Mount Union will play for another Division III national championship tonight with the help of a few locals.
The No. 1-ranked Purple Raiders (14-0) will play the third-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) Tommies (14-0) in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va. The game can be seen on ESPNU at 7 p.m.
Four area products have helped the Raiders reach the Stagg Bowl for the eighth year in a row, and the 16th time in the past 20 seasons. Mount Union has 10 national championships.
Freshman running back Mason Minnich (Crestview) has rushed for 405 yards and three touchdowns on 72 carries. He scored touchdowns in a first-round playoff win over Christopher Newport (Va.) and a national quarterfinal victory over Widener (Pa.).
Senior Alex Nicholls (Galion) is Mount Union's starting free safety. Nicholls has 32 tackles and three interceptions.
Nicholls' younger brother, junior receiver Jack, has 23 catches for 313 yards and three touchdowns.
Madison product Alex Goff, a sophomore, is in the rotation on the offensive line.
Mount Union had to rally in last week's 48-35 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Purple Raiders trailed 28-14 in the third quarter and 35-28 in the fourth before scoring the game-winning touchdown with just five seconds left.
Ashland University quarterback Taylor Housewright was one of just 22 players across the nation selected to the American Football Coaches' Association Division II All-American team earlier this week.
The Ashland High School product is just the 13th player in program history selected to the All-America first team. The last AU player to earn the honor was quarterback Billy Cundiff in 2008, Housewright's predecessor.
Housewright has collected several postseason awards. He was the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Super 4 Region Offensive Player of the Year. He also was selected to the Daktronics All-America second team. The Daktronics team is chosen by sports information directors from around the country.
Housewright completed 241 of 358 passes for 3,071 yards and 32 touchdowns. He led the Eagles to their first ever GLIAC championship and a berth in the Division II playoffs. AU was 11-1.
Madison grad a league champ
Madison graduate Nikki Holmes, a redshirt freshman on the Cleveland State University volleyball team, helped the Vikings to a Horizon League championship this fall. CSU qualified for the NCAA Tournament before falling to Kansas in the first round.
The defensive specialist had 112 digs on the season.
Lex grad helps team to league title
Lexington product Hooch Mondon helped the Ohio Wesleyan University football team win a share of the North Coast Athletic Conference championship this fall. The sophomore linebacker's fourth-quarter interception helped preserve OWU's 36-12 win over Wooster in the season finale. He had 19 tackles on the season.
The Battling Bishops (9-1, 6-1) shared the NCAC title with Wittenberg. The conference title was OWU's first since 1989.
Academic All OAC selections
Lexington graduate Ashley Stevens and Bucyrus product Michelle Gernert were among the 187 athletes selected to the Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference team during the fall. Stevens is a sophomore soccer player at Baldwin-Wallace. The early childhood education major has a 3.552 grade-point average. Gernert, a volleyball player at Otterbein, also is an early childhood major. She has a 3.51 GPA.