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Mankato loses in D-II semi-finals; St. Thomas advances to championship

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Minnesota State-Mankato's dream season on the field -- and nightmare off -- came to an end Saturday with a loss to Valdosta State in the NCAA Division II semi-finals 35-19, the Mankato Free Press reports.

Mankato -- who went 11-0 and won two more games in the Division II Championship series -- was embroiled in controversy before the season even started when head coach Todd Hoffner was arrested on suspicion of producing child pornography.

Charges were dropped against Hoffner Nov. 30 when a judge ruled that the recordings of his children dancing nude on his cell phone revealed nothing lewd, sexual or exploitative.

Hoffner has yet to be reinstated to his head coaching position since Mankato is conducting an investigation of its own, the Star Tribune reports.

In beating Minnesota-State's ouster, Valdosta State advances to the Division II championship game Dec. 15, at Florence, Ala.

In other football action, St. Thomas advanced to the NCAA Division III championship game Saturday with a 28-14 home win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the Star Tribune reports.

With the win, the Tommies (14-0) gave coach Glen Caruso his 57th victory in his five-year career at the school -- making him the winningest coach in St. Thomas history.

St. Thomas will play Mount Union in the Division III national championship game Friday in Salem, Va.

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