West Florida Argonauts quarterback Austin Reed delivered the game of a lifetime to lift his team to a 48-40 victory over the Minnesota State Mavericks in Saturday’s NCAA Division II National Championship Game.
Reed had 399 of his 523 passing yards in the first half, shattering the previous mark set by Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002. He threw for six touchdown passes in the game – also a record.
“I guess I was spinning it pretty good,” Reed said.
West Florida quarterback Austin Reed, center, holds the trophy while celebrating with teammates after the team won the Division II championship NCAA college football game against Minnesota State, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
West Florida receiver Tate Lehtio also set a championship game record with 13 catches, good for 139 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Three of Reed’s touchdown passes went to Quentin Randolph, who ended up with 254 receiving yards on 10 catches, 16 yards short of the record for a title game.
“When Austin’s throwing the ball like that, I know that he’s locked in,” Randolph said. “With a gunslinger like this, you’ve got to keep your head down and run as fast as you can and not look back to the ball, he’ll overthrow you. He put balls on the money today.”
The Argonauts’ run to the championship included a second-round win over defending champ Valdosta State, which ended the Blazers’ 25-game winning streak. West Florida also snapped Lenoir-Rhyne’s 15-game home winning streak in the quarterfinals and Ferris State’s 14-win home streak in the semifinals.
West Florida also became the first NCAA football program to reach the postseason twice in its first four years of existence.
“That’s a heck of a run,” West Florida coach Pete Shinnick said. “They didn’t care where they were playing. They didn’t care who they were playing. They didn’t care when they were playing. They were just going to find a way.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.