ROME, Ga. — It didn't take long for Grand View to win its first national championship.
Derek Fulton threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score to help Grand View win the NAIA title in the Iowa school's sixth year of football, 35-23 over the University of the Cumberlands on Saturday.
Fulton, a sophomore, completed 19 of 39 passes for 300 yards and ran 13 times for 74 yards as second-ranked Grand View completed a 14-0 season at the expense of No. 1 Cumberlands (13-1).
"When we started, I wanted to make us a national-caliber program," coach Mike Woodley said. "But I never put a timetable on winning a championship. You just never know about something like that."
Fulton was selected the most outstanding offensive player, and Grand View senior linebacker Jason Gladfelder, who was in on 15 tackles, took defensive honors.
"I knew when I got here two years ago that we had a lot of good players," Fulton said. "But I didn't really expect this. How can you? But it really feels great."
It started raining at the end of the game, but that couldn't damper the Grand View celebration. Woodley even did a little dance at the urging of his players.
"All our success is because of Coach Woodley," Gladfelder said. "He told us that we could do this and you have to believe. Now it has all come true."
Cumberlands rushed for 309 yards, with D'Angelo Jordan gaining 128 yards on 17 carries, and Adam Craig getting 94 yards on 30 attempts. But the Kentucky school had only 60 yards passing, as freshman Craig went 5 for 11 with an interception.
"That's a good team and we knew it would be hard to stop them," Gladfelder said.
Grand View stopped Cumberlands on downs at the 1 in the third quarter, and took advantage of a muffed punt to go up 28-17 early in the fourth. Wes Horneister recovered Iquan Dee's muff at the 27 and the Vikings scored in three plays, with Fulton hitting Brady Roland with a 4-yard touchdown pass.