Football: #2 Mount Union Wraps Up Regular Season at John Carroll

Justin Hill (photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)
Justin Hill (photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)

#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders vs John Carroll Blue Streaks

The Matchup: The Matchup: No. 2 ranked Mount Union wraps up the regular season with an Ohio Athletic Conference game at John Carroll Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Don Shula Stadium in University Heights.

Mount Union (9-0, 8-0 OAC) claimed the outright OAC crown and NCAA postseason bid with a 59-7 home win over Muskingum last Saturday.

Quarterback D'Angelo Fulford threw more TD passes than incompletions as he went 11-of-15 for 211 yards with five touchdown passes to pace the offense.

Luke Herrington and Justin Hill each caught two touchdown passes while Jawanza Evans-Morris ran for two scores while Josh Petruccelli had 93 yards rushing.

The Raider defense nabbed three interceptions and held the Muskies to 137 total yards. Louis Berry had two of those interceptions, Trevor Cox returned the third interception 37 yards for a score and Danny Robinson had six stops to lead the unit.

John Carroll (6-3, 6-2 OAC) blew past Otterbein in the second half in a 52-16 win.

The Blue Streaks led 14-9 at the half and started the second half with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Ro Golphin that sparked a 38-point second half for John Carroll.

Anthony Moeglin threw four TD passes to four different receivers while linebacker Mason McKenrick had a 68-yard interception return for a score.
 
The Series: This is the 37th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 31-3-2 lead in a series dating back to a 48-0 Raider win in 1920. Mount Union had won 27-straight in the series before John Carroll scored a 31-28 win in Alliance last year.

Scouting the Blue Streaks: While there is a new coaching staff led by former Lakewood St. Edward HS head coach Rick Finotti, many of the key players are the same for a John Carroll squad that won the OAC title a year ago and is alone in second place in the OAC at 6-2 (6-3 overall) this year.

John Carroll is second in the OAC in defense (348.6 yds/gm) and seventh in offense (412.6 yds/gm).

On offense, sophomore quarterback Anthony Moeglin has completed 62-percent of his passes (146-of-234) for 1,769 yards with 15 TDs and four interceptions. His top target is senior Brian Kornowski, who has 56 catches for 681 yards and three touchdowns. Fellow senior Ro Golphin is sixth in the OAC in rushing with a team-best 670 yards on 119 carries with 8 TDs.

On defense, junior lineman Jimmy Thomas leads the OAC in sacks with 8.5 while senior linebacker Mason McKenrick has a team-high 58 stops. Defensive backs in senior Tyler Moran and sophomore Tyshawn Jones each have three interceptions.   

Titletown: Mount Union's win last week gave them its record 28th OAC football title and gave the Purple Raiders the automatic bid to the NCAA Football Playoffs that start next week. It will be Mount Union's record 29th playoff appearance.

Fulford Fills Stat Sheet: Mount Union sophomore quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla. / Miramar) had five more touchdown passes last week and now has 39 on the season. He leads the nation's highest rated passer (268.7 rating) and also leads the nation in completion percentage (75.3) and passing yards per attempt (13.5).

Six Pick Six: Safety Trevor Cox (Hilliard/Darby) found the end zone for a second straight week. He had a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown against Otterbein two weeks ago then last Saturday had a 37-yard interception return for a score against Muskingum. It is the sixth touchdown the Mount Union defense has scored in nine games so far this season.

Thunderstruck: Freshman Josh Petruccelli (Perry / Perry) and and junior Jawanza Evans-Morris (Coral Springs, Fla. / Taravella) are more thunder and thunder than thunder and lightning in the Raider backfield. Last week against Muskingum, Petruccelli had 93 yards on 10 carries while Evans-Morris had two touchdowns on 71 yards rushing. On the season, Evans-Morris leads Mount Union with 698 yards on 89 carries (7.8 per carry) with eight touchdowns. Petruccelli has 636 yards on 73 carries (8.7 per carry) with three scores.

Dynamic Duo: The Mount Union defense is ranked No. 5 in the nation allowing opponents 222 yards per game. The top tacklers on the unit is the linebacking duo of senior Charlie Dear (Massillon/Jackson) and junior Danny Robinson (Massillon / Massillon Washington). Dear has 55 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Robinson has 48 stops, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

No Fly Zone: Mount Union has an OAC-best 16 interceptions with six of those brought back for touchdowns. Eight different Raiders have an interception on the season led by four each from Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Shady Side Academy) and Trevor Cox.

Cool Hands Luke: Luke Herrington (Wintersville / Steubenville) had his first multi-TD day of his career last week catching a pair of touchdowns against Muskingum. Justin Hill (Circleville / Jireh Prep, N.C.) also caught two to give him a conference-best 14 TD receptions on the season.

On the Air: All Mount Union football games will be broadcast on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker. You can also hear the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.

Up Next: The 32-team NCAA Playoff field will be announced Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. First round games begin next Saturday on campus sites at noon local time.