Ben DiNucci

James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci (6) throws a pass during the Dukes' win over Weber State in the FCS playoff semifinals on Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium.

They’re going to Frisco again.

Quarterback Ben DiNucci threw for 255 yards, rushed for 62 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to lead second-seeded James Madison past third-seeded Weber State 30-14 in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs on Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium.

The victory sends the Dukes (14-1) to the national championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, for third time in the last four years. JMU won the 2016 national title game against Youngstown State, and lost to North Dakota State in the 2017 championship bout. The Dukes will again meet the Bison, who beat Montana State earlier Saturday, on Jan. 11 for this season’s crown.

DiNucci completed nine of his passes for 162 yards to wide receiver Riley Stapleton.

The pair connected on a 34-yard Hail Mary pass for a touchdown to end the first half and extended the Dukes’ lead to 24-7, an advantage that was too large for Weber State to overcome. DiNucci also threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Stapleton in the opening quarter.

And that was enough offense for JMU’s defense.

The lone Wildcats touchdown prior to the fourth quarter came late in the first half after they capitalized on a personal four penalty, with a 2-yard touchdown reception for Kevin Smith. For the game, the Dukes held Weber State to 256 total yards, 70 rushing yards and a 2-for-10 conversion rate on third down.

Weber State ends the season with an 11-4 mark.

Contact Greg Madia at 574-6296 or

Follow Greg on Twitter: @Madia_DNRSports

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