SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – December 18, 2006 – It is now official.
Junior quarterback Chris Sharpe of Springfield College has finished first in three NCAA Division III statistical categories (and second in one other) for the 2006 football season.
The Division III football season ended this past Saturday night (Dec. 16) as Mount Union College of Alliance, Ohio defeated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater by a score of 35-16 in the NCAA Division III national championship game in Salem, Virginia.
Sharpe’s hold on two of the three statistical categories was pretty safe entering that national title game. Sharpe’s NCAA Division III-leading figures of 17.7 points per game and 35 touchdowns were well ahead of those in second place.
It was in the third category, average yards rushing per game, where anything could have happened. Sharpe, the 5-9, 204-pounder from Derry, N.H., finished the year with 161.75 yards per game. He finished with 1,941 rushing yards in 12 games. Entering the game, Mount Union’s excellent sophomore running back Nate Kmic was averaging 161.0 yards rushing per game in 14 contests – just 0.8 yards per game behind Sharpe.
But Kmic finished with 111 rushing yards today in the national championship game, thus finishing the season with 2,365 yards rushing for an average of 157.7 rushing yards per game. And that allowed Sharpe to win the rushing title among Division III individuals. Sharpe’s 1,941 total rushing yards nationally were second best to Kmic’s 2,365 in 2006.
In addition, Springfield College officially won its sixth Division III rushing title as a team. The Pride averaged 374.7 yards rushing per game, well ahead of second-place Mount Union.