Another season of college football at Balladeer’s Blog came to an end yesterday as the final three divisions covered here played their National Championship Games.
*** NAIA ***
BACK TO BACK TITLES FOR USF – The UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS – the Defending Champions of NAIA football – did battle with the REINHARDT UNIVERSITY EAGLES (Should be the Rottweilers) in Daytona Beach. The Cougars notched their second straight football crown, leading the Eagles 17-0 in the 1st Quarter and 24-7 by Halftime. Reinhardt University shut out USF in the 2nd Half but could only muster 6 more points for themselves – and those in the 3rd Quarter – as the Cougars took the title by a final score of 24-13. * THE COUGARS ARE NAIA CHAMPIONS *
*** DIVISION TWO ***
BATTLE OF DARK HORSES – The Division Two Championship fight came down to two unlikely teams: the 5th seeded TEXAS A&M AT COMMERCE LIONS and the 6th seeded UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA ARGONAUTS. The Lions brought an end to the Cinderella run enjoyed by the Argonauts, who made it to the title game in their FIRST EVER postseason for football and just their SECOND EVER year on the gridiron. Texas A&M at Commerce went on top 14-7 in the 1st Quarter and held a 20-14 edge at the break. That became 34-20 to end the 3rd Quarter and ultimately a 37-27 victory. * THE LIONS ARE DIVISION TWO CHAMPIONS *
*** DIVISION THREE ***
MOUNTAIN MEN – The dynastic UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION PURPLE RAIDERS faced the Defending Champions – the UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR CRUSADERS – for the Division Three crown. Hundreds of other D3 teams groaned as the Purple Raiders made it clear to all that they really are back.
This 45th Stagg Bowl – the last one to be played in Salem, VA – was the lowest-scoring ever. Neither team put up points until Mount Union eked out a 3-0 edge in the 2nd Quarter. The Purple Raiders added 9 more points in the 4th Quarter while shutting out the Crusaders, winning their 13th championship 12-0. * THE PURPLE RAIDERS ARE DIVISION THREE CHAMPIONS *