Defensive end Richard Bell returned a blocked field goal 77 yards for a touchdown to lead Eastern Kentucky to a 17-14 victory over Delaware in Wichita Falls, Tex. It was the Colonels' second NCAA Division I-AA national championship.
The blocked field goal in the second period and a fumble recovery on the second-half kickoff gave the Colonels two touchdowns the Blue Hens couldn't overcome.
Eastern Kentucky led, 17-0, going into the fourth quarter but touchdown passes to Mark Steimer and Tim Sager made the Colonels earn the victory.
Eastern Kentucky, which won the I-AA title in 1979, finished the season with a 13-0 record; Delaware finished at 12-2.
Bell's return of a blocked field goal came after defensive back Gus Parks broke through the Blue Hens' line untouched on K.C. Knobloch's 31-yard attempt.
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Bell, a senior from Marietta, Ga., had to outrun Knobloch for the score at 9:40 of the second quarter.
The touchdown came just seconds after wide receiver Paul Hammond of Delaware had dropped a pass from quarterback Rick Scully in the Colonels' end zone.
A crowd of 11,257 watched the game in Memorial Stadium in sunny, 50-degree temperatures.