Notes from the Stagg Bowl
-- Andy Murray’s interception on Mount Union’s final play pushed the Whitewater season total to 34, tops in NCAA Division III.
-- Lance Leipold became the second UW-Whitewater coach in three years to win a national championship in the first season. He joins women’s volleyball coach Stacy Boudreau, whose first team win the 2005 national title.
Whitewater also won the 2005 national championship in baseball coach John Vodenlich’s second season.
-- All-America wide receiver Pierre Garcon of Mount Union was kept in check by the Warhawk defense. Garcon, who lit up the Warhawks the previous two Stagg Bowls, was held to four catches for 30 yards.
He also was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that set up the Warhawks in good field position.
-- No one in the press box could remember the last time Mount Union failed to score in a half, but the last time the Purple Raiders were shut out in a game was in 1981.
Considering the Purple Raiders had averaged 54.9 points a game, the fact that Whitewater kept them off the scoreboard the first half speaks volumes for defensive coordinator Brian Borland’s game plan.
-- Fomer Whitewater coach Bob Berezowitz, who guided the Warhawks to the previous two Stagg Bowls, sported a national championship hat and t-shirt after the game.
Berezowitz recruited the majority of the players and had trouble keeping his emotions in check as he watched the team accept the national championship trophy.
-- The Stagg Bowl was played on artificial turf for the first time, but the much speedier surface didn’t seem to favor either team. With an intermittent raining falling throughout, the artificial turf probably saved what would’ve become difficult playing conditions.
-- With a winter ice storm warning in effect for the Salem area, 5,099 fans braved the miserable conditions. Those in attendance included the UW-Whitewater band and the Warhawk cheerleading and pom pon squads.