SHENANDOAH, Texas – No. 2 ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor rallied to defeat No. 1 University of Mount Union at the NCAA Division III National Championship game – the Stagg Bowl -- Friday at Woodforest Bank Stadium.
The Crusaders finish 15-0 to win their second national championship while Mount Union (14-1) loses for the first time since a 14-12 loss at Mary Hardin-Baylor in the 2016 semifinals.
Mary Hardin-Baylor running back Markeith Miller ran for 90 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown and Jace Hammack threw touchdowns to TJ Josey and KJ Miller to pace the offense while De Jackson had 10 tackles on defense. Josey, who finished with five catches for 78 yards was named the game's most outstanding player.
Mount Union quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.) accounted for 250 yards of offense as he threw for 194 yards on 18-of-35 passing and ran for 56 yards with a touchdown on the ground.
The Raider defense kept the nation's highest scoring offense almost 20 points below its average as linebacker Danny Robinson (Massillon / Washington) had 10 tackles, three for loss.
Cory Barnett (Grove City / Teays Valley) also kicked three field goals from 41, 22 and 21 yards.
Mount Union went three-and-out on the opening drive of the game and Mary Hardin-Baylor drove to the Raiders 20-yard line and missed a field goal attempt on its first possession. Mount Union then took the ball 55-yards and got on the board first on a Cory Barnett 41-yard field goal as the Raiders led 3-0.
The Cru then turned it over as Austin White (Wadsworth) recovered a fumble and four plays later Fulford punched it in from a yard out as Mount Union extended its lead to 10-0.
Mary Hardin-Baylor then came back and got in the end zone as Josey hauled down a 36-yard touchdown pass from Hammack and Mount Union led 10-7 after a quarter.
Barnett kicked a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter to extend the Raider lead to 13-7.
Both teams then would trade punts to start the second quarter before Barnett attempted a 54-yard Mount Union field goal that was blocked and gave the Cru the ball on their own 40-yard line.
Mary Hardin-Baylor then went 60 yards to take its first lead of the game when Miller ran it in from two yards out and it was 14-13 at the half.
The Cru pushed their lead to 17-13 on the first drive of the second half when Anthony Avila kicked 30-yard field goal.
Mount Union had the ball just two times in the quarter and had 53 yards of offense.
Mary Hardin-Baylor then chewed up 5:14 of time on an 80-yard drive that was capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Hammack to KJ Miller to give the Cru a 24-13 lead with 9:46 left in the game.
The Raiders quickly got down to the Mary Hardin-Baylor four-yard line in six plays but the drive stalled and Barnett kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it a one-score game, 24-16 at the 7:06 mark of the fourth quarter. Mount Union got the ball back two more times but failed to score.