Junior quarterback Tim Ebersol passed for 270 yards and two touchdowns and scored twice to lead Shippensburg State to a 40-27 victory over Virginia Union in an NCAA Division II quarter-final football game in Richmond yesterday.
In the semifinals Saturday, Shippensburg will play North Dakota State, which defeated Puget Sound, 24-10, in Burien, Wash., today. Jeff Willis scored on a five-yard run and Mark Nellermoe on a one-yard quarterback sneak in the final three minutes to break open a 10-10 game.
It was Virginia Union's first loss after 11 wins.
Shippensburg (12-0), which took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards before being stopped at the Union two, scored on each of its next five possessions to take a seemingly overwhelming 32-0 halftime lead.
But the Panthers, who had not previously given up more than 14 points in a game this season, came back with a 27-point third quarter that left them only 13 points behind going into the final 15 minutes.
Virginia Union threatened twice in the fourth quarter but had one drive stall at the Shippensburg seven as successive passes fell incomplete in the end zone and another ended with a fumble at the Red Raider 11.
Ebersol threw touchdown passes of 15 yards to tight end Steve Shirk and 78 yards to wide receiver Ed Noon as he completed 14 of 24 attempts. He scored on a one-yard sneak and a five-yard roll around right end.
Shippensburg got its other touchdown from tailback Dave Friese and collected a 44-yard field goal from Jeff Auker.
Union's touchdowns came from Phillip Davis on a nine-yard run, Carl Bland on a 62-yard pass from Edward Gates, Harry Mitchell on a four-yard burst and Vernon Moore on a two-yard return of a blocked punt.
On the first play following Davis' score, Ebersol gave the Red Raiders their only second-half points with his throw to Noon.On the first play following that touchdown, the Panthers scored as Gates hit Bland.