Football: #2 Mount Union Makes First Road Trip of Season Saturday to Marietta

Photo by J.T. Higgins
Photo by J.T. Higgins

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- No. 2 ranked Mount Union travels to Marietta for an Ohio Athletic Conference football game Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

What: #2 Mount Union (2-0, 1-0 OAC) vs. Marietta (0-2, 0-1 OAC)

When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Don Drumm Stadium -- Marietta, Ohio

Radio: 1310 AM WDPN (Alliance) - Sam Bourquin (p-b-p) T.J. Downing (color) / 91.1 FM WRMU (Alliance) - Mount Union student radio

Online Coverage: Live Stats | LIVE WDPN Audio | LIVE WRMU Audio | Live Video

Complete Notes in PDF Format

The matchup: Mount Union makes its first road trip of 2015 playing an Ohio Athletic Conference game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Marietta.

Raiders go zero to hero: Mount Union posted its second straight shutout with a 56-0 home win over Muskingum last week.  The Purple Raider defense held the Muskies to 69 total yards, five first downs and forced two fumbles. Senior linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam) led the unit with 12 stops and a forced fumble. Senior quarterback Taurice Scott (Alliance/Alliance) threw for two scores and ran for another, senior Roman Namdar (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) had 117 yards receiving with two TDs through the air and junior Bradley Mitchell (Detroit, Mich./South Lake) had 102 yards rushing to pace an offense that racked up 557 total yards – 367 on the ground.

Pioneers drop home opener late: Marietta fell to 0-2 on the season after dropping its home and OAC opener last week to Otterbein, 31-21.  Otterbein broke a 21-21 tie early in the fourth quarter with a field goal then on the ensuing drive Marietta quarterback Lucas Havens threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown to finish the scoring.  Havens finished 16-of-26 for 186 yards passing, Nick O'Neal ran for 80 yards and TD while Roger Bush rushed for two scores and had 64 yards receving to pace the offense.  Marietta had three turnovers and Otterbein scored 14 points off two of them.

The series: This is the 54th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 44-8-1 lead in the series dating back to a 20-0 Mount Union win on September 23, 1933 in Alliance. The teams have met every year since 1981 and Mount Union has won all 34 of those meetings. The last Pioneer win was a 20-6 decision in 1977 in Marietta.

It's Coach to Cure MD Week!
The Mount Union and Marietta coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.

Putting the D in Defense: Through two weeks of the season, Mount Union's defense has made a mark as a dominant unit in NCAA Division III.  Here is a breakdown of accomplishments and where they stand nationally.

Back to back shutouts in opening two games at Mount Union for first time since 1999.

No. 1 in NCAA Division III in ...

  • Total Defense (69 yds/game)
  • Opp. 3rd Down % (10%)
  • Opp. 4th Down % (0%)
  • Passing Yds. Allowed (40.5 yds/game)
  • Red Zone Defense (0%)
  • Scoring Defense (0.0 pts/game)

No. 2 in NCAA DIII in ...

  • Pass Efficiency Defense (62.3)
  • Opp. First Downs (10)

Pioneers on the trail: Marietta returned 15 starters but the Pioneers are still a young team with just six seniors on the two-deep. Marietta is No. 5 in the OAC in total defense and No. 6 in total offense. Turnovers have been a problem for the Pioneers as they are minus-four in turnover margin and opponents have scored 28 points off turnovers. Senior quarterback Lucas Havens has completed 49 percent of his passes (33-of-67) for 363 yards with a TD and three interceptions.  Sophomore running back Nick O'Neal is fourth in the OAC in the rushing at 117.0 yards per game with two touchdowns but has three fumbles while sophomore Clay Moorefield has 12 catches for 102 yards and a TD. Marietta's defense has an OAC best three fumble recoveries.  Senior linebacker Daryl DeWindt is fourth in the OAC with 22 tackles, sophomore defensive lineman Dalton Secrest has 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble while sophomore safety Chase Randolph leads secondary with 15 stops.

Captains: Alex Kocheff (Chagrin Falls/Kenston), Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward), Taurice Scott and Hank Spencer will be Mount Union's 2015 captains

Staying Regular: Mount Union has a 95-game regular season win streak dating back to 2005.

Roman empire: Senior wide receiver Roman Namdar has caught nine passes this season with five of them going for touchdowns which tops the OAC.  He currently averages 26.9 yards per catch.

Gimmie five: Senior quarterback Taurice Scott tossed two touchdowns against Muskingum last week and now leads the OAC with five TD passes on the season.

Seven-11: Junior running back Bradley Mitchell had seven carries for 102 yards against Muskingum.  It was the 11th 100-yard rushing performance of his career.

Spencer for hire: Senior linebacker Hank Spencer had a career-best 12 tackles against Muskingum.  On the season, Spencer is second on the team with 16 tackles.

Mr. Jones and me: Senior defensive back Tre Jones (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) had a pass break-up against Muskingum which now gives him 38 career pass defended (interceptions + breakups).  The 38 passes defended is eighth best in school history and one behind the career total of Nick Driskill (2009-12).

Up next: Mount Union returns home to host Capital in an OAC game Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at Mount Union Stadium.