SALEM, Va. -- Wisconsin-Whitewater scored 21 unanswered points en route to a 31-21 win over Mount Union's football team in the Stagg Bowl at Salem Stadium on Saturday.
Stagg Bowl MVP Levell Coppage finished with 39 rushes for 299 yards and three touchdowns, including a back-breaking 75-yard scoring run with 2:34 left in the contest.
Mount Union senior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) was a multi-dimensional threat. He caught seven passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Lining up as a quarterback, he completed 5 of 7 passes for 56 yards.
After the Raiders took a 21-10 second-quarter lead, Coppage scored on an 11-yard touchdown run, helping the Warhawks trim their deficit to 21-17.
Then, Whitewater quarterback Lee Brekke found Tyler Huber on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 1:01 left in the first half, putting Wisconsin-Whitewater ahead for good.
Coppage provided the game's first points with his 54-yard touchdown scamper and Eric Kindler added a 30-yard field goal as the Warhawks took a 10-0 lead.
The Purple Raiders answered back with 21 consecutive points in the second quarter. Wisconsin-Whitewater then scored 14 points of its own to take a 24-21 halftime lead.
Mount Union's defense forced turnovers on back-to-back possessions, helping the Raiders take their only lead.
Sophomore defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) recovered a fumble, which was forced by sophomore defensive back Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) to set up Mount Union's first score.
A 28-yard interception return by senior defensive end Lambert Budzinski (Canton/Massillon Jackson) set up the next Mount Union score.
Starting at UWW's 4-yard line, the Raiders needed two plays to find the end zone, finishing with a 1-yard rush by sophomore running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry).
The Raiders (14-1) took a 21-10 lead later on when Piloto went deep to Shorts for a 58-yard score.
At that point, the Warhawks (15-0) used their running game to take control. UWW enjoyed a 312-45 advantage on the ground.
Driskill starred on Mount Union's defense, finishing with 12 tackles including two for a loss, and the forced fumble.
Making his first collegiate start, sophomore quarterback Matt Piloto (Rotonda West, Fla./Lemon Bay) completed 20 of 43 passes for 267 yards.
Matt McCulloch was a thorn in the Raiders' side as he finished with two interceptions and eight tackles.