Around the Nation

2014 year in review

UW-Whitewater was one of just a couple of teams to kick off its season the first Friday in September, and Division III ended the year with that same team on top exactly 15 weeks later.

The Warhawks dealt Waldorf, an NAIA program, a 73-7 loss in that opener, and they capped a title-defending run against Mount Union 43-34.

But while there’s inherent excitement in the beginnings and the ends of things, it’s the week-to-week thrills that kept us engaged in the 244 teams across the country.

There were many memorable moments from the 2014 season, and though not all of them can be covered in this space, many of them coast to coast are revisited. (Don’t hesitate to use the comments below to highlight teams and performances you would like to add.)

Do you remember when... ?

Bryan Peterson threw 83 passes without an interception for Whitworth in a game this season.
Photo by Kelly Bird for Linfield athletics

In a season of standout statistical achievements, do you remember when:

• ... Whitworth’s Bryan Peterson set Division III single-game passing records? Peterson had a whopping 83 passing attempts, and not a single one of those landed in the arms of a defender. On top of that, he connected for six touchdowns and 580 yards, the yardage total leaving him second for the year to Rose-Hulman’s Austin Swenson, who had 603 yards in a 74-68 win over Illinois College that grew to three overtimes.

• ... Montclair State’s Eric Gargiulo had five interceptions in one game? The free safety plucked the ball away from NJAC newcomer Southern Virginia five times, which was more than anyone else did to any team this year. Doing so tied an NCAA record. But he was challenged for that honor – Gargiulo’s teammate C.J. Conway managed four picks later in the season against Cortland State.

• ... the Wesley kicker who had never played high school or collegiate football before went 8-for-8 on PATs? Eric Speidel was a third baseman for the Wolverines baseball team and was a ball boy just a couple of weeks before his playing debut against Louisiana College.

• ... the Denison receiver had people searching for the record books with his standout performance? DuShawn Brown, who had already broken the Big Red’s single-game receiving record, blew past the school’s single-season mark, too, with a 339-yard outing against Allegheny. The game put him at the eighth-best game in Division III history.

• ... the pick-6’s went the length of the field? Three players – Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Eric Allen, Carroll&rsqu...

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Ryan Tipps

Ryan is's Senior Editor and begins as National Columnist in fall 2014. He was the Around the Mid-Atlantic Columnist from 2007 to 2011; has worked on all but one of the preseason Kickoff publications; has done game-day writing and photography and the pregame broadcast at the championship Stagg Bowl in Salem for almost a decade; and has taken photos at the Final Four for He's also on the selection staff for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award.

2001-2013 columnist: Keith McMillan.


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