2013 Mount Union Football
#1 University of Mount Union Purple Raiders (9-0, 8-0 OAC)
vs #9 John Carroll University Blue Streaks (9-0, 8-0 OAC)
Saturday, November 16 - 1:30 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)
Joe Tait (play-by-play), Harry Paidas (color), Jim Ballard (analyst)
WIVM Ch. 39 (Tape Delay - Nov. 16 - 8 pm, Nov. 17 - 5 pm)
SportsTime Ohio (Tape Delay - Nov. 16 - 11 pm, Nov. 17 - 3 pm, Nov. 18 - 12 pm)
Two undefeated and nationally ranked teams meet with the Ohio Athletic Conference title on the line when top ranked Mount Union hosts No. 9 ranked John Carroll Saturday at 1:30 pm at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance. The winner not only claims the conference title but an automatic bid into the 32-team NCAA Division III Football Championship. Mount Union has won the last 21 conference titles and 24 overall while John Carroll has won three titles (1938, 1989, 1994).
Mount Union (9-0, 8-0 OAC) exteded the nation's longest winning streak to 24 games with a 30-7 home win over Baldwin Wallace last week. Junior quarterback Kevin Burke threw for two scores and ran for another while freshman running back Bradley Mitchell ran for 114 yards to pace the offense. The defense held Baldwin Wallace to just 74 total yards in the second half and had a season-high seven quarterback sacks. Sophomore safety Alex Kocheff had nine tackles and two sacks while senior defensive lineman Matt Fechko also had two sacks.
John Carroll (9-0, 8-0 OAC) ranked No. 14 at the time knocked off No. 10 ranked Heidelberg, 48-7. Quarterback Mark Myers completed 31-of-44 passes for 387 yards with three touchdown passes all to receiver Aramis Greenwood, who caught seven passes for 168 yards as the Blue Streaks ran out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back. The defense had six sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions as they held Heidelberg to a season-low 253 yards. John Carroll linebacker Matt Feeney had 11 stops, 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
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 hear the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.
The 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.
Vince Kehres (Mount Union '98) is 9-0 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.
Tom Arth (John Carroll '03) is 9-0 in his first season as head coach at his Alma mater. Arth had spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at John Carroll. Arth set 18 school records as a quarterback for the Blue Streaks from 1999-2002. His final game as a player was a 57-19 loss in the NCAA Playoff National Semifinals at Mount Union. After college, Arth spent three seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and also had playing stints with the Green Bay Packers and in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League.
SCOUTING THE BLUE STREAKS
John Carroll has an explosive offense featuring a dynamic quarterback and an aggressive defense. The Blue Streaks have allowed opponents just 33 points through nine games. They have held the opposition to an average of 190.9 yards per game which is just ahead of Mount Union that has allowed 192.4 yards per game this season. On offense, John Carroll is third in the OAC in total offense at 453.3 yards per game but features the conference's top passing attack at 303.6 yards per game.
The defense is second in the OAC as a group with 29 sacks and 14 interceptions. Linebackers in senior Mitch Krotz and Jimmy King lead the unit in tackles with 73 and 56 respectively. Junior defensive lineman Frank Pines has a team-best 4.5 sacks while junior defensive back Brody Zangaro has a team-high three interceptions.
Junior quarterback Mark Myers leads the offense as he has an OAC-best 2,581 passing yards. He has completed 68.2-percent of his passes with 25 touchdowns and his offensive line has only allowed him to be sacked three times. His favorite receiver has been fellow junior Aramis Greenwood who has 55 catches for 831 yards and a conference best 12 receiving touchdowns. Senior DaQuan Grobsmith leads the rushing attack as he has 642 yards on 137 carries with 11 touchdowns.
BY THE NUMBERS
190-7: 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
24: Mount Union has college football's (all divisions) longest active win streak at 24 games.
114: consecutive regular season road wins for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.
134-0: Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.
179-1: 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.
82: game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005
72: game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern on Oct. 22, 2005
This is the 31st meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 26-2-2 lead in the series dating back to a 6-6 tie on October 30, 1931. The Raiders have won 22-straight meetings going back to a 20-20 tie in 1991 in Alliance. The last John Carroll win was a 31-7 win in 1989 in University Heights.
WHERE THEY STAND
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 (50.1 points per game). On defense, the Raiders are second in the nation in total defense (192.4 yards per game) and are tops in the conference and third in the nation in rushing defense (67.6 rushing yards allowed per game).
John Carroll is having its best season since going 12-2 in 2002. That year the Blue Streaks earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Playoffs and advanced all the way to the national semifinals. Their only two losses that year were to Mount Union -- a 35-16 regular season loss and a 57-19 loss in the national semifinals -- both games were in Alliance.
The last time two teams met in the final game with the OAC title up for grabs was 1998 where Mount Union and Baldwin Wallace were undefeated in OAC games -- Mount Union won the game 30-21 in Berea.
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).
SPENCER NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Sophomore linebacker Hank Spencer has been named to the CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District Football Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Spencer has a 4.0 grade point average as a Computer Science major. He now advances to the Academic All-America ballot.
HOLY WAR UNDER CENTER
Both starting quarterbacks this week were Catholic high school rivals in Cleveland as
Mount Union starter Kevin Burke played at Lakewood St. Edward while John Carroll
starter Mark Myers played at Cleveland St. Ignatius. Both have lived up to the billing. Burke is the nation's second rated passer with a 201.6 rating while Myers is ninth in the nation in passer rating at 170.3.
THE ANSWER IS ... ALEX
Sophomore safety Alex Kocheff (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) had career-best nine tackles and two sacks against Baldwin Wallace last week. Kocheff leads the team in tackles (47), tackles for loss (11) and fumble recoveries (4).
MITCHELL MAKES IT THREE
Mount Union freshman running back Bradley Mitchell (St. Clair Shores, Mich./South Lake) had 114 yards on 18 carries against Baldwin Wallace last week. Mitchell was making his third straight start and had his third 100 yard rushing performance of the season. His other 100-yard games were 105 yards against Wilmington, 157 yards at Heidelberg.
PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PRO's
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon, a sixth round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, is in his second season with Washington had seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in a 34-27 loss at Minnesota. Cecil Shorts III, a fourth round pick in by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, had 43 receiving yards in a 29-27 win at Tennessee. 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.
UP NEXT ...
The winner of this week's game wins the OAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Football Championship which begins next Saturday, Nov 23 at noon local time on campus sites. The loser waits on the NCAA committee to award five national at-large bids to the 32 team tournament. The selections and championship bracket will be announced Sunday, November 17 on an online selection show on NCAA.com.