November 13, 2012

GAME PREVIEW - #1 Football Starts Second Season Against Christopher Newport

2012 University of Mount Union Football
NCAA PLAYOFFS - First Round

#1 Mount Union Purple Raiders (10-0) vs
Christopher Newport (Va.) Captains (6-4)
Sat., Nov. 17 - 12 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

  • TV: Joe Tait (play-by-play), Harry Paidas (color)
  • WIVM Ch. 39 (Tape Delay - Sat. Nov. 17 - 8 pm, Sun. Nov. 18 at 4 pm) 
  • SportsTime Ohio (Tape Delay - Sun. Nov. 18 at 5 am; Mon. Nov. 19 at Noon)

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

THE GAME

No. 1 ranked University of Mount Union hosts Christopher Newport University in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday, Nov. 17 at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Mount Union just completed its seventh straight undefeated regular season with a 59-17 win at John Carroll and earned an automatic bid into the 32-team tournament by winning its 21st straight Ohio Athletic Conference championship. The Purple Raiders are making their 24th NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 73-13 record in the NCAA Playoffs. Mount Union has advanced to the Stagg Bowl (National Championship game) 15 times and have won a record 10 National Championships.

Christopher Newport -- a state school of 5,000 students located in Newport News, Virginia -- is 6-4 overall and in the tournament after winning the USA South Conference title and its automatic bid. The Captains started football in 2001 and are making their ninth NCAA Playoff appearance with a 3-7 record in post-season play.

MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON TV, RADIO AND ONLINE

All Mount Union football games are broadcast on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker.  You can also here the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900. 

This week's game will be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel SportsTime Ohio and WIVM TV39 (Stark County), WIVN TV29 (New Philadelphia), Time Warner Cable (ch. 989-Stark County, ch. 99-Tuscarawas County), Massillion Cable (ch. 21) and Clear Picture Cable (ch. 21-Wayne County). Image Video produces the broadcasts with Harry Paidas along with hall of fame broadcaster Joe Tait. Tait spent 39 years as the radio voice of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and was recently awarded the Bill Nichols Media Service Award by the Ohio Athletic Conference for his now 26 years of doing Mount Union football and basketball on radio and television.

THE SERIES

This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Mount Union is 2-0 against current members of the USA South with a pair of wins against Averett (Va.) in 2006 and 2007.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 327-24-3 (.927) in his 27th season as head coach and is one of the most successful coaches in college football history as he is one of only 10 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games. His teams have won 23 OAC Championships, including the last 21 in a row, along with 10 of the last 18 NCAA Division III National Championships. He is a past president of the American Football Coaches Association and was the offensive coordinator for Team USA as they won the gold medal in the IFAF World Championships in 2011.

Matt Kelchner (Susquehanna '82) is 82-44 (.651) as the first and only head coach in the history of Christopher Newport. Kelchner, who was an assistant coach at William & Mary (Va.) for 16 seasons, started the Captains program from scratch in 2001 and he has been successful with nine NCAA Playoff appearances. He is a six-time USA South Coach of the Year.

UP NEXT ...

The winner of this game advances to the second round against the winner of the Johns Hopkins (Md.) - Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) game next Saturday at noon.  Location of next week's game will be announced by the NCAA Sunday afternoon.

SCOUTING THE CAPTAINS

After starting the season 0-2, Christopher Newport won six of its final eight games to win the USA South and secure a ninth NCAA Playoff bid.  The Captains are ranked 143rd in the nation in offense and 133rd in the nation in defense.

All things on offense run through sophomore quarterback Marcus Morrast who has completed 48-of-94 passes for 722 yards and eight TDs while he also leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns as he has 132 carries for 587 yards.  Freshman Paul Dukes is the top running back with 140 carries for 759 yards and four TD's, while sophomore Rudy Rudolph leads the receivers with 34 catches for 548 yards and seven TD's.

On defense, junior linebacker Evan Moog has a team-best 99 tackles while fellow junior lineman Justin Navarro has 68 stops with a team-high 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Senior Tyshawn Harris leads the defensive back field with five interceptions and also has blocked three kicks.

BY THE NUMBERS

177-7

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

73

Mount Union ended the regular season on a 73-game regular season winning streak dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern on Oct. 22, 2005

64

Mount Union has won 64 straight home games dating back to the 2005 loss to Ohio Northern.

126-0

Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

171-1

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

517

Mount Union has scored 517 points so far this season.  It is the most through 10 games since 2007 when the Raiders had 542 points on their way to an NCAA record 778 points scored.

10

The Raiders 10 National Championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008) are a record for college football teams in a playoff format.  Notre Dame has the most college football titles (11) for teams playing in a non-playoff format.

53

Mount Union has hosted 53-straight playoff games dating back to 1996.  The Raiders are 51-2 in those games with losses in 1999 to Rowan (N.J.) in the national semifinals and in 2004 to Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in the national semifinals.

BURKE FINISHES REGULAR SEASON ON HIGH NOTE

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) finished the regular season with a career night at John Carroll. Burke led the Mount Union offense to a season-high 631 yards as he accounted for 456 yards with a career-best 379 yards passing along with 77 rushing yards. He tossed a career-high five touchdown passes and ran for two more. He enters the playoffs as the nation's No. 1 rated passer with a 193.40 quarterback rating. On the season, he has completed 68.9-percent of his passes for 2,250 yards with 24 TD's to just four interceptions.

DYNAMIC DUO

Senior wide receivers Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) and Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./Plantation, Fla.) each had 100-yard receiving games at John Carroll last week. Collins had a career-best 11 catches for 197 yards with two scores while Denton had seven catches for 137 yards with three scores. It marked the first time since Sept. 25, 2009 that two Raiders had 100 yards receiving in the same game. That day Mount Union beat Muskingum 45-14 behind a seven-catch 124-yard performance from Vince Petruziello and a seven-catch 118-yard day from Cecil Shorts III.

TENACIOUS D

Mount Union's defense finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense (156.7 yds/gm), scoring defense (4.5 pts/game), pass defense (119.00 yds/gm), rushing defense (37.7 yds/gm) and pass efficiency defense (74.01). Senior All-Americans Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) at safety and Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) at linebacker lead the unit. Driskill has a team-best 56 tackles and 13.0 tackles for loss while Dieuseul has 49 stops with 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. Senior defensive back Isaiah Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) tops the team with five interceptions and eight pass breakups. Defensive ends in sophomore Ted Rosalva (Boynton Beach, Fla./American Heritage) and freshman Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward) each have a team-best 4.0 sacks.

DID YOU KNOW?

Larry Kehres is in his 27th season as head coach but 38th season working at Mount Union as he spent 10 seasons (1975-84) as an assistant coach to Ken Wable then in 1985 worked only as director of athletics before becoming head football coach and director of athletics in 1986. You might not know, he was also the first swimming coach at Mount Union. If you include his four years as a quarterback with the Raiders (1967-70), the 1971 Mount Union grad has spent 42 years on campus as a student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach, teacher

BRACKETOLOGY

For the 8th year the NCAA Division III Football Championship consists of a 32-team field. For perspective, in Mount Union's first appearance in the playoffs in 1985, the field was 16 teams. This year's field breaks down like this: Automatic bids will be given to 24 conference champions, one spot is reserved for teams that are independents or in conferences not granted automatic bids and the final seven spots are national at-large bids.

Each team is allowed to only dress a total of 58 players for a game.

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROS

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon was a sixth round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008 signed an off-season free agent deal with the Washington Redskins missed this past week's game with a foot injury. Cecil Shorts III, a fourth round pick in by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, had six catches for 105 yards in a 27-10 loss to Indianapolis. Kyle Miller was moved from the practice squad to the active roster this week for the Indianapolis Colts. Two Raiders in the NFL coaching ranks are Dom Capers, the defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers and Nick Sirianni as the wide receivers coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

NEW LOCKERS/PRESS BOX PROJECT

Fans will notice some dust behind the opens stand east of the stadium as a pair of locker rooms are under construction to house Mount Union's men's and women's soccer and new men's and women's lacrosse programs. A new facade will be added to the back of the open stands and the plan is to expand and renovate the main press box will be a second phase done later. As a result of the expansion, Stadium Drive will no longer exist.

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