Football: #3 Mount Union Blanks #19 Washington Jefferson, 67-0; Raiders in NCAA Quarterfinals for 23rd Straight Year

Kevin Burke (Photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)
Kevin Burke (Photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)

ALLIANCE, Ohio – No. 3 ranked Mount Union blanked No. 19 Washington & Jefferson 67-0 Saturday in an NCAA Division III Playoff second round game at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.

The Purple Raiders (12-0) are in the national quarterfinals for a 23rd straight season and play Ohio Athletic Conference rival No. 6 ranked John Carroll, a 14-12 winner at Wheaton (Ill.), next Saturday at noon at a site to be announced Sunday.

All-American senior quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) threw a career-best six touchdowns in the first half and finished with 402 yards passing as he led a Mount Union offense that generated 703 total yards.

Burke's six touchdown passes were spread among four receivers as junior Roman Namdar (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) had three TDs on 112 yards receiving, senior Luc Meacham (Toledo/Toledo Central Catholic) had a season-best 151 yards with one touchdown while junior Taurice Scott (Alliance/Alliance) and senior Sherman Wilkinson (Kettering/Fairmont) each had one.

Freshman Jamal Johnson (New Philadelphia/New Philadelphia) had 118 rushing yards on 14 carries for the Raiders.

The game turned in the second quarter as Mount Union held a 7-0 lead but got the wind and scored 38 points – an Edward Ruhnke (Bayville, N.J./Central Regional) field goal and five Burke touchdown passes – to lead 45-0 at the break.

The Mount Union defense held Washington & Jefferson (10-2) to just two first downs in that second quarter as the Presidents, who entered the game with the nation's No. 5 ranked offense at 527.2 yards per game, finished with 252 total yards.

Linebacker LeShawn Luke (Steubenville/Steubenville) and safety Joshua Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) each had eight tackles, defensive back Tre Jones (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) had an interception and three pass breakups while Will Hiteshue (Medina/Medina) recovered a fumble and blocked a punt for a safety.

The second half included two more Ruhnke field goals, a 78-yard touchdown run from Johnson, the safety and a 71-yard touchdown run from Dwayne Aaron (Cleveland/Lakewood St. Edward).

The 67-point margin of victory is a new record for the NCAA Division III Playoffs which began in 1973.