Mount Union Turned Over By UW-Whitewater in Stagg Bowl

Photo by Fred Cockrill
Photo by Fred Cockrill

SALEM, Va. – No. 2 ranked Mount Union rallied in the fourth quarter but three turnovers resulted13-10 loss to No. 1 ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater in Stagg Bowl XXXIX Friday night in Salem, Va.

Whitewater (15-0) won its third-straight NCAA Division III National Championship and extended the nation's longest winning streak to 45 games.
The most costly of the Purple Raider turnovers came late in the third quarter with Whitewater holding a 3-0 lead.  Warhawk defensive lineman Loussaint Minett forced a fumble of Mount Union quarterback Matt Piloto (Rotonda West, Fla./Lemon Bay) which was recovered by the Warhawks on the one-yard line.  The play earned Minett the game's most outstanding player honor.

One play later Coppage punched it in and extended the Whitewater lead to 10-0. 

Mount Union got on the scoreboard with just over 11 minutes to go in the game as Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) hit a 19-yard field goal.

Eric Kindler, who kicked a 44-yard field goal in the first half, then answered with a 30-yard field goal with 5:34 to play.

The Raiders then went 72 yards in eight plays as Piloto hit A.J. Claycomb (Medina/Medina) with an eight-yard touchdown pass with 3:20 left.

Mount Union's defense, which held Whitewater to 210 total yards, forced a punt and got the ball back with just over two minutes to play but ran out of time.

Piloto finished with 177 yards passing (21-of-38) with a touchdown and two interceptions, Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) had 59 yards rushing on 22 carries and Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) had nine catches for 68 yards.

Whitewater All-American running back Levell Coppage had 91 yards rushing on 32 carries, quarterback Matt Blanchard was 9-of-13 passing for 97 yards with an interception while Tyler Huber had four catches for 35 yards.

Linebacker Jorge Carbonell (Miami, Fla./Archbishop Carroll) had 10 tackles, Isaiah Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) had nine stops and Chaz Jordan (Medina/Buckeye) had an interception to lead a stellar performance by the nation's top defense.

For the first time in the seven-game series there was a scoreless first quarter.

Whitewater got on the board with a 44-yard field goal from Eric Kindler with just over 11 minutes in the half.