The Stagg Bowl: DIII NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – Dec 20, 2019: North Central (Il) vs UW-Whitewater

North Central (Il) College Cardinals (13-1) vs UW-Whitewater Warhawks (13-1)

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North Central (Il) Cardinals | College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin

Coach: Jeff Thorne

North Central Players to Watch:

Senior QB Broc Rutter (6-2/204)

North Central senior quarterback Broc Rutter was selected as the North Region’s Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. He has also been named a finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, the premier individual award in Division III football. 

Rutter holds virtually every passing record on the books at North Central, Rutter currently ranks second nationwide in passing yards (4,,328), touchdown passes (54) and passing efficiency while ranking third in completion percentage, and currently leads all active players in every division of college football in career passing yards (14,002). Rutter hails from Naperville, Il.

**Sophomore RB Ethan Greenfield (5-9/195)

Greenfield, a First Team All-CCIW selection for the first time this season, currently is the Division III national leader in total touchdowns (29) and all-purpose yards (2,374) while ranking second in rushing touchdowns (26) and rushing yards (2,031). All four totals are new North Central single-season records. He established a new single-game school record with 301 rushing yards in the Cardinals’ 51-15 first-round playoff victory over Wabash College and has scored at least two touchdowns in nine out of the last ten games. Greenfield hails from Lindenhurst, Il.

*Junior WR Andrew Kamienski (6-0/181)

Kamienski is currently the Division III national leader in receiving yards (1,882) and touchdown receptions (30) while ranking second in receptions (124). All three totals are new North Central single-season records, and Kamienski has also surpassed the Cardinals’ career records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.

A First Team All-College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) selection for the third straight year in 2019, Kamienski ranks third among all active Division III players in receptions and yards. Kamienski’s 30 touchdown catches this season surpasses the all-time Division III record set by Scott Pingel of Westminster College (Missouri) in 1998 and tied by Jack Phelan of Hartwick College (New York) in 2008. Kamienski hails from Pingree Grove, Ill.

*Junior DB Jake Beesley (6-3/194)

Beesley earned First Team All-CCIW honors for the second straight year in 2019 and is the Cardinals’ leader in interceptions (4) and pass breakups (11), and his 14 total passes defended matches the eighth-highest single-season total in the program’s history. Beesley recovered a fumble and made a game-clinching iinterception in the end zone to seal North Central’s 59-52 second-round win over the University of Mount Union. Beesley hails from Champaign, Il.

*Junior OG Sharmore Clarke (6-0/260)

Clarke, the Cardinals’ starting left guard for the third straight year, earned First Team All-CCIW and CCIW Offensive Lineman of the Year honors for the second straight season in 2019 and was the Cardinals’ highest-graded lineman all season long. Clarke hails from Oak Park, Ill.

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UW-Whitewater Warhawks | Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Coach: Kevin Bullis

UW-Whitewater Players to watch:

*Junior WR Ryan Wisniewski (6-5/210)

You never know how he’ll hurt you, Wisniewski is a threat at wide out, he can run the ball, and even return kicks. In the last two seasons, he’s put up 2,252 all-purpose yards. He is the team’s leading receiver with 37 receptions for 423 yards and three scores. In 2018, he led team in receiving with 36 receptions for 696 yards (19.3 per catch) and eight touchdowns. Wisniewski hails from Sparta, Wis.

*Junior DB Mark McGrath (6-0/210)

McGrath, the WIAC Defensive Player of the Week for Sept. 2-8, ranks among the top 10 in the WIAC in interceptions (4), fumbles recovered (2) and passes defended (12). He enters Saturday’s game with 50 tackles, including three for a loss, and owns one forced fumble and three blocked kicks. McGrath hails from Lisle, Il.

Senior DL Jordan Brand (6-3/230)

Brand, Balanganayi and McGrath lead the league’s No. 1 scoring defense (15.3 points per game) and top-ranked rushing defense (58.7 yards per game).

Brand ranks second in the conference with 10.5 sacks and third with 14.0 tackles for loss, and enters Saturday’s game with 43 total tackles. Kaminski leads the team and ranks ninth in the WIAC with 90 tackles, including 6.0 for a loss, and has forced a conference-best four fumbles. Brand hails from Chicago, Il.

*Junior RB Alex Peete (5-8/205)

Peete ranks second in the league with 946 rushing yards, and he leads the conference in both rushing touchdowns (13) and total touchdowns (14). He owns three multi-touchdown games this season entering the weekend. Peete hails from Ringwood, Il.

*Junior DL Mackenzie Balanganayi (6-2/235)

Unfortunately, Whitewater lost lineman Mackenzie Balanganayi, the WIAC defensive player of the year, to a knee injury in the first round of the playoffs against Monmouth. At the point of his injury Balanganayi, ranked fourth in the conference with nine sacks and is ninth with 12.0 tackles-for-loss. In 11 games this season, Balanganayi posted 42 tackles. He hails from Palatine, Il.

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DIII National Championship Game: The Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl
North Central (Il) vs Wisconsin-Whitewater
Friday, December 20, 2019
Woodforest Bank Stadium | McKinney, Texas

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Saturday, Dec. 20 | National Championship Game

Saturday, Dec. 14 | Semifinals

Saturday, Dec. 7 | Quarterfinals

Saturday, Nov. 30 | Second round 

Saturday, Nov. 23 | First round 

  • Huntingdon 27, Berry 24 
  • Wartburg 41, Hope 3 
  • Salisbury 83, SUNY Maritime 0
  • Muhlenberg 38, MIT 0 
  • Wheaton (Ill) 51, Martin Luther 7
  • Wisconsin-Whitewater 35, Monmouth (Ill) 10
  • Mount Union 65, Hanover 14
  • Union (NY) 24, CWRU 21
  • Brockport 33, Western New England 28
  • Wesley 58, Framingham State 21
  • Delaware Valley 30, Bridgewater 20
  • Mary Hardin-Baylor 43, Redlands 14
  • Central (Iowa) 38, Wisconsin-Oshkosh 37 (OT)
  • St. John’s (Minn.) 51, Aurora 47
  • North Central (Ill.) 51, Wabash 15
  • Chapman 68, Linfield 65 (3OT)

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This second round game between North Central (Il) vs Mount Union was one of the best D III games of the year.

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