#2 Mount Union Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals With 30-10 Win Over #25 Centre

Blair Skilliter (Photo by JT Higgins)
Blair Skilliter (Photo by JT Higgins)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- No. 2 ranked Mount Union defeated No. 25 ranked Centre (Ky.) 30-10 in the second round of the NCAA Football Playoffs Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.

The Purple Raiders (12-0) make their 20th straight trip to the quarterfinal round where they will host No. 9 ranked Wabash (12-0) next Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Junior running back Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) came off the bench and rushed for a career-high 78 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, junior fullback Jake Simon (Parma/Holy Name) also rushed for a score and junior quarterback Matt Piloto (Rotonda West, Fla./Lemon Bay) threw for two scores to lead the Mount Union offense.

Junior defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) had a season-best 12 tackles along with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble to lead the Mount Union defense which held Centre to its lowest scoring and fewest yards this season.

Junior wide receiver Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) returned after missing the last four game and went over a defender to catch an 11-yard touchdown pass that capped a 97-yard scoring drive and gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Mount Union extended the lead to 14-0 on a Skilliter two-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter.  On the very next drive, Centre pinned inside its own 10-yard line was called for a holding penalty in the end zone which resulted in a safety and made the score 16-0.

Centre (9-2) got on the board just before halftime as Jordan Gay kicked a 47-yard field goal as the score was 16-3 heading to the lockers.

The Colonols took the opening possesion of the second half 63 yards on seven plays and quarterback Tyler Osterman hit brother Jason Osterman on a 17-yard touchdown pass to get within six points, 16-10.

The Raiders then answered with an impressive seven-play, 80-yard drive that saw Piloto complete a 37 yard pass to senior A.J. Claycomb (Medina/Medina) and a 22-yarder for a score to senior Brandon Brown (Merrillville, Ind./Cincinnati Harmony Prep) that ended the third quarter with a 23-10 lead.

Mount Union put the game away with just under three minutes left as Simon ran in from seven yards out for the 30-10 final.