The 45th Stagg Bowl is history. Mount Union is DIII football’s 2017 national champion after defeating Mary Hardin-Baylor 12-0 Friday night in Salem, Va.
There was plenty to watch for in the 2017 Division III Football Championship. It was the final Stagg Bowl played at Salem Stadium, its home for the past 25 years. It pitted Mount Union, who has more Stagg Bowl championships than any other program, against Mary Hardin-Baylor, the reigning DIII champions. It was the No. 1 offense (Mount Union) against the No. 1 defense (UMHB).
It was everything a championship football game should be, and ended as the lowest scoring Stagg Bowl in history.
It was a defensive battle from start to finish, with both teams totaling a mere 200 yards of net offense in the first half. Yards and points came at a premium, as a 31-yard Alex Louthan gave Mount Union entered the 3-0 halftime lead.
Mount Union’s defense propelled the Purple Raiders to victory. Eight sacks, a safety, two interceptions and a mere 144 yards allowed helped control the momentum for Mount Union. After a scoreless third quarter, a 42-yard touchdown strike from D’Angelo Fulford to Justin Hill, his 50th touchdown pass of the season, was all Mount Union needed.
MOUNT EXTENDS THE LEAD! D’Angelo Fulford to Justin Hill, who makes an incredible touchdown catch! 10-0 Mount with 11:17 left to play. Fulford’s 50th touchdown pass and Hill’s 20th TD catch #gomountgo #d3fb pic.twitter.com/Yuwioq8txS
— MountUnionRaiders (@purpleraiders) December 16, 2017
For the 13th time in Mount Union’s illustrious history, the Purple Raiders are national champions. They came into Salem, Va. in 1993 and were winners of the first Stagg Bowl in Salem Stadium. Now they leave as victors of the final one as well. Nick Brish walked away with Most Outstanding Player honors as his safety sealed the game.
Relive all the highlights below.