HARRISONBURG, Virg. (ABC4 Sports) – In what will go down as the best season in school history, the Weber State football team was no match for the mighty Dukes of James Madison in the FCS semifinals Saturday.
Ben DiNucci threw for two touchdowns, both to Riley Stapleton, and ran for another and James Madison (14-1) routed Weber State (11-4) 30-14 to reach the Championship Subdivision national championship game.
This was Weber State first ever appearance in the FCS semifinals, and the Wildcats struggled right out of the gates.
DiNucci connected with Stapleton on an 18-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give JMU a 10-0 lead.
DiNucci then scored on a 1-yard touchdown to make it 17-0, before Weber State got on the board on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Jake Constantine to Kevin Smith.
But just before the half, the Dukes scored on a last-second Hail Mary pass from DiNucci to Stapleton from 34 yards out to make it 24-7.
James Madison added two second half field goals, while Constantine threw his second touchdown of the game to Ty McPherson with 2:54 left, but it was too little, too late.
Constantine was 16 of 31 for 186 yards and two touchdowns, while Josh Davis added 61 yards rushing on 13 carries.
DiNucci completed 19 of 26 passes for 255 yards, and rushed for 62 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.
James Madison will face North Dakota State for the FCS national title in Frisco, Texas, on January 11th.
Weber State saw its playoff run end at Bridgeforth Stadium for the second time in three seasons.