Football: #1 Mount Union Blasts Into 18th Straight Semifinal With 72-17 Win Over Widener in NCAA Playoffs

Kevin Burke (Photo by JT Higgins)
Kevin Burke (Photo by JT Higgins)

ALLIANCE, Ohio – No. 1 ranked Mount Union generated 753 yards of total offense in a 72-17 rout of No. 9 ranked Widener (Pa.) in an NCAA Division III Football Quarterfinal Saturday at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

The Purple Raiders (13-0) advance to the national semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the 18th consecutive season and extend its home win streak to 67 games.

Mount Union plays No. 2-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas), a 32-20 winner over No. 6 Wesley (Del.), in a national semifinal game Dec. 8 at a site and time to be determined by the NCAA.

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) accounted for 495 of those 753 yards as he ran for a career-best 115 yards and three touchdowns then threw for 380 yards and two more scores in the air both to senior wide receiver Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva), who had 102 yards on six catches.

The Raiders top ranked defense held Widener, the nation's No. 4 scoring offense, to a season-low 17 points and total yards (293). Mount Union held Widener to minus-29 yards rushing which was a team playoff record for fewest rushing yards allowed.

Senior Isaiah Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) had six tackles and an interception while All-American safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) on special teams blocked two punts in the second quarter – including one he returned for a score to spark the Raiders.

Widener (11-1) quarterback Chris Haupt threw for 322 yards on 29-of-64 passing and Philip Ragona and Anthony Davis had 102 and 106 yards passing respectively.

After going three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, Widener then recovered a Mount Union fumble on the Raiders second play from scrimmage and drove 67 yards to take a 3-0 lead on a James McFadden field goal.

Mount Union answered in 1:07 as they responded with a five-play, 64-yard drive to take the lead on a 10-yard Burke pass to Collins.

Widener then drove to the Raider 36-yard line before Haupt threw an interception which Scott picked off at the five-yard line then Burke and the Raiders engineered a 15-play, 95-yard march which Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) finished with a five-yard TD run on the second play of the second quarter to make it 10-3.

Three plays later, Driskill had his first punt block which gave Mount Union the ball on the Widener 28-yard line and eight plays later Burke ran in from four yards out to extend the lead to 16-3.

Burke and Skilliter would each find the end zone on the next two possessions and Driskill's punt block for a score put the Raiders up 37-3 at the break.

After going up 3-0, Widener was held to seven total yards of offense the remainder of the first half.

Mount Union kept its foot on the pedal in the third quarter with three more touchdowns – a 10-yard rush by Jake Simon (Parma Heights/Holy Name), a Burke eight-yard touchdown and a 36-yard passing touchdown to Collins.

Haupt threw for two scores in the frame – a two-yard strike to Ragona and a 36-yarder to Steve Marrero which made it 58-17 after three.

Simon and Mason Minnich (Greenwich/Crestview) each tacked on rushing scores in the fourth quarter for the 72-17 final.

                               Box Score (Final)
      #9 Widener (Pa.) vs #1 Mount Union (Dec 01, 2012 at Alliance, Ohio)
  Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
  -----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
  Widener (Pa.).......  3  0 14  0  - 17       Record: (11-1)
  Mount Union.........  7 30 21 14  - 72       Record: (13-0)
  Scoring Summary:
  1st 07:45 WID - James McFadden 21 yd field goal, 14-67 5:35, WID 3 - MTU 0
      06:08 MTU - Jasper Collins 10 yd pass from Kevin Burke (Tyler Almeida kick), 5-64 1:29, WID 3 - MTU 7
  2nd 14:08 MTU - Tyler Almeida 27 yd field goal, 15-85 4:23, WID 3 - MTU 10
      10:26 MTU - Kevin Burke 4 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick failed), 8-28 2:32, WID 3 - MTU 16
      06:18 MTU - Kevin Burke 10 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick), 10-72 3:25, WID 3 - MTU 23
      04:33 MTU - Blair Skilliter 3 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick), 3-12 1:18, WID 3 - MTU 30
      03:06 MTU - Nick Driskill 0 yd blocked punt return (Tyler Almeida kick), , WID 3 - MTU 37
  3rd 12:15 MTU - Jake Simon 10 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick), 7-67 2:38, WID 3 - MTU 44
      10:14 WID - Philip Ragona 2 yd pass from Chris Haupt (James McFadden kick), 10-72 1:52, WID 10 - MTU 44
      08:23 MTU - Kevin Burke 8 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick), 5-89 1:37, WID 10 - MTU 51
      04:56 MTU - Jasper Collins 36 yd pass from Kevin Burke (Tyler Almeida kick), 6-59 2:38, WID 10 - MTU 58
      03:45 WID - Steve Marrero 36 yd pass from Chris Haupt (James McFadden kick), 6-64 1:01, WID 17 - MTU 58
  4th 14:55 MTU - Jake Simon 2 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick), 8-75 3:45, WID 17 - MTU 65
      07:45 MTU - Mason Minnich 1 yd run (Tyler Almeida kick), 12-89 5:45, WID 17 - MTU 72
                                      WID      MTU
  FIRST DOWNS...................       19       40
  RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   12--29   56-357
  PASSING YDS (NET).............      322      396
  Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  63-29-1  41-30-0
  TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   75-293   97-753
  Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
  Punt Returns-Yards............      0-0     5-85
  Kickoff Returns-Yards.........   12-235     4-44
  Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0      1-1
  Punts (Number-Avg)............   4-42.2    0-0.0
  Fumbles-Lost..................      1-1      3-1
  Penalties-Yards...............     4-42   11-121
  Possession Time...............    21:21    38:39
  Third-Down Conversions........  3 of 18  9 of 15
  Fourth-Down Conversions.......   3 of 7   2 of 3
  Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      2-4      9-9
  Sacks By: Number-Yards........      1-7      1-2
  RUSHING: Widener (Pa.)-Chris Haupt 2-11; Robert Getz 3-8; Anthony Davis 1-2;
  Couve LaFate 2-minus 3; Terrant Morrison 1-minus 3; James McFadden 1-minus 17;
  Team 2-minus 27. Mount Union-Kevin Burke 14-115; Blair Skilliter 16-95; Jake
  Simon 10-81; Mason Minnich 8-34; Drew Prendergast 4-22; Brandon Mathie 1-6; T.j.
  Lattimore 1-5; TEAM 1-0; Roman Namdar 1-minus 1.
  PASSING: Widener (Pa.)-Chris Haupt 29-63-1-322. Mount Union-Kevin Burke
  28-38-0-380; Roman Namdar 2-3-0-16.
  RECEIVING: Widener (Pa.)-Philip Ragona 9-102; Anthony Davis 6-106; Steve Marrero
  3-76; Connor Schlegel 3-26; Couve LaFate 3-minus 7; Alec Wrieth 1-12; Jermaine
  Quattlebaum 1-4; Dom DePasquale 1-2; Terrant Morrison 1-1; Robert Getz 1-0.
  Mount Union-Jasper Collins 6-102; Julius Moore 6-91; Chris Denton 6-62; Jack
  Nicholls 5-72; Blair Skilliter 3-46; Luc Meacham 1-13; Jake Simon 1-5; Sherman
  Wilkinson 1-4; Drew Prendergast 1-1.
  INTERCEPTIONS: Widener (Pa.)-None. Mount Union-Isaiah Scott 1-1.
  FUMBLES: Widener (Pa.)-Anthony Davis 1-1. Mount Union-Blair Skilliter 1-0; Jake
  Simon 1-0; T.j. Lattimore 1-1.
  
  SACKS (UA-A): Widener (Pa.)-Evon Hyles 1-0. Mount Union-Ted Rosalva 1-0.
  TACKLES (UA-A): Widener (Pa.)-Dylan Ditmer 8-5; Colin Masterson 6-2; Joe
  Wojceichowski 6-2; Stacey Sunnerville 4-3; Jamal Dorsey 4-3; Shakore Philip 3-4;
  Travon Barnes 4-1; Darius Johnson 4-1; Nick Rodriguez 4-1; Evon Hyles 2-3;
  Stephon Singleton 4-0; Martin Turner 3-0; Ameer Sorrell 3-0; Anthony Green 0-3;
  V. Nichols-Taylor 2-0; John DiBiase 1-1; Kevin Burns 1-1; Robert Getz 1-1;
  Anthony Davis 1-0; Dominic Mariani 0-1; Gerry Pacitti 0-1; Steve Marrero 0-1.
  Mount Union-Isaiah Scott 5-1; Charles Dieuseul 5-0; Joshua Scott 3-2; Mike Maier
  3-1; Tre Jones 1-3; Alex Kocheff 1-3; Nick Driskill 1-3; Alex Nicholls 3-0;
  Leshawn Luke 2-1; Shawn Riley 2-1; Jonathan Gonell 2-1; Frank Orteca 1-2; Cody
  Pogorelc 2-0; Matt Fechko 1-1; Hank Spencer 0-2; Ted Rosalva 1-0; Isaiah
  Chambers 1-0; Camden Krohn 0-1; Nick Bonacci 0-1; Tom Lally 0-1.