North Central beats Mount Union for Division III football championship


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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – North Central College held on to win 28-21 in Friday’s Stagg Bowl against the Mount Union Purple Raiders.

Up 14-0 at halftime, the Cardinals (15-0) held on to win their second Division III national championship in program history, and their first since 2019.

Central quarterback Luke Lehnen only completed four passes, but three of them were for touchdowns. On the ground, Gagliardi Trophy winner Ethan Greenfield rushed for 119 yards for the Cardinals.

Mount Union (14-1) fell short in what was their 22nd all-time appearance in the Division III final. The Purple Raiders were led by quarterback Braxton Plunk, who completed 26 of 36 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. His top receiver, Wayne Ruby Jr., caught nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, falling one TD short of tying the Division III record for most single-season scoring receptions.

Tyler Echeverry rushed 12 times for 38 yards for Mount Union in place of running back DeAndre Parker, who was out due to injury.