|Tre Jones returned an
interception for a touchdown to put Mount Union on the board first
in the first quarter.
Photo by Dan Poel, d3photography.com
Bids clinchedThere are 24 automatic bids to the 2014 Division III football championships. Here are the teams that clinched bids:
Christopher Newport (USA South)
Hobart (Liberty League)
Ithaca (Empire 8)
Johns Hopkins (Centennial)
Mary Hardin-Baylor (ASC)
Mount Union (OAC)
St. John's (MIAC)
St. Scholastica (Upper Midwest)
Washington and Jefferson (PAC)
Wittenberg (North Coast)
John Carroll spiked the ball with two seconds to play in the game, a play that is no longer legal in college football, and No. 3 Mount Union held on to defeat the No. 6 Blue Streaks 31-24.
The Blue Streaks had trailed 21-0 before rallying to tie the game 24-24 on a 20-yard field goal by Wes Keller with 3:17 left. Mount Union (10-0, 9-0 OAC) came back with a 72-yard drive in 2:01 as B.J. Mitchell scored on an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:12 left to give the Purple Raiders a 31-24 lead.
Mark Myers drove John Carroll into Mount Union territory, then hit Aramis Greenwood with a 23-yard pass down to the 7. But with just three seconds left, John Carroll tried to spike the ball, and that is no longer legal because it doesn't leave enough time to get off another play.
"I did (know the rule)," said head coach Tom Arth. "I didn't see what the time was. It's just a situation where you don't have anything else. You've got to take your shots when you can. … It seemed like we had a little bit more time than that."
The game was played in front of a stadium-record 9,397 at
Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.
"It was great to see the way that we fought back and the way we responded in the second half," said Arth. "We got off to a tough start. Field position was a big factor in that. It seemed like we were inside the 10-yard line every time we got the ball to start in the first half.
"We gave them short fields. To go up against a defense like that backed up in your own end and give an offense like that a short field all the time is tough. We withstood it and we were not panicked at all at halftime."
UW-Whitewater struggled on the road against UW-River Falls, and the Falcons took a 25-21 lead with a little over a minute left. But senior Marcus McLin returned the kickoff into Falcons territory, to the UWRF 40-yard line, and Matt Behrendt eventually found Justin Howard all alone in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 26 seconds left.
More coverage to come, both in playoff clinchers and in big rivalry games.