North Central wins Division III football title

  • Head coach Jeff Thorne celebrates with the North Central College Cardinals after they won the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night over Wisconsin-Whitewater 41-14 in Shenandoah, Texas.

    Head coach Jeff Thorne celebrates with the North Central College Cardinals after they won the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night over Wisconsin-Whitewater 41-14 in Shenandoah, Texas. Steve Woltmann/North Central College

  • North Central quarterback Broc Rutter scrambles for yards in the Division III national title game Friday night in Shenandoah, Texas. Rutter, a Neuqua Valley alum, threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another in the Cardinals' 41-14 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater.

    North Central quarterback Broc Rutter scrambles for yards in the Division III national title game Friday night in Shenandoah, Texas. Rutter, a Neuqua Valley alum, threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another in the Cardinals' 41-14 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater. Steve Woltmann/North Central College

  • North Central College running back Ethan Greenfield kept scoring touchdowns to help the Cardinals win the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night in Shenandoah, Texas, over Wisconsin-Whitewater.

    North Central College running back Ethan Greenfield kept scoring touchdowns to help the Cardinals win the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night in Shenandoah, Texas, over Wisconsin-Whitewater. Steve Woltmann/North Central College

  • Blake Williams takes a touchdown pass for the North Central College Cardinals, who beat Wisconsin-Whitewater for the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night in Shenandoah, Texas.

    Blake Williams takes a touchdown pass for the North Central College Cardinals, who beat Wisconsin-Whitewater for the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night in Shenandoah, Texas. Steve Woltmann/North Central College

  • Andrew Kamienski and the North Central College Cardinals played their way to the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night over Wisconsin-Whitewater in Shenandoah, Texas.

    Andrew Kamienski and the North Central College Cardinals played their way to the NCAA Division III national championship Friday night over Wisconsin-Whitewater in Shenandoah, Texas. Steve Woltmann/North Central College

 
Associated Press
Updated 12/20/2019 11:14 PM

SHENENDOAH, Texas -- Ethan Greenfield ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns, Broc Rutter threw for 263 yards and two scores and North Central of Illinois routed Wisconsin-Whitewater 41-14 on Friday night for its first NCAA Division III championship.

North Central was making its first appearance in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. The Cardinals' previous best finish in the Division III playoffs was a semifinal loss in 2013.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Rutter, a Neuqua Valley alum, was 17 of 26 passing and ran for another touchdown, Andrew Kamienski, a South Elgin High School alum, caught 9 passes for 134 yards and a score, and Julian Bell had 2 interceptions. The Cardinals (14-1) outgained the Warhawks (13-2) 436-389 en route to its 11th straight victory.

Greenfield, a Lakes High School alum, scored on a 5-yard run less than three minutes into the game and capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive with a 2-yard scoring run with 1:49 left in the second quarter. Greenfield added a 38-yarder midway through the third quarter to make it 34-0.

In between Greenfield's two first-half scores, Rutter found Blake Williams for a 31-yard touchdown strike late in the first quarter before Rutter had a 1-yard scoring with 10 minutes left in the second.

Max Meylor was 25 of 42 for 183 yards and a touchdown rushed for 104 yards for Whitewater, and Alex Peete ran for 79 yards and a score. The Warhawks were making their 10th appearance in the championship game in the last 15 years. They last won the title in 2014, capping a string of six titles in eight years.

Meylor got the Warhawks on the board with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jared Zausch with five minutes remaining in the third. Peete scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 9½ minutes left.

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