December 17, 2005

Purple Reign

When the Mount Union College Purple Raiders go three years without winning the Division III national championship, it feels like a long drought. There were doubters this year, especially when Mount Union lost their first regular season game since 1994. But Coach Larry Kehres and his Raiders reclaimed the national title this afternoon in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, beating the previously unbeaten Warhawks of Wisconsin-Whitewater 35-28.

It was the eighth national championship for your humble blogger's alma mater in the last thirteen years. Not since John Wooden's UCLA Bruins dominated NCAA basketball in the late 60's and early 70's has any college team in a major sport amassed a run of championships like this one.

The game turned on a mid-third quarter goal line stand by Mount Union, which preserved their 14-7 advantage, and was soon followed by a 95-yard dash for a touchdown by freshman running back Nate Kmic to put the Raiders up 21-7. They then held off a determined fourth quarter comeback by the Warhawks to seal the victory in a highly entertaining game. Mount Union drove for the decisive touchdown with just under three minutes to go, after Whitewater had pulled to within seven points with a late rally.

Congratulations to Coach Kehres and his fine team. Again.

Posted by dan at December 17, 2005 10:39 PM