Mount Union claimed its fourth national title in six years ('93, '96, '97, '98) and third in a row, with a 44-24 come-from-behind win against Rowan. The Purple Raiders (14-0), who trailed 24-16 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, outscored the Profs 28-0 in the final 18 minutes of play to win the '98 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
Rowan (10-3) had taken a 21-16 lead on a 10-yard TD pass from Gus Ornstein to Taman Bryant and went up 24-16 on a 44-yard field goal. The Purple Raiders tied the game with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Gary Smeck to Dave Hassey with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter. Less than a minute later, Chuck Moore scored on a 9-yard run which had been set up by a Jason Hall sack and Jeremy Yoder fumble recovery.
"The two fumbles were big points in the game," said Rowan coach K.C. Keeler. "We missed an assignment on one and let them get up the middle. You can't do that against a ... team like Mount Union."
A pair of fourth-quarter Ryan Gorius touchdowns put the game away and extended college football's longest current winning streak to 42 games. Mount Union is five wins shy of tying Oklahoma's all-time collegiate mark for consecutive wins (47).
"In a way, this might be the most satisfying title we've won because of the way we got here," noted Mount Union coach Larry Kehres. "We played in numerous close games and had to come from behind several times to get the job done. As a coach, I couldn't be prouder of this team's work ethic and determination in achieving this goal."
Rowan: Justin Wright 1 run (Mark Migliori kick) 8 plays, 53 yards, 3:25.
Mount Union: Darin Kershner 47 pass from Gary Smeck (Rodney Chenos kick) 1-47 0:09
Rowan: David Sadowski 1 run (Migliori kick) 8-95 3:41
Mount Union: Chenos 27 field goal 7-58 2:04
Mount Union: Chuck Moore 2 run (kick blocked) 4-20 0:54
Rowan: Taman Bryant 10 pass from Gus Ornstein (Migloiri kick) 8-80-3:16
Rowan: Migliori 44 field goal 8-31 2:49
Mount Union: Dave Hassey 3 pass from Smeck (Kershner pass from Smeck) 6-62 2:32
Mount Union: Moore 9 run (Chenos kick) 1-9 0:04
Mount Union: Gorius 1 run (Chenos kick) 11-52 4:29
Mount Union: Goris 14 pass from Smeck (Chenos kick failed) 9-43 4:22
First round, Nov. 21
at Mount Union 21, Albion 19
at Wittenberg 13, Millikin 10
at Lycoming 49, Catholic 14
at Trinity (Texas) 30, Western Maryland 20
UW-Eau Claire 28, at Central 21
at St. John's 33, Pacific Lutheran 20
Buffalo State 38, at Springfield 35
Rowan 26, at New Jersey 2
Quarterfinals, Nov. 28
at Mount Union 21, Wittenberg 19
Trinity (Texas) 37, at Lycoming 21
UW-Eau Claire 10, at St. John's 7
at Rowan 19, Buffalo State 17
Semifinals, Dec. 5
at Mount Union 34, Trinity (Texas) 29
at Rowan 22, UW-Eau Claire 19
Stagg Bowl XXVI, Dec. 12
Mount Union 44, Rowan 24, at Salem, Va.
Western Maryland is now known as McDaniel.