ALLIANCE, Ohio – It was purple reign in the rain as top ranked Mount Union defeated No. 18 Albright (Pa.) 66-7 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.
Mount Union (12-0) wins its 93rd straight home game and advances to the national quarterfinals for a 24th straight season where it will play No. 11 ranked Wesley (Del.) – a 42-37 winner over No. 8 Johns Hopkins – next Saturday at 12 p.m. at a site to be announced Sunday by the NCAA.
The Purple Raiders rolled up 634 yards of offense as running back Logan Nemeth (McBain, Mich./McBain) had a career-high 185 yards rushing on 21 carries as Mount Union had 349 yards on the ground with six rushing touchdowns.
Mount Union quarterback Taurice Scott (Alliance/Alliance) completed 17-of-24 passes for 238 yards with two scores in the air as wide receiver Tim Kennedy (Hudson/Hudson) had a career-best 10 catches for 140 yards with a touchdown.
After posting an NCAA Playoff record 12 sacks last week, the Raider defense totaled 11 sacks today holding Albright (10-2) to minus-23 yards rushing and 172 total yards.
Safety Alex Kocheff (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) had seven tackles while Mike Vidal (Miami, Fla./Ronald Regan Doral Senior), Tom Lally (Fairview Park/Lakewood St. Edward) and Mike Furda (Wintersville/Indian Creek) each had 2.5 sacks.
Mount Union scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. Scott hit Jordan Hargrove (Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary) on a 19-yard touchdown pass on the Raiders first possession. On the ensuing Albright possession, Brian Groves (Stow/Stow) blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone by Kollyn Crenshaw (Solon/Solon). Nemeth capped a 50-yard scoring drive with a one-yard run as the Raiders led in total yardage 177-11 in first quarter.
Nemeth scored his second rushing touchdown of the day with 5:38 to go in the second quarter before Albright got on the board with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Mike Knight to Khari Jefferson that brought the score to 28-7. Mount Union got the ball back with just under two minutes to go in the half and raced 75 yards in 1:23 as Kennedy caught a four-yard TD pass from Scott that put the Raiders up 35-7 at the break.
Mount Union opened the second half similar to how it ended the first with a 1:30 scoring drive finished off with a 47-yard cross field scamper from Nemeth that sent the score to 42-7. The Raiders got a 21-yard field goal from Jake Antel (Lakewood/Lakewood) and a 15-yard touchdown run from Jamal Johnson (New Philadelphia/New Philadelphia) that made it 52-7 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, backup quarterback Nick Peyakov (Akron/Manchester) had six-yard TD run and running back Jawanza Evans-Morris (Coral Springs, Fla./Taravella) had a 20-yard TD run to finish the scoring.