No. 1 James Madison survives Weber State upset bid in FCS quarterfinal

Last-second FG gives Dukes 25 straight wins.

The No. 1 James Madison Dukes narrowly escaped an upset on Friday night, rallying to beat the Weber State Wildcats 31-28 at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg to advance to the semifinal round.

Ethan Ratke nailed a career-best 46-yard field goal at the gun to give the Dukes their 25th consecutive win, the longest active streak in the FCS.


— CAA Football (@CAAFootball) December 9, 2017

James Madison, the defending FCS champion, trailed by eight points with three minutes remaining but rallied for the tying score, a 40-yard touchdown pass by Bryan Schor and subsequent two-point conversion.

Stefan Cantwell threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another, and accounted for both Wildcats’ scores in the fourth quarter to erase a 17-14 James Madison lead. Cantwell’s 36-yard highlight-reel touchdown pass to Drew Batchelor gave Weber State an eight-point lead with 3:14 remaining.

Batchelor hauls in a long TD reception in double coverage #SCTop10

WSU 28, JMU 20 - 4Q
#FCSPlayoffs on ESPN2

— FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) December 9, 2017

James Madison found themselves on the opposite end of the upset spectrum as last season, when they upset five-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State in the semifinal round.

The Dukes advance to the FCS semifinal, and will next face the winner of Saturday’s matchup between No. 5 South Dakota State and New Hampshire.