is Division II’s leading passer, averaging 334 yards per game for 44 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He’s complete 398 of 566 passes for 4,678 yards. He’s thrown for over 300 yards in 10 consecutive games. Perez is trying to become the sixth Harlon Hill winner to follow up the award with a national title in the same season.

Local ties

Defensive backs: Kader Kohou, Trinity; Chris Smith, Mansfield Legacy; Reggie Kincade, Everman; Kendrick Welsh, Mansfield Summit; Darryl Thomas, Mansfield Legacy; Darius Thomas, Arlington Heights; Defensive linemen: DD Fletcher, Arlington Martin; Demondre Lauderdale, Arlington Heights; Linebacker: Garrett Blubaugh, Keller; Offensive linemen: Ryan Peschka, Mansfield Timberview; Jordan Smith, Mansfield Summit; Punter: Tristan Perry, Mineral Wells; Wide receivers: Derique Ryan, Mansfield; Kareem Adeniyi, Mansfield; Coaches: CB coach, Elisha Olabode, TCU; WR coach/Recruiting coordinator, Yogi Gallegos, TCU.


Mary Hardin-Baylor (14-0) vs. Mount Union (14-0), 6 p.m. Friday, Salem, Virginia (ESPNU)

The Mount Union Purple Raiders are 98-16 in NCAA playoff games and have advanced to the Stagg Bowl 20 times since 1993 with a record 12 national championships. Mount Union is in the tournament for a record 29th time and for the 26th consecutive season.

Mary Hardin-Baylor is in the tournament for a 16th time in 20 seasons with a football team and is 36-14. The Crusaders are the defending national champions and are making their third Stagg Bowl appearance. Jaylon McLean, a Trimble Tech grad, will be playing for Mary Hardin Baylor.

Local ties

Defensive back: Caden Davis, Granbury; Jacob Mueller, Boswell; Defensive linemen: Brazos Fuller, Alvarado; Seth Washington, North Crowley; Quarterback: Tevin Muse, Mansfield Timberview; Offensive linemen: Sean Gil, Mansfield; Caegon Long, Colleyville Covenant; Running back: Ivan Traylor, L.D. Bell; Tight end: Nick Marcantonio, Aledo Trinity; Wide receivers: Jonel Reed, Boswell; Jaylon McLean, Trimble Tech; Austin Stufflebean, Stephenville; Avery Carrell, Castleberry.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST/

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