Texas A&M-Commerce defeated West Florida 37-27 on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park to win the school's first-ever NCAA Division II football national championship.
The state-of-the-art home of Sporting Kansas City hosted the Division II football title game for the fourth straight year, providing the stage on which quarterback Luis Perez shined for the Lions. Perez — winner of the 2017 Harlon Hill Award as DII football’s best player — completed 23 of 30 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns, while E.J. Thompson added 110 rushing yards to help propel Texas A&M-Commerce (14-1) to victory.
West Florida (11-4) had reached the national championship in just the second year as a football program. The Argonauts were outgained 477-276 in total yardage.
The NCAA announced in April that Children's Mercy Park will continue to host the NCAA Division II Football Championship through 2021, with next year's title bout scheduled for Dec. 15, 2018.