November 15, 2010

#2 Mount Union Starts Second Season Saturday vs. St. Lawrence

2010 University of Mount Union Football - NCAA Playoffs
#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (10-0) vs
St. Lawrence (N.Y.) Saints (5-5)
Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 - 12 pm
Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

RADIO:
WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE
WRMU 91.1 FM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE

LIVE STATS: Click Here

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

Complete St. Lawrence Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

St. Lawrence: Roster | Media Guide | Stats| Schedule | Staff

THE GAME

No. 2 ranked Mount Union hosts St. Lawrence (N.Y.) in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Football Championship Saturday at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.

The Purple Raiders are 10-0 overall and won their 19th straight and 22nd Ohio Athletic Conference title to claim the conference's automatic bid. Mount Union is making its 22nd NCAA playoff appearance with a record of 65-11 (.855) in the playoffs with 10 national championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008). Mount Union has played in the Stagg Bowl, national championship game 13 times.

St. Lawrence went 5-5 but finished 5-1 in the Liberty League to claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. The Saints are making their fourth playoff appearance and first since 1982. St. Lawrence made NCAA playoff apparances in 1976, 1978 and 1982 and have a 2-3 record.

MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON THE RADIO AND ONLINE

All Mount Union football playoff games will be broadcast on the radio on

WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker at http://athletics.mountunion.edu. Ric Brienza and Mark Grossman broadcast the games on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM. You can listen to Mount Union's student radio feed on WRMU 91.1 FM on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.

THE SERIES

This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Mount Union has 3-2 record against current members of the Liberty League. The Raiders are 2-0 versus Rochester and 1-2 against Hobart with that one win coming in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Playoffs, 42-7. St. Lawrence played OAC-member Baldwin-Wallace in the first round of the 1978 NCAA Playoffs and lost 71-7 as the Yellow Jackets went on to the national championship.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 299-22-3 (.925) in his 25th season as head coach as one of the most successful coaches in college football history. His teams have won 21 OAC Championships, including the last 19 in a row, along with 10 of the last 17 NCAA Division III National Championships. This year he is president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Mark Raymond (Buffalo '93) is 5-5 (.500) in his first season as head coach at St. Lawrence Raymond was the defensive coordinator at Ithaca (N.Y.) for seven seasons (2000-06). During his tenure, the Bombers posted a record of 59-19 (.756) and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments. He was a graduate assistant coach for three seasons at St. Lawrence from 1993-95.

PLAYOFFS ... TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS

For the sixth year the NCAA Division III Football Championship consists of a 32-team field with four eight-team regions. For perspective, in Mount Union's first appearance in the playoffs in 1985, the field was 16 teams and the last time St. Lawrence was in the playoffs in 1982 there were only 8 teams in the field. This year's field breaks down like this: Automatic bids will be given to 23 conference champions, three spots are reserved for teams that are independents or in conferences not granted automatic bids and the final six spots are national at-large bids.

UP NEXT ...

The winner of this game plays the winner of a matchup between Delaware Valley (Pa.) and Salisbury (Md.) in the second round next Saturday at noon.

SCOUTING THE SAINTS

Mark Raymond has made his first season as head coach at St. Lawrence a historic one. His first career win was a rivalry win as the Saints won the Hoffman Cup with a win over Kings Point, a win over Hobart for the first time since 1991 and win at Union for the first time since 1969 en route to the school's first-ever Liberty League title.

Senior quarterback JP Kearney directs the offense for the Saints as he has completed 48-percent of his passes (79-of-165) for 1,179 yards, 10 TD's and 9 interceptions. Junior running back Marcus Washington has 173 carries for 769 yards (4.4 per carry) with 3 rushing TD's as the Saints average 125.3 yards per game on the ground. Flanker Ethan Sutton is the top receiver with 32 catches for 463 yards and 4 TD's.

The Saints defense has held the opposition to 19.8 points per game. Senior linebacker Ryan Fedo leads the team with 87 tackles (8.5 for loss), senior defensive end Nate Howard anchors the line with 5.5 sacks while in the secondary senior Ben Cryts and junior Brendan McCarthy each have four interceptions.

Junior placekicker Matthew Dodge is 6-of-7 on field goals and hit a 47-yarder against Ithaca.

300

With one more win, Larry Kehres will become the 11th coach in college football to win at least 300 games.

Here is a list of the others.

478 John Gagliardi * (Carroll, MT, St. John's, MN)

408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling State)

400 Joe Paterno * (Penn State)

377 Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State)

323 Paul "Bear" Bryant (Alabama, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M)

319 Pop Warner (Georgia, Carlisle, Pitt, Stanford, Temple)

314 Roy Kidd (Eastern Kentucky)

314 Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield, Chicago, Pacific)

305 Frosty Westering (Parsons, Lea, Pacific Lutheran)

300 Tubby Raymond (Delaware)

299 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)

* Active

149-5 
Mount Union's win-loss record since 2000

55, 54 
The Raiders hold the NCAA's two longest consecutive college football win streaks -- 55 from 2000-2003 and 54 from 1996-99

65-11 
Mount Union's record in the NCAA Playoffs

53 
game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

44
game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

100
consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.

106-0 
Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

151-1
The Raiders record since 1990 when winning the turnover battle. That lone loss was a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1995 national semifinal game in Alliance. In that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

44
Mount Union has hosted 44-straight playoff games (not including Stagg Bowl that is played at a neutral site) dating back to a national semifinal vs. Wis.-LaCrosse in 1996 at Camp Randall Stadium, which the Raiders won 39-21.

MANY MORE HAPPY RETURNS

For the second straight week, senior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) had a return for a touchdown as he returned a punt 54 yards for a score. Two weeks ago at Baldwin-Wallace he ran a kickoff back 80 yards for a touchdown. He also has five receiving TD's over the last two weeks ... not bad after missing a month with an injury. With 106 receiving yards last week, Shorts now has over 4,000 career receiving yards. He enters this week with a school-record 221 catches for 4,084 yards with 56 TD's in 50 career games.

(NOTE: Prior to 2002, playoff games did not count in NCAA statistics, if those stats counted Adam Marino (1997-2000) would have 272 rec. for 4,704 yds with 52 TD's).

THIS BUD IS FOR YOU

Senior defensive end Lambert Budzinski (Canton/Massillon Jackson) is tied for second in the nation with 12.5 sacks. The Raiders have 36 sacks in 2010 which is good for the seventh highest total in the nation. Sophomore defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) is next with 7.0 sacks while freshman defensive end Nyejel Thomas (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) has come off the bench with 6.0 sacks.

ALL FOR ALWARDT

Sophomore defensive back Tyler Alwardt (Macomb Twp., Mich./Chippewa) had an interception last week against Muskingum and he also became the ninth different Purple Raider to pick off a pass this season. Senior Reggie Overton (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) also had an interception last week and he is one of six that have at least two picks on the season. Sophomore Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) tops the team with four interceptions on the season.

SEVEN RAIDERS EARN ACADEMIC HONORS

A record seven University of Mount Union football players have been awarded ESPN Academic All-District IV honors as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Senior tight end Kyle Miller (Elida/Elida), senior linebacker Sam Kershaw (West Jefferson/West Jefferson), junior safety Alex Ferrara (Independence/Walsh Jesuit), sophomore defensive back Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood), and sophomore punter Zak Suhar (Cedarburg, Wis./Cedarburg) are all first team selections and will advance to the national Academic All-America ballot.

Junior offensive lineman Brett Ekkens (East Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) and sophomore quarterback Neal Seaman (Louisville/Louisville) both garnered second team honors.

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs

Former Mount Union wide receiver Pierre Garcon is in his third season with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, had five catches for 37 yards in the Colts 23-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Garcon had a breakout season in 2009 as he started 16 games including Super Bowl XLIV where he caught one of his six touchdowns on the season. Against the NY Jets in the AFC Championship game, he had 11 catches for 151 yards and his post-game celebration that included waiving a Haiti flag (birthplace of his parents) made national news headlines as he was bringing awareness to the nation that was ravaged by an earthquake just days before the game. This past offseason he returned to Mount Union and completed his bachelor's degree in communications. He had 3,363 yards and 47 touchdowns receiving in three seasons at Mount Union. He played his freshman season at Norwich (Vt.) and in 2008 the Colts drafted him in the sixth round (208 overall).

Nick Sirianni '03 is in his second season as an assistant coach (offensive quality control) with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mount Union alum Dom Capers '72 is the defense coordinator for a Green Bay Packers.

Former Mount Union quarterback Kurt Rocco has signed a contract to play for the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League.

Former Mount Union wide reciever Brandon Boehm has signed a contract to play for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Ultimate Indoor Football Leauge. Boehm was a three-year letterwinner (2005-07) who had 91 catches for 1,178 yards.

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