Salem, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Behrendt threw four touchdown passes and Jordan Ratliffe rushed for 146 yards and two scores, as Wisconsin-Whitewater routed defending champion Mount Union, 52-14, on Friday at Salem Stadium for the Division III national title.
Behrendt completed 20-of-28 passes for 249 yards, Ratliffe carried the ball 28 times, and Jake Kumerow and Tyler Huber each had two touchdown grabs for the Warhawks (15-0), who had won three straight national championships before missing the playoffs entirely last season and watching Mount Union claim the title.
However, the Purple Raiders (14-1) were unable to make it back-to-back crowns, as last year's Stagg Bowl MVP Kevin Burke was picked off twice while completing 22-of-31 passes for 316 yards in the setback.
Burke and Bradley Mitchell each registered a rushing score for Mount Union, which defeated St. Thomas (Minn.) by a 28-10 margin in last year's national title game.
Mitchell's 11-yard TD run late in the first half brought Mount Union within 21-14 heading into the break, but the Warhawks scored the final 31 points of the game to run away with their fifth Stagg Bowl crown.
The two teams have been the last two standing in Division III in eight of the past nine seasons.