Ryan Gonzales rushed for four touchdowns and Andy Collins threw for two to lead Occidental to a 42-40 victory over Concordia-Moorhead in an NCAA Division III second-round playoff game Saturday at Fargo, N.D.
Occidental (10-1) advanced to the West Region final and will play at Linfield (Ore.) next Saturday. Linfield routed Wisconsin La Crosse, 52-14, in another second-round game.
Gonzales, who had 52 yards rushing in 15 carries, scored two first-half touchdowns as Occidental scored 28 unanswered points to take a 28-14 halftime lead.
Collins completed 25 of 34 passes for 281 yards. Receiver Caleb Small matched his season output with 10 catches and accounted for 124 yards.
Concordia (11-1) tied the score at 28-28 with 6:55 left in the third quarter when Shawn Reile caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Brian Schumacher.
But Gonzales capped an eight-play, 65-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to stop Concordia’s momentum and give Occidental a 35-28 lead.
Concordia pulled within two at 42-40 with 2:54 left, but Occidental forced a fumble by Schumacher on a two-point conversion attempt as he stretched for the goal line.