GAME PREVIEW - #1 Football Hosts #15 Johns Hopkins in NCAA Second Round

GAME PREVIEW - #1 Football Hosts #15 Johns Hopkins in NCAA Second Round

2012 University of Mount Union Football
NCAA PLAYOFFS - Second Round

#1 Mount Union Purple Raiders (11-0) vs
#15 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (10-1)
Sat., Nov. 24 - 12 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

  • TV: Joe Tait (play-by-play), Harry Paidas (color)
  • WIVM Ch. 39 (Tape Delay - Sat. Nov. 24 - 8 pm, Sun. Nov. 25 at 4 pm) 
  • SportsTime Ohio (Tape Delay - Sun. Nov. 25 at 5 am and Noon)

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE


No. 1 ranked University of Mount Union hosts No. 15 ranked Johns Hopkins University in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday, Nov. 24 at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Mount Union 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 74-13 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. The Raiders scored a team playoff record 72 points in a 72-14 first round win over Christopher Newport (Va.).

Johns Hopkins is 10-1 overall and in the tournament after winning its fourth straight Centennial Conference title and its automatic bid. The Blue Jays are making their fourth trip to the NCAA Playoffs with all four appearances coming since 2005 including a run to the quarterfinals in 2009. Johns Hopkins has a 3-3 record in the playoffs including a 40-17 win last week over Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) in the first round.


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.


This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. It is also the first-time Mount Union has played a member of the Centennial Conference.


Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 328-24-3 (.928) in his 27th season as head coach and is one of the most successful coaches in college football history.  He is one of only 10 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games and with the retirement this week of John Gagliardi at St. John's is the winningest active football coach in the nation. 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.

Jim Margraff (Johns Hopkins '82) is 156-80-3 (.659) in his 23rd season as head coach at his alma mater.  Margraff is the winningest coach in school history and has led the Blue Jays to eight Centennial Conference titles.  A year ago, he won Centennial Conference and AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year honors.


Mount Union matched a school-record with 10 touchdowns against Christopher Newport and the 72 points bested the playoff single game school-record.


The winner of this game advances to the national quarterfinals against the winner of the Widener (Pa.) - Salisbury (Md.) game next Saturday at noon.  


Johns Hopkins is a team with a high powered offense and a physical defense ... sound familiar.  The Blue Jays are nationally ranked No. 10 in total offense (504.09 yards/game) and No. 16 in total defense (274.91 yards/game).  Hopkins is No. 9 in the nation in sacks per game at 3.36 and No. 16 in rushing offense (264.36 yards/game).

Jonathan Rigaud is 16th in the nation in rushing as he has over 1,400 yards (6.7 per carry) with 21 touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Robbie Matey has started all 11 games and has completed 69.9-percent of his passes for 2,301 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.  His top target is Daniel Wodicka, who has 87 catches for 826 yards with three touchdowns.

The defense allows only 14.45 points per game and surrendered more than 20 points  in just three games this season.  There are 14 different Blue Jays that have registered at least one sack this season led by Andy Laychur with 7.5 sacks.  Taylor Maciow leads the team with 78 tackles while Adam Schweyer has 62 stops and is one of four players with a team-best two interceptions.          



Mount Union's win-loss record since 2000


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


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


Mount Union has won 65 straight home games dating back to the 2005 loss to Ohio Northern.


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


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.


points scored by Mount Union this season which is most through 11 games since 2007 when the Raiders had 584 at this point on their way to  an NCAA record 778 points scored.


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.


Mount Union has hosted 54-straight playoff games dating back to 1996.  The Raiders are 52-2 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.

Larry Kehres is one of 10 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games.  Here are the others.
  • 489 John Gagliardi  (Carroll, Mont., St. John's, Minn.)
  • 408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling State)
  • 377 Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State)
  • 328 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)
  • 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)
* Active


Senior Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown against Christopher Newport.  It was his fifth punt return for a score this season that matched the NCAA Division II, III, FCS and FBS record for punt return TD's in a season. Denton is 13th in the nation in punt return yards and has set a school single season records with 34 returns for 473 yards.


Seniors Antonio Tate (Cleveland/Villa Angela St. Joseph), linebacker Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region), safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) and sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) each earned Ohio Athletic Conference special awards and were four of 15 Purple Raiders named to the All-OAC First Team.

Tate received the Ken Wable Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award for the second-straight year On the All-OAC First Team for the second straight year, he is the 17th Mount Union player to win the award named for former Raider head coach Ken Wable and first to win in back-to-back to seasons since Mount Union's Jason Lewis in 2005 and 2006.  

Dieuseul earned the Gene Slaughter Outstanding Linebacker award as he is a three-time All-OAC First Team pick and is the first player in conference history to win two different MVP awards as he was the Paul Hoernemann Oustanding Defensive Lineman a year ago.  He is the first Raider to win the Gene Slaughter award, named for the former Capital coach, since Sam Kershaw in 2009.  

Driskill nabbed the Lee Tressel Outstanding Defensive Back award and All-OAC First Team honors for a second straight year.  He is the ninth Raider to win the award named for former Baldwin Wallace coach Lee Tressel and is the first Mount Union player to win it in back-to-back years since Chris Kern in 2001 and 2002.  

Burke won the Bob Packard Outstanding Offensive Back award as the conference's top offensive back as he is the nation's No. 1 rated passer.  He is also the All-OAC First Team quarterback, the 18th Raider to win the award named after the former Baldwin Wallace head coach and first since Nate Kmic in 2008.

The other All-OAC First Team selections were on offense - seniors in center Mac Knisley (Perrysburg/Perrysburg), receiver Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva), tight end Shannon Stewart (Bloomdale/Elmwood), offensive lineman Matt Mattox (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) and running back T.J. Lattimore (Maple Heights/Maple Heights).  On defense, seniors in defensive lineman Frank Orteca (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) and Isaiah Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) at defensive back with junior lineman Matt Fechko (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) are all on the first team. For Fechko, it was his second-straight first team selection.  Rounding out the first team selections on special teams was senior kicker Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) for a second year in a row and senior returner Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation).


It took over three years to have two 100-yard recivers in a game ... now it has happened in back-to-back weeks as senior wide receivers Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) and Julius Moore (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen Senior) each had 100-yard receiving games last week.  Collins had a six catches for 145 yards with two TD's while Moore had his career-first 100-yard performance with three catches for 100 yards and a score. 


Mount Union's defense enters this week ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense (151.7 yds/gm), scoring defense (5.36 pts/game), pass defense (116.64 yds/gm), rushing defense (35.1 yds/gm) and pass efficiency defense (75.79).  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 63 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss while Dieuseul has 56 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. Freshman end Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward) has a team-best 5.0 sacks.


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.


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 and returned to the lineup last week.  Cecil Shorts III, a fourth round pick in by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, had three catches for 81 yards with a TD in an overtime loss at Houston. Kyle Miller made his NFL debut as a TE for the Indianapolis Colts, but was waived on Monday. 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.


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.