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updated: 12/21/2013 7:13 PM

Grand View wins NAIA football title

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  • Grand View receiver Davion Hurst dives over the goal line for a touchdown after making a catch in the first half of the NAIA championship game against Cumberlands on Saturday in Rome, Ga.

      Grand View receiver Davion Hurst dives over the goal line for a touchdown after making a catch in the first half of the NAIA championship game against Cumberlands on Saturday in Rome, Ga.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

ROME, Ga. -- Derek Fulton threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score to help Grand View win the NAIA championship in the Iowa school's sixth year of football, 35-23 over the University of the Cumberlands on Saturday.

Fulton, a sophomore, completed 19 of 39 passes for 300 yards and ran 13 times for 74 yards as second-ranked Grand View completed a 14-0 season at the expense of No. 1 Cumberlands (13-1).

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Fulton was selected the most outstanding offensive player, and Grand View senior linebacker Jason Gladfelder, who was in on 15 tackles, took defensive honors.

Cumberlands rushed for 309 yards, with D'Angelo Jordan gaining 128 yards on 17 carries, and Adam Craig getting 94 yards on 30 attempts. But the Kentucky school had only 60 yards passing, as Craig went 5 for 11 with an interception.

Grand View stopped Cumberlands on downs at the 1 in the third quarter, and took advantage of a muffed punt to go up 28-17 early in the fourth. Wes Horneister recovered Iquan Dee's muff at the 27 and the Vikings scored in three plays, with Fulton hitting Brady Roland with a 4-yard touchdown pass.

Craig capped a 10-play, 63-yard drive from a yard out with 7:28 remaining, but Cumberland's try for the two-point conversion failed. Grand View then went 56 yards in five plays for the clinching touchdown. Fulton hit Roland with a 43-yard pass and then took it over himself from a yard out.

Grand View scored the first three times it had the ball, going 80, 75 and 61 yards to take a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter on Fulton's third touchdown pass. Cumberlands, though, stopped the Vikings on downs inside the 1 to close the half down 21-17.

Jordan, who had 122 yards on 14 first-half carries, broke off a 45-yard touchdown run for Cumberlands, and Craig scored from a yard out to close the gap. Al Merrick started the Patriots' scoring with a 33-yard field goal.

Fulton hit Keonte White with a 59-yard TD strike to start the scoring, then teamed with Taylor Goebel for a 7-yarder and Davion Hurst on a 2-yarder. Craig accounted for 229 total yards in the first half, completing 13 of 27 passes and rushing for 55 yards.

The game, played before a near-capacity crowd of 5,295, was the sixth and final NAIA championship in Rome. The event is moving to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the next three years.

Grand View rolled to a 35-0 semifinal victory over 2012 runner-up Morningside (Iowa), ranked No. 5, while Cumberlands had to go to overtime before securing a 34-27 victory over No. 3-ranked Carroll (Mont.), which has won six NAIA titles.

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