Photo by RC Workman for D3sports.com
Cecil Shorts struck early and Drew McClain struck late, leading Mount Union to a 31-26 victory in Stagg Bowl XXXVI.
The Purple Raiders got just 88 yards from Nate Kmic on 22 carries, but Shorts got loose for two long touchdown catches, burning each starting Whitewater cornerback in the first quarter. McClain returned a tipped pass 78 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Mount Union an insurmountable edge. Photo gallery.
Greg Micheli was named the Most Outstanding Player of Stagg Bowl XXXVI, completing 12 of 19 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns while running for 56 more.
D3football.com covered the Stagg Bowl from all angles. Frank Rossi took a first-hand look at the events around the Stagg Bowl from a first-timer's perspective on the Daily Dose. Ryan Tipps blogged during the game, and Keith McMillan took a look at the season that was, in the first of two installments of Around the Nation's Year in Review, and the season that will be, asking whether Mount Union and UW-Whitewater will meet again in Salem next season. Plus there are more photo galleries, including the tailgaters, pregame, halftime and the postgame celebration and awards.
In the Stagg Bowl, Shorts scored from 55 yards out less than two minutes into the game, then again from 41 yards out about four minutes later to stake Mount Union to a 14-0 lead.
UW-Whitewater held Mount Union's offense in check, however, holding the Purple Raiders to a field goal in the second quarter. Mount Union led 24-10.
The Warhawks left points on the board, however, as Jeff Schebler missed a pair of field goals. Whitewater finally got back on the board as Schebler converted from 31 yards out late in the third quarter, and following a three-and-out, was driving with a chance to cut the lead to four early in the fourth quarter. That's when McClain picked off a tipped pass and took it 78 yards to the end zone.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," McClain told D3football.com after the game. "The ball bounced our way. Unfortunately last year it bounced their way, but this year we got lucky."