Justin Beaver and Wisconsin-Whitewater finally found a way to beat Mount Union in the NCAA Division III championship game.
Beaver, the Gagliardi Trophy winner as the best player in Division III, overcame a costly fumble with his normal reliability on the ground yesterday, leading the Warhawks to a 31-21 victory in the soggy, cold Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va.
The Warhawks won their first national title after losing, 35-28, to Mount Union in the 2005 championship game and by 35-16 in the rematch last year.
Wisconsin-Whitewater (14-1) ended Mount Union's 37-game winning streak and deprived the Purple Raiders of their 10th national title in the last 15 years.
Beaver ran for 249 yards and broke off a backbreaking 66-yard run in the final minutes after the Purple Raiders had closed to within 24-21 with 3 minutes, 36 seconds remaining. Four plays after the long jaunt, quarterback Danny Jones' sneak finished the upset.
The Purple Raiders never got their vaunted offense untracked. Mount Union (14-1) came in averaging more than 54 points in the playoffs.
Valdosta State 25, Northwest Missouri State 20 - Michael Terry scored a touchdown with 22 seconds left, and the Blazers (13-1) beat the Bearcats (12-2) for the Division II championship in Florence, Ala.
It was the Bearcats' third consecutive title loss.
Jackson State 42, Grambling 31 -
Jimmy Oliver threw three touchdown passes to lead the Tigers (8-4) to a victory win over rival Grambling (8-4) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game in Birmingham, Ala.
Running back Gabe Le gained 116 yards and scored two touchdowns to help Carroll College (15-0) take a 17-9 decision over defending champion Sioux Falls (13-1) in Savannah, Tenn. The Montana school captured its fifth title in the last six years.