1981 Playoffs

Stagg Bowl IX
Widener 17, Dayton 10
December 1981, in Phenix City, Ala.

Widener staged a second-half comeback to defeat defending champion Dayton, 17-10, for the 1981 Division III football national championship.

Trailing 10-0 at halftime, Widener's Tom Deery returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown and took advantage of two Dayton mistakes to score its remaining 10 points.

Widener, which also won the 1977 national title, joined Wittenberg as the only Division III programs with two national titles.

Dayton, which committed six turnovers in the game and accumulated only 72 yards in the second half, fumbled deep in its own territory with 3:20 remaining. Four plays later, Widener’s Mark Stephan sealed the Pioneers’ victory with a 23-yard field goal.

Scroll past the video for playoff results.

Playoff results

Dayton 19, Augustana 7
Lawrence 21, Minnesota-Morris 14 (OT)
Montclair State 13, Alfred 12
Widener 10, West Georgia 3

Dayton 38, Lawrence 0
Widener 23, Montclair State 12

Stagg Bowl IX
Widener 17, Dayton 10, at Phenix City, Ala.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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