AMHERST, Mass. (AP) – Liam Coen passed for three touchdowns – including his team’s last three scores – to lifted Massachusetts to a 35-14 victory over Lafayette in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs Saturday.

The win for Atlantic 10 Conference champion UMass (11-1) was its 10th straight. Lafayette (6-6) was the automatic qualifier from the Patriot League.

UMass will play host to New Hampshire, which beat Hampton 41-38, next Saturday in a quarterfinal game.

Coen completed touchdown passes of 33 yards to Mike Omar in the second quarter, 7 yards to Ian Jorgensen in the third and 18 yards to Brandon London in the fourth.

UMass scored on its first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead, but mistakes helped Lafayette get two touchdowns to narrow the gap to 21-14 at halftime.

An interception by Torian Johnson gave Lafayette the ball on the UMass 34. Three plays later, Shaun Adair caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Brad Maurer.

A turnover on the ensuing kickoff enabled Maurer to pass 31 yards to Duaeno Dorsey for the Leopards’ final score.

Steve Baylark, who rushed for l52 yards, scored touchdown runs of 8 and 26 yards to give UMass a 14-0 start in the first quarter.

Coen was 9-for-15 for 151 yards passing, giving him 2,330 yards for the season.

Lafayette’s Jonathan Hurt, the leading rusher in the Patriot League, was held to 41 yards on the ground.

AP-ES-11-25-06 1826EST


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