Associated Press Published

Shepherd Football to Play for Division II Championship


Backup quarterback Connor Jessop threw two touchdown passes and Shepherd survived a last-minute two-point conversion attempt to hold off Grand Valley State 34-32 in a Division II semifinal on Saturday.

Shepherd advances to Kansas City Dec. 19 for the NCAA Division II national championship to face the winner of the West Georgia-Northwest Missouri State semifinal.

This is the first D-II title appearance in school history for the Rams (13-0).

Grand Valley State (12-3) came back to within two late in the fourth quarter when Bart Williams capped a six-play 75-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Matt Williams. But Williams’ two-point conversion pass to Urston Smith fell incomplete.

Shepherd starting QB Jeff Ziemba was injured early in the first quarter. His status for the D-II title game is not known.