Story courtesy of College of DuPage Athletics
The College of DuPage Chaparrals successfully defended their 2016 Red Grange Bowl title, besting the Mesabi Range College Norsemen 35-0 in the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Red Grange Bowl. In 2016, the Chaparrals defeaded MCAC member Central Lakes College, 25-22 in overtime.
COD dominated the Dec. 2 game, netting 301 passing yard and another 210 rushing. The home team came on strong in the first quarter, scoring two touchdowns, including one by Chaparral quarterback Asher O'Hara.
DuPage continued its momentum in the second half, gaining yards with several strong plays, including a 10-yard pickup after a spectacular one-arm catch just shy of the goal line by running back Xavier Jackson, positioning the team for its third and O'Hara for his second touchdown. Xavier would later earn the Chaparrals their final touchdown with 12:24 left in the third.
Mesabi Range College concluded the 2017 season with a 7-5 overall record under first-year head coach Tom Inforzato. The Norsemen, with a 4-1 Eastern Division record, won back-to-back road playoff games in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference playoffs to earn an appearance in the Region XIII / MCAC State Championship game. Northland CTC handed Mesabi Range a 68-35 setback in that contest; Northland lost to 3-8 Ellsworth Community College in the opening game of the Graphic Edge Bowl, 55-14.
The Dec. 2 bowl game was the culminating event of a weekend-long celebration of the legacy of Harold Edward "Red" Grange.
Grange spent most of his childhood in Wheaton and attended Wheaton High School, where he played football, baseball, basketball and ran track. He earned 16 varsity letters during his tenure and as a high school junior scored 36 touchdowns and led the school to an undefeated season. The two-time NFL champion football halfback played for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears and, for a short-time, the New York Yankees.
View photos from the game.
For full MCAC football statistics, please visit: http://www.mcacsports.org/sports/fball/2017-18/leaders
To Follow Minnesota College Athletic Conference sports in 2017, please go to: www.mcacsports.org
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About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.