Football: #3 Mount Union Beats Adrian 63-3 in NCAA First Round Game

Photo by Steven Kachilla
Photo by Steven Kachilla

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- No. 3 ranked Mount Union opened the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs with a 63-3 win over Adrian (Mich.) College in a first round game Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.

Mount Union (11-0) out-gained Adrian (8-3), 650-197 to win its 81st straight home game dating back to 2005.  The Purple Raiders play Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) next Saturday at noon at a site to be announced Sunday by the NCAA.

All-American senior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) led the Raider attack as he completed 21-of-28 passes for 286 yards with four touchdowns while also running for a touchdown on 47 yards rushing.

Two of his touchdowns went to Tim Kennedy (Hudson/Hudson) as the sophomore had seven catches for 127 yards in his first career start.

It was also a day of firsts on the ground as running backs Logan Nemeth (McBain, Mich./McBain) and Jamal Johnson (New Philadelphia/New Philadelphia) each went over 100 yards rushing for the first time in their careers.  Nemeth, a junior, had nine carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the first half while Johnson, a freshman, had 104 yards in 10 carries all in the second half.

Mount Union's defense burried Adrian in the first half as the Bulldogs had 104 total yards at halftime.

Senior linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam) led the Raiders with six tackles -- 1.5 for loss, a sack that resulted in a safety and a pass breakup while juniors Will Hiteshue (Medina/Medina) and Nick Rodriguez (Macedonia/Nordonia) each had interceptions.

Adrian quarterback Aaron Tenney was 4-of-15 for 51 yards passing while Adrian Harris had 38 yards rushing on seven carries.

Burke started the scoring with a 24-yard run to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 10:52 left in the first quarter.  On the Raiders next possession, Burke found Luc Meacham (Toledo/Toledo Central Catholic) to extend the lead to 14-0.

Adrian got on the board with a 35-yard field goal from Cameron Cook before Nemeth would have a 20-yard TD run right before the end of the quarter to put Mount Union up 21-3.

Burke then hit Kennedy on an eight-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 28-3 with 12:29 left before halftime.

On the ensuing possession, Spencer then chased down Tenney in the end zone for a safety as Mount Union led 30-3.

Burke tossed two more touchdowns -- six yards to Kennedy and 11 yards to Roman Namdar (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) -- and Nemeth had a three-yard touchdown run as the Raiders took a 50-3 lead into the half.

Freshman Jared Ruth (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the third quarter while a pair of field goals from senior Edward Ruhnke (Bayville, N.J./Central Regional) finished the scoring at 63-3.