/playoffs/1973

1973 playoffs

Stagg Bowl I: Wittenberg 41, Juniata 0
Dec. 8, 1973, in Phenix City, Ala.

From the NCAA News

Wittenberg University used a secret weapon to roll to the first NCAA Division III National Football championship in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Phenix City, Ala., over Juniata College.

The secret weapon was a Ball — quarterback Lloyd Ball, that is. Ball, a 5-11, 170-pound senior quarterback, scored the first four touchdowns for the Tigers in a 41-0 win for the Springfield, Ohio, based institution.

Ball’s four touchdown runs totaled five yards as all came on quarterback keepers near the goal line. His short runs came after he drove the Tigers downfield to get them in scoring position.

He completed eight of 13 passes for 178 yards to lead the Tiger air attack as three rushers-Doug Jacobs, Glenn Hendrix and Dave Johnson-each gained more than 50 yards rushing to lead a balanced running attack which netted 220 yards.

Juniata couldn’t sustain any long scoring drives due to the Wittenberg defense. The Indians lost only one fumble and had only one pass intercepted, but seemed to run out of downs after failing to pick up key yardage. The Indians totaled 15 first downs to Wittenberg’s 19 and picked up 238 yards total offense, but were held scoreless.

After Ball’s four touchdown runs, which all came in the first three quarters, Johnson and Hendrix scored a TD each in the fourth period to finish up the scoring. Kicker Jeff Burkam had one PAT attempt blocked, but converted the rest.

Tight end Lowell Harper latched onto three of Bail’s passes and galloped a total of 103 yards with them, including a 46-yard reception to the Juniata one-yard line which set up one of Ball’s scores.

Juniata finished 10-2, losing only to Wilkes, 25-15, besides the championship game.

Juniata was led by quarterback Gary Shope, the No. 2 all-time career offense leader at the institution. He completed 10 of 26 passes for 139 yards, including four to wide receiver Rick Rudolph for 55 yards. The Shope-to-Rudolph combination clicked for a 99-yard scoring play, the longest in Juniata history, earlier this season in a game against Geneva.

The Indians gained the final round berth opposite Wittenberg by dropping the University of Bridgeport, 35-14, in the semifinals at Bridgeport’s John F. Kennedy Stadium.

Wittenberg had defeated the University of San Diego, 21-14, on its home field in the semifinals of the four-team tournament to gain the finals and ended the season with a spotless 12-0 record.

Box score
Team 1 2 3 4 T
Juniata 0 0 0 0 0
Wittenberg 7 14 6 14 41

Scoring summary
W-Ball 2 run (Burkam kick)
W-Ball 1 run (Burkam kick)
W-Ball 1 run (Burkam kick)
W-Ball 1 run (kick blocked)
W-John 2 run (Burkam kick)
W-Hendrix 10 run (Burkam kick)

Playoff results
Semifinals
Juniata 35, at Bridgeport 14
at Wittenberg 21, San Diego 14

Stagg Bowl I, Dec. 11
Wittenberg 41, Juniata 0, at Phenix City, Ala.

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