Home Sports North Central College wins Division III national championship for second time in three seasons

North Central College wins Division III national championship for second time in three seasons

by staff

North Central College’s season-long dominance came to its logical conclusion in the Stagg Bowl on Friday night.

Ethan Greenfield scored two touchdowns, Luke Lehnen threw for three TDs and the defense shut out No. 2 Mount Union for three quarters as the No. 1 Cardinals pulled out a 28-21 victory at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, to win the Division III national championship for the second time in its third straight appearance.

Advertisement

North Central won the 2019 national title and, after the 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, lost 57-24 to Mary Hardin-Baylor in the Stagg Bowl last year. The Cardinals trounced Mary Hardin-Baylor 49-14 in a rematch in the semifinals on Dec. 10.

Greenfield, a Lakes graduate, helped North Central (15-0) break the Division III team rushing record for a single season on Friday. He ran for 119 yards, including a 4-yard TD, and had a 34-yard TD catch.

Advertisement

Lehnen, a Chatham Glenwood graduate, completed 4 of 10 passes for 141 yards. He threw two TD passes to DeAngelo Hardy, another Lakes graduate. Lehnen also rushed for 98 yards.

The Cardinals led 14-0 entering the fourth quarter. But their defense, which had allowed just 5.6 points per game, surrendered three TDs to Mount Union (13-1) during a wild final quarter. The Cardinals had given up three TDs only once before, in a 33-20 win against Wheaton on Oct. 1.

Sam Taviani, a defensive back from Downers Grove North, led the Cardinals with nine tackles. Also making big defensive plays were Danny Nuccio, a linebacker from Plainfield North; Julian Bell, a defensive back from Oswego; and Angelo Cusumano, a linebacker from Glenbard North.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment