UNIVERSITY HTS., Ohio – No. 1 ranked Mount Union won the Ohio Athletic Conference football title outright with a 36-3 win at No. 14 ranked John Carroll Saturday in University Heights.
The Purple Raiders finish the regular season 10-0 overall, 9-0 in the OAC, for its 24th straight and 27th overall conference title. Mount Union extends its regular season win streak to 103 games dating back to 2005.
Senior quarterback Taurice Scott (Alliance/Alliance) threw for 276 yards with four touchdowns and accounted for 308 yards of total offense, Logan Nemeth (McBain, Mich./McBain) ran for a career-high 185 yards and Jordan Hargrove (Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary) had six catches for 94 yards with two touchdowns to lead a Raider offense that generated 501 total yards.
The nation's No. 1 rated defense again put on another strong performance as Mount Union held John Carroll (8-2, 7-2 OAC) to 168 total yards with six tackles for loss and three sacks. Alex Kocheff (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and Josh Stewart (Pleasantville/Fairfield Union) each had 10 stops while Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward) had a sack that gave him the school's all-time record with 32.5.
After the defense forced a three-and-out along with a short punt on the first possession of the game, the Raiders opened with the ball on the John Carroll 37-yard line. Three plays later, Scott found Hargrove on a 19-yard touchdown pass to put the Raiders up 7-0.
On Mount Union's next possession, Nemeth had his longest career run with a 62-yard scamper and the drive was finished with a 33-yard field goal from Jake Antel (Lakewood/Lakewood) as the first quarter score was 10-0.
Mount Union turned the ball over on downs early in the second quarter and both team exchanged a pair of punts before John Carroll got on the board with a 43-yard field goal from Jake Vivonetto that made it 10-3. The Raiders punted again in the quarter and the Blue Streaks ended the half with a 50 yard field goal attempt that was short.
The Raiders took the second half kickoff and marched 70 yards on five plays when Scott hit Roman Namdar (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) on a 35-yard touchdown pass and the extra point was no good to increase the lead to 16-3.
Scott threw another touchdown pass on the Raiders next possession -- a four-yarder to Nemeth that took the lead to 23-3. On the ensuing kickoff, Mount Union kicked it short and Kenny Wilder (Medina/Medina) recovered a fumble then four plays later Scott tossed his fourth scoring pass of the day a 24-yard strike to Hargrove that stretched the lead to 29-3.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Mount Union ran a fake punt and Nemeth rumbled 51 yards for a touchdown that took the score to 36-3.
The Raiders clinch the automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs that start next Saturday with first round games at noon on campus sites. The 32-team bracket will be announced Saturday at 6 p.m. online at NCAA.com.