Justin Beaver and Wisconsin-Whitewater finally found a way to beat Mount Union in the NCAA Division III championship football game in Salem, Virginia.
Beaver, the Gagliardi Trophy winner as the best player in Division III, overcame a costly fumble with his normal reliability on the ground today, leading the Warhawks to a 31-21 victory in the soggy, cold Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
The Warhawks won their first national title after losing 35-28 to Mount Union in the 2005 championship game and 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 closed to 24-21 with 3:36 remaining. Four plays later, quarterback Danny Jones' sneak finished the upset.
The Purple Raiders (14-1) turned the ball over three times on fumbles -- two by quarterback Greg Micheli and one by tailback Nate Kmic -- and never got their vaunted offense untracked. Mount Union came in averaging more than 54 points in the playoffs, but the Warhawks quickly began demonstrating that they were not playing in awe