ALLIANCE, Ohio – No. 2 ranked Mount Union punched its ticket back to the postseason with a 59-7 Ohio Athletic Conference win over Muskingum Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.
The Purple Raiders, now 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the OAC, claim the conference title outright and the automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. It is the 26th straight year and 29th overall the Raiders have qualified for the postseason.
Mount Union quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla./Miramar) threw five touchdown passes as he completed 15-of-19 passes for 211 yards to pace the nation's highest scoring offense.
Luke Herrington (Wintersville / Steubenville) and Justin Hill (Circleville / Jireh Prep, N.C.) each caught two touchdown passes while Jawanza Evans-Morris (Coral Spring, Fla. / Taravella) ran for two scores while Josh Petruccelli (Perry / Perry) had 93 yards rushing for the Raiders.
The Mount Union defense nabbed three interceptions and held Muskingum (1-8, 0-8 OAC) to 137 total yards. Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Shady Side Academy) had two of those interceptions, Trevor Cox (Hilliard / Hillard Darby) returned the third interception 37 yards for a score and Danny Robinson (Massillon / Massillon Washington) had six stops to lead the unit.
The Raiders struck early again as Berry intercepted the Muskies first pass attempt and returned it to the 18-yard-line then two plays later the offense scored when Evans-Morris ran it in from 12 yards out for a score to put Mount Union on the board.
Mount Union got the ball back and scored two plays again when Fulford found Hill on a 26-yard touchdown pass that extended the lead to 14-0 with 7:29 left in the first quarter.
The Raiders scored on their third possession when Alex Louthan (Loganville, Ga. / Grayson) kicked a 43-yard field goal that took it to 17-0.
Fulford, the nation's top rated passer, threw his first interception of the season and Muskingum turned it into seven points as Brody Hahn threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Mann and it was 17-7 eight minutes before halftime.
Fulford bounced right back and engineered a 10-play, 69-yard drive capped by a five-yard TD pass to Hill that made it 24-7.
Muskingum threatened again with a fourth and goal but Berry had his second interception of the game to end the half.
Mount Union scored on the opening possession of the second half as an eight-play drive was finished off as Fulford threw his third touchdown pass of the game – an 18-yarder to Herrington to take the score to 31-7.
It was the start of a 35-point quarter for the Raiders as an Evans-Morris three-yard TD run, the Cox interception return for a score and two more Fulford touchdown passes – one to fullback Joe Fonaro (Chesterland / West Geagua) and one to Herrington – pushed the score to 59-7 after three quarters.
Mount Union wraps up the regular season next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at John Carroll.