December 17, 2005

Freshman leads Mount Union to eighth national title

More news about: Mount Union | UW-Whitewater
Nate Kmic scampers down the field on his record-tying touchdown run. 
Photo by Ryan Coleman, D3football.com

By Gordon Mann
D3sports.com

SALEM — Nate Kmic ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns as the Mount Union Purple Raiders (14-1) defeated the UW-Whitewater Warhawks (14-1) 35-28 to capture their eighth Division III football national championship.

Kmic was named the Most Outstanding Player of Stagg Bowl XXXIII and finished the postseason with 1,041 yards and 13 touchdowns in five games – quite a run for a freshman thrust into a starting role after Aaron Robinson was injured in the first round of the playoffs. 

The Warhawks showed no signs of early jitters in their first Stagg Bowl appearance. Cornerback Victor Wipperfurth ended Mount Union’s first drive by intercepting Mike Jorris and returning the ball to the Purple Raiders’ 42-yard line. Running back Justin Beaver capped Whitewater’s first drive with a 2-yard touchdown rush.

The Purple Raiders answered two drives later when Mike Jorris found wide receiver Pierre Garcon who bolted 63 yards to the end zone to tie the game with 6:32 left in the first quarter. 

Jorris hit Garcon again for a 12-yard touchdown strike with 5:03 to play in the first half to give Mount Union a 13-7 lead. That drive featured instant replay’s debut at the Division III level as the officials twice reviewed potential end zone grabs by Garcon. In both cases the ruling on the field stood including Garcon’s second touchdown.

Whitewater had an opportunity to tie the game before halftime, but free safety Nick Barren jarred the ball loose from tight end Pete Schmitt’s hands as he crashed across the goal line. The officials reviewed the play and the call stood as incomplete call. The drive ended when Chaulk’s 41-yard field goal attempt fell short.

The Warhawks had another chance to tie the game in their first drive of the second half, reaching the Purple Raiders’ 1-yard line on ten plays. But on fourth and goal, line backer Matt Rees and Barren stuffed Beaver for no gain.

Three plays later Kmic carried the ball around the left side of the line and shot down the field for a 95-yard touchdown, tying a Stagg Bowl record set by former Purple Raider Chuck Moore in 2001.

Less than seven minutes later, Kmic scored again, this time on a 2-yard carry to push Mount Union’s lead to 28-7.

Facing their largest deficit of the season, the Warhawks’ offense awoke as Justin Jacobs hit wide receiver Jim Leszczynski for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Whitewater needed a quick defensive stop with just 12:22 remaining in the game and got it when defensive lineman Eric Kosterman stopped Kmic on one third-and-1. Whitewater cut the Mount Union lead to 28-21 with 8:37 left as Jacobs hit Schmitt for his second touchdown pass of the game. 

But the Warhawks could not get another sorely needed stop on the ensuing drive. The Purple Raiders mounted a 12 play drive that consumed more than five minutes and ended in Kmic’s third rushing touchdown of the day.

Whitewater mounted a final rally, pushing down to the Mount Union 1-yard line with under a minute to play. But they needed three tries to score before Jacobs pushed across the goal line to narrow the Purple Raiders’ lead to 35-28.

With just two seconds left and the inability to advance an onside kick in college football, Whitewater needed a minor miracle to tie the game. Instead Mount Union recovered the onside kick and took a final snap to wrap up the national championship with a 35-28 victory.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Audio
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
Preview Video
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Preview Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Audio Audio
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats Audio
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading