SALEM, Va. -- Levell Coppage didn't have to be superman this time for Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The defense had that covered, and even set up Coppage to grab some glory, too.
Coppage, a senior from Oak Park-River Forest, scored on a 1-yard run set up by the defense and the Warhawks won their third consecutive Division III national championship, and fourth in five years, beating Mount Union 13-10 on Friday night in the seventh consecutive title game meeting between the schools.
"Easiest touchdown in my life, and I even got in there untouched," Coppage said about the run with 4:02 left in the third quarter. It gave the Warhawks a 10-0 lead, and the defense did the rest.
The victory was the 45th in a row for Whitewater (15-0), which hasn't lost since Mount Union beat them in the 2008 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. The Purple Raiders finished 14-1.
Whitewater quarterback Matt Blanchard (Lake Zurich) was 9-for-13 passing for 97 yards after missing last year's postseason run with a broken thumb. Senior starting tight end Jason Ford (Fremd) caught a pass for 9 yards, junior Jimmy Norris (Fremd) started at left guard and senior offensive lineman Alex Misialek (Crystal Lake South) also saw playing time.
Sophomore linebackers Ryan Cortez (Palatine) and Kyle Wismer (Richmond-Burton) helped lead the Whitewater defensive effort. Cortez had 9 tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss and Wismer had 10 tackles and 1½ tackles for loss.
Mount Union has won 10 national titles in the last 16 years, and once seemed to be the untouchable goliath atop the Division III game, but the Warhawks have taken aim, if not the mantle.
"A lot of guys that I see around us are hungry," Coppage said, "and we're going be whatever it takes to be the face of D-III. ... It's just amazing to get here and do the things that we've been doing."
Coppage, the most outstanding player of the past two title games, wasn't nearly as dominant but finished with 91 yards on 32 carries and scored his seventh touchdown in the last three title games.
Mount Union got within 13-10 with 3:20 to play and got the ball back with 2:09 left but its final chance was stopped at its 34 by Whitewater.
• Daily Herald Sports Writer Marty Maciaszek contributed
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