Monday, December 17, 2007

Mount Union Bid to Three-peat Falls at NCAA Division III Football Championship

AICUO member Mount Union College, among the very top of small-college football’s powerhouses, failed to win its third consecutive NCAA Division III football championship last Saturday, losing 31-21 to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va.

The Mount was hamstrung by an unusual profusion of turnovers, losing three fumbles, and by a second period goal-line stand that twice stopped star back Nate Kmic inches outside the end zone. The 10-0 Wisconsin-Whitewater lead marked only the second time all season that the Purple Raiders had trailed in a game, and the first time at halftime since 2005.

A late rally brought the Raiders to within 24-21 with 3:36 to play, but a 66-yard run by Gagliardi Award winner Justin Beaver — who gained 235 yards on the day — set up the clinching score for Whitewater.

In the end, Wisconsin-Whitewater ousted two AICUO members from the tournament, defeating Capital in the first round and Mount Union for the title.

—Bob Burke