Football: #1 Mount Union Blanks Wilmington, 62-0 on Community Night

B.J. Mitchell (Photo by JT Higgins)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- No. 1 ranked Mount Union shut out Wilmington, 62-0 in an Ohio Athletic Conference football game Saturday night at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

The Purple Raiders (5-0, 4-0 OAC) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 games, posted their 78th straight regular season win and 70th consecutive home win.

Once again Mount Union had an impressive performance on both sides of the football as the Raiders outgained the Quakers 642-95.

Mount Union junior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) led the attack on offense as accounted for 320 of those yards and six total touchdowns.  Burke was 12-of-18 passing for 209 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 111 yards with two touchdowns on the ground.

The Raiders grinded out 425 net rushing yards and aside from Burke, freshman B.J. Mitchell (St. Clair Shores, Mich./South Lake) had his first 100-yard performance with 105 yards on five carries with a touchdown.  Sophomore Mason Minnich (Greenwich/Crestview) had 99 yards with a touchdown as well.

Sophomore Brian Gainer (Tampa, Fla./Steinbrenner) was the top receiver with 70 yards on four catches with a touchdown while junior Luc Meacham (Toldeo/Toledo Central Catholic), senior Sherman Wilkinson (Kettering/Fairmont) and junior Ryan Lazear (Wellsburg, W.Va./Brooke) each caught touchdown passes.

The defense posted its first shutout on the season and dominated as Wilmington (0-5, 0-4 OAC) did not cross midfield for the game with its longest single drive being just 24 yards.

Brandon Arehart and Jeremy Duncan, who entered the game as the OAC's leaders in passing and receiving yards were held in check as Arehart was 7-of-23 for 64 yards with two interceptions while Duncan had one catch for 13 yards.

Mount Union posted a season-high five quarterback sacks with three of those coming from sophomore defensive lineman Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward).  Fellow sophomore Trevor Smith (Youngstown/Ursuline) had a team-high six tackles with half a sack while seniors Roy Fowler (Livermore, Calif./Livermore) and Isaiah Chambers (Bedford/Chanel) both had interceptions.

Over the span of 11 offensive plays in the first quarter, the Raiders put 21 points on the board.

On the second play from scrimmage, Wilmington fumbled the football and turned it over on its own 16-yard line.  The very next play Burke scrambled 16 yards for a touchdown.  After a three and out, Mount Union needed just four plays to cover 59 yards as Burke hit Gainer with a 39-yard touchdown pass.  Another three and out and six plays later Burke threw a three-yard scoring pass to Lazear.

Mount Union tacked on two more scores in the second quarter with a Minnich one-yard touchdown run then right before halftime Burke threw a 45-yard strike to Meacham as the Raiders would lead 35-0 at the break.

The Raiders put 21 more points on the board in a span of 3:24 to start the third quarter.

Mount Union got the ball to start the quarter and on the second play, Mitchell raced 47 yards for a score.  The Raiders would get an interception two plays later and less than two minutes later Burke would hit Wilkinson from 24 yards.  Wilmington would then fumble the ensuing kickoff back to Mount Union and on the next play Burke would scamper 21 yards for the score.

Junior Edward Ruhnke (Bayville, N.J./Central Regional) finished the scoring with 27 and 40 yard field goals.

It was also Community Night, where Mount Union thanked members of the Alliance community for their support with pregame festivities.  Fans could get in the game for free by brining a non-perishable food item and fans brought nearly 2,200 pounds of goods that will be donated to the Alliance Food Pantry.

Mount Union goes on the road to play next week at Capital in an OAC game at 1:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 19 in Columbus.

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