|The North Central defense didn't miss much on Saturday but UW-Whitewater's defense set up the Warhawks for the comeback win.|
Fourteen weeks have passed and Division III football is still on track for another all purple weekend in Salem, Va.
If, as one could believe, the bracket was set up with UW-Whitewater going on the road and Mount Union potentially doing so as a challenge to the rest of the field to win a title or stop complaining, two teams had a shot to influence that outcome. Neither got it done.
North Central, the top seed in the bracket, by the NCAA's reckoning but an underdog by the D3football.com Top 25, could have ended UW-Whitewater's 27-game winning streak and the Warhawks' title defense at the same time, but couldn't hold on as UW-Whitewater pulled away for the 20-10 win. And St. Thomas, the overall No. 2 seed by the NCAA's reckoning, could have forced Mount Union to travel in next week's semifinal but couldn't make its home field stand up in losing 12-7 to Bethel.
Instead, next week UW-Whitewater travels to Wesley, while Mount Union hosts Bethel. And two of the teams that had a prime shot at preventing UW-Whitewater and Mount Union from meeting for a sixth consecutive Stagg Bowl were unable to do so.