Mount Union is on Top of the Division III Football World - The Dynamo: Sports

Mount Union is on Top of the Division III Football World

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Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2017 11:00 am

Salem, Virginia- The Purple Raiders are the National Champions of Division III Football after a 12-0 win over the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders at Salem Stadium.

It was a defensive battle between the Purple Raiders and the Crusaders in the 45th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl as there was not much offensive production in the contest. Mount Union held Mary Hardin-Baylor to 144 total yards and sealed a shutout. The first shutout in the National Championship since 1982.

The Purple Raider defense was lead by Nick Brish (Milford, Mich./Brighton) who finished the game with 10 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Brish forced a safety late in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for the Purple Raiders. Brish was voted by the media as the most outstanding player of Stagg Bowl 45. The Mount Union defense as a whole finished the night with eight sacks.

Offensively for the Purple Raiders, they matched up against the #3 defense in the Nation. The Crusaders defense did not allow much. Mount Union would get their first score with a little over a minute to play in the second quarter. Senior kicker Alex Louthan (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) hit a 31 yard field goal for the Purple Raiders before the half ended. The score was 3-0 at the half.

It was not until the fourth quarter where the Purple Raider faithful saw a touchdown. With a little over 11 minutes remaining in the game, D’Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla./Miramar) threw up a ball to his 2nd team All-American wide-out Justin Hill (Circleville/Jireh Prep). Hill kept his concentration and caught the ball off of the deflection from a Crusader corner back. This extended the score to 10-0 in the 4th quarter. This was also Fulford’s 50th touchdown pass on the season.

With a defensive battle comes a significant workload for the special teams unit. Junior punter Adam Snyder (Baltimore/Liberty Union) played a major role in the National Championship win. Snyder dictated the field position game and he did not disappoint. Snyder totaled six punts with three of them pinning the Crusaders behind their own 20 yard line, this included a 48 yard punt that put the Crusaders at their own 2 yard line with four minutes remaining with no timeouts.

The Mount Union Purple Raiders are your Division III National Champions for the 13th time in program history, the second under Coach Vince Kehres.

A farewell to Salem: Mount Union appeared in 20 Stagg Bowls in Salem, Virginia. The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl arrived in Salem in 1993, this would be the first championship for the Purple Raiders. Mount Union goes out on top in Salem with their 13th title at Salem Stadium in 2017. The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl will now move to Shenandoah, Texas for 2018 and 2019. The Purple Raiders will look to repeat their championship run next season. 

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