FCS Quarters Art

North Dakota head coach Bubba Schweigert talks with his players during a 2018 game against Washington in Seattle.

The two sides haven’t met before, but third-seeded James Madison and North Dakota will tangle in the FCS quarterfinals after the Dukes and the Fighting Hawks won their respective first-round games to advance in the postseason on Saturday.

The quarterfinal contest will be played on Sunday at 6 p.m. in Harrisonburg. It’ll be televised on ESPN2.

North Dakota (5-1) throttled fellow Missouri Valley Football Conference member Missouri State in its opening-round game. The Fighting Hawks were the dominant squad, scoring on offense, defense and special teams in their 44-10 victory over the Bears.

Quarterback Tommy Schuster threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Maag and a 48-yard scoring pass to Bo Belquist on North Dakota’s first pair of possessions to jump out to an early lead.

Standout Fighting Hawks running back Otis Weah was held to 64 yards and a touchdown, but UND blocked a punt for a touchdown and got a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown from defensive back Hayden Galvin.

It was North Dakota’s first game since March 20 after coronavirus pauses and opt outs derailed the back half of its regular-season schedule. UND, coached by seventh-year head man Bubba Schweigert, is in the playoffs for the third time in its history. The win over Missouri State was the first postseason victory in its history.

JMU, which is in the midst of its 17th overall and seventh straight playoff appearance, will play in the quarterfinals for the fourth time in five seasons. Since 2016, the Dukes are 4-2 in postseason contests against teams from the MVFC.

Contact Greg Madia at 574-6296 or gmadia@dnronline.com

Follow Greg on Twitter: @Madia_DNRSports

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