12/15 22:24 CST Mount Union beats Mary Hardin-Baylor 12-0 for D-III title
Mount Union beats Mary Hardin-Baylor 12-0 for D-III title
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
SALEM, Va. (AP) --- Justin Hill and D'Angelo Fulford have provided an offensive
spark for Mount Union all season, so when the Purple Raiders were locked in a
defensive struggle against Mary Hardin-Baylor in the Division III national
championship, it was no surprise the pair did it again.
Fulford hit Hill for a 42-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter
Friday night, pushing Mount Union's lead to 10-0, and the Purple Raiders won
their 13th football national championship with a 12-0 victory over the
defending champions Friday night.
"We just had to make a play," said Hill, who, like Fulford, is only a
sophomore. "D-12 threw the ball up and I had to make a play. I'm an impact
player so I had to make a play when we needed it."
The touchdown pass, which barely cleared the hands of defensive backs Reginald
Cole and Jefferson Fritz, was the 50th scoring throw for Fulford this season,
and the 20th that went to Hill. It came with 11:17 remaining, and gave the
Mount Union defense a sense of security.
"We felt that we could hold them under 10 points at least for the last 10
minutes of the game," cornerback Louis Berry said.
The Purple Raiders (15-0), who lost to Mary Hardin-Baylor in the semifinals
last season, held the Crusaders to 144 yards.
"Everything we did they were ready for it," running back Markeith Miller said.
"They had a great game plan."
Mount Union also finished with eight sacks for 48 yards, including a safety by
Nick Brish, and two interceptions.
The Crusaders (14-1) had not trailed all season and had their 29-game winning
streak snapped. They also were shut out for just the second time in the 20-year
history of their program. The only other was a 28-0 loss to Mississippi College
on Oct. 17, 1998, the first season Mary Hardin-Baylor fielded a team.
Coach Pete Fredenburg was left to lament missed opportunities. The Crusaders
ran a punt back for a touchdown in the first half, but it was nullified by a
running into the kicker flag, and then tried a fake punt that came up short,
leading to Mount Union's first-half field goal.
"There were a multitude of things that we could have done better to keep them
off the scoreboard," he said.
The Purple Raiders took a 3-0 lead on Alex Louthan's 31-yard field goal 1:15
before halftime. The drive was set up by Gabe Brown's interception of Carl
Robinson III at the Crusaders 47 yard-line. Brown's interception came one play
after Mount Union's Fulford was intercepted by Jefferson Fritz near the goal
line. It was just the fourth time all season that Fulford had been intercepted.
Fritz picked off Fulford again in the third quarter, giving the Crusaders the
ball at their own 31, but four plays later, Berry made a diving interception to
get the ball back for Mount Union. They drove to the Crusaders 25, but Jawanza
Evans-Morris was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-1.
The shutout was the first in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl since West Georgia beat
Augustana 14-0 in 1982.