Stagg Bowl to Crown First Time Champion

By John "Appy" Appicello - Sports Director

Salem (WSLS-10 SPORTS)- The annual Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl looks and feels different this year--and that's ok.

NCAA Division III football has plenty of programs worthy of the stage.

Here for the first time is Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The Titans are 13-1 on the season.

Their lone loss was to Wisconsin-Whitewater, a regular here in Salem.

But John Carroll took care of them, and then they took care of John Carroll 10-3 in the semifinal, to punch their program's first ever ticket to Salem.

"Don't know really know what to expect that's probably the hardest part about this but we're just excited to be here excited to be in the Stagg bowl and let's see what happens," explains Oshkosh head coach Pat Cerroni.

" You are right it is kind of cool thing to break up kind of the norm here-- the Whitewater-Mount Union clash it's been since  when your last decade so it's an honor to really go to, " says Titans Strong Safety Johnny Eagan.

Across the line of scrimmage for all intensive purposes another newcomer in Mary Hardin-Baylor.

The crusaders were in Salem back in 2004.   They return at 14-0 after taking down perennial power Mount Union 14-12 to earn a shot at the title.

The team they vanquished, the Purple Raiders had played in 19 of the last 21 Stagg bowls so the victory was a landmark. or the Texas program.

"Well I think it's awesome for Division III to finally see somebody else in the Stagg Bowl it lets everybody know that there is some pet parity and there are some other programs besides white water and Mount Union and I am very proud of our team," says Crusaders Head Coach Pete Fredenburg.

"To come out and get this opportunity to participate in the national championship is great, great, great, great,"  says Crusaders quarterback Blake Jackson.

The Stagg Bowl is set to kick off at 7pm from Salem Stadium.

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