Football: #1 Mount Union Travels Saturday to #9 Heidelberg in Key OAC Showdown

Football: #1 Mount Union Travels Saturday to #9 Heidelberg in Key OAC Showdown

2013 Mount Union Football
#1 University of Mount Union Purple Raiders (7-0, 6-0 OAC)
vs #9 Heidelberg University Student Princes (7-0, 6-0 OAC)
Saturday, November 2 - 1:30 pm - Mayer Field (Tiffin, Ohio)

WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance) | LISTEN LIVE
WRMU 91.1 FM (Alliance) | LISTEN LIVE



Top ranked Mount Union plays its final regular season road game Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1:30 pm at No. 9 ranked Heidelberg at Mayer Field in Tiffin.

Mount Union (7-0, 6-0 OAC) held Otterbein to 37 yards in 37 plays in a 48-0 shutout last week.  Jonathan Gonell had a team-high six tackles as the unit had three sacks along with an interception from senior Mike Maier.  The Raiders also blocked two punts -- the first was blocked and recovered in the endzone by sophomore Alex Kocheff.  Kocheff also recovered the second block which was blocked by junior Cody Pogorelc.  Mount Union rushed for 290 yards as junior quarterback Kevin Burke had 71 yards rushing on 13 carries.  Freshman Bradley Mitchell had 69 yards and a touchdown in his first college start while Logan Nemeth and Mason Minnich each had rushing touchdowns.  Burke completed just five passes but three of them went for touchdowns.    

Heidelberg (7-0, 6-0 OAC) beat Muskingum, 49-21, in New Concord last week.  The Berg ran out to a 42-0 halftime lead.  Running back Cartel Brooks had touchdown runs of 49 and 38 yards and caught touchdown passes of 42 and 38 yards as Heidelberg outgained the Muskies 550-189.   

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 hear the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.

The John Carroll game will be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel FSN 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 his now 27 years of doing Mount Union football on radio and television.  Joining the broadcast crew this week is College Football Hall of Famer and former Mount Union quarterback Jim Ballard.  Ballard was the the quarterback of the Purple Raiders' first national championship team in 1993.

This is the 57th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 42-13 lead in a series that dates back to a 34-0 Purple Raider win in 1910. Mount Union has won the last 24 meetings with Heidelberg's last win coming in 1988, 24-14 in Tiffin. Heidelberg's last win in Alliance was a 24-7 win in 1972 ... the same year the Student Princes won the Stagg Bowl.

Vince Kehres (Mount Union '98) is 7-0 in his in first season as head coach at Mount Union.  Kehres played for the Purple Raiders and has spent the last 13 years on the coaching staff including the last eight as defensive coordinator before taking over for his father Larry Kehres this past May.  As either a player or coach Kehres has been a part of 10 of the Purple Raiders' 11 national championships.  His defenses have ranked among the nation's best for years including last year when Mount Union was ranked No. 1 in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense in all of NCAA Division III.

Mike Hallett (Mount Union '94) is 41-27 (.603) in his seventh season as head coach at Heidelberg. A year ago, he led the Berg to a 9-1 record and first-ever NCAA Playoff appearance.  In his first season in Tiffin, Hallett snapped the school's 36-game losing streak and won OAC and North Region Coach of the Year honors. Prior to coming to Heidelberg, Hallett spent eight seasons at Thomas More (Ky.) and was head coach for
the final three of those seasons with a 15-15 record to make his career record 56-42.

Heidelberg features a high powered offense with a dynamic player and an aggressive defense ... sound familiar.  The similarities do not end there as the teams have played the same six members of the OAC so far this season.  In those six OAC games, Heidelberg has outscored its 346-111 while Mount Union has a 347-24 score against the same teams.

The dynamic player on offense for the Berg is junior running back Cartel Brooks.  Brooks is the OAC's leading rusher at 174.6 yards per game and is second in the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns.  Heidleberg is the nation's highest scoring team at 56.9 points per game and the man at the controls is junior quarterback Michael Mees, who leads the nation in passer rating.  Mees has completed 72-of-121 passes (59.5%) for 1500 yards with 21 touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior Donteea Dye is his top target with 20 catches for 541 yards and 6 TD's          

Sophomore Will Lance leads the defense with 51 tackles and has 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.  Junior defensive lineman Ben Poirier leads the conference with 6.0 sacks and right behind him with 5.0 sacks is sophomore Ryan Malloy third in the conference with 5.0 sacks.  Senior defensive backs Mitchell Kelly and Larry Massey each have a team-best two interceptions.      


188-7: 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 2000-03 and 54 from 1996-99

22: Mount Union has college football's longest active win streak at 22 games.

113: consecutive regular season road wins for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.

133-0: Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

178-1: The Raiders record since 1990 when winning to the turnover battle. That lone loss was a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1995 national semifinal game in Alliance, where the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

11: The Raiders 11 National Championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012) are a record for college football teams in a playoff format.

80: game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005

71: game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern on Oct. 22, 2005

Mount Union leads the OAC and is second in the nation in total offense (544.7 yards per game) and is second in the nation in scoring (53.9 points per game).  On defense, the Raiders lead the OAC and the nation in total defense (153.9 yards per game) and are tops in the conference and second in the nation in rushing defense (54.4 rushing yards allowed per game).  

Mount Union has five team captains this season -- senior defensive lineman Colton Bridges (Valrico, Fla./Durant), junior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward), senior defensive lineman Matt Fechko (Twinsburg/Twinsburg), junior wide receiver Luc Meacham (Toledo/Toledo Central Catholic) and sophomore linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam).

Junior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) has completed 63.5-percent of his passes for 1,666 yards with an OAC-best 22 touchdown passes.  He also leads Mount Union in rushing with 578 yards on 71 carries with five touchdowns.  He leads the OAC and is 20th in the nation in total offense with 320.6 yards (rushing + passing yards) which accounts for 59-percent of the team's offense per game.  He is eighth in the nation in points responsible for with 23.1.

Junior wide receiver Luc Meacham (Toledo/Toledo Central Catholic) had his first two touchdown game of his career last week as he caught 67 and six-yard touchdown passes against Otterbein.  The 67-yard catch and run from quarterback Kevin Burke was the longest play of the season for the Purple Raiders.

Sophomore linebackers LeShawn Luke (Steubenville/Steubenville) and Jonathan Gonnell (Pembroke Pines, Fla./University School, Fla.) each had career-best 10 tackles at Capital.  Gonnell also led the team in tackles against Otterbein while Luke, who forced a fumble at Capital made his first career start against Otterbein.

Mount Union had a 16-play, 82-yard drive that took 9:53 off the clock capped by a six-yard run from Logan Nemeth (McBain, Mich./McBain) last week against Otterbein.  It was the longest scoring drive as far as plays and time since a Kevin Burke three-yard TD run finished off a 15-play, 80-yard drive last year against Heidelberg.  To find a longer scoring drive you have to go back to 2010, when the Raiders had an 18-play, 93-yard drive that consumed 10:04 finished with a three-yard TD run from Jeremy Murray at Baldwin Walalce.

Mount Union blocked two punts against Otterbein last Saturday.  The first one was blocked and recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by sophomore safety Alex Kocheff (Chagrin Falls/Kenston).  Kocheff also recovered the second block that was blocked by junior safety Cody Pogorelc (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg).  The last time the Raiders blocked two punts in the same game was in 2012 when Nick Driskill blocked a pair against Widener (Pa.) in the NCAA Playoffs.

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon, a sixth round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, is in his second season with Washington and 46 yards receiving in the Redskins 45-21 loss at Denver. Cecil Shorts III, a fourth round pick in by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, had 74 yards receiving in a 35-17 loss to San Francisco in London. Kyle Miller made his NFL debut as a TE for the Indianapolis Colts, last year and was waived then signed by the Miami Dolphins and is currently on the Dolphins practice squad. Two Raiders in the NFL coaching ranks are Dom Capers, defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers and Nick Sirianni is the offense quality control coach witht the San Diego Chargers.

Mount Union comes home for its final two regular season games starting next week (Nov. 9) at 1:30 pm against Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union Stadium.