Football: #2 Mount Union & Frostburg State Meet in Round of 8

Jawanza Evans-Morris (Photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)
Jawanza Evans-Morris (Photo by Dan Poel, OhioSI.com)

#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders vs #

17 Frostburg State Bobcats 

The Matchup: No. 2 ranked University of Mount Union hosts No. 17 ranked Frostburg State (Md.) University in the quarterfinal round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday, Dec. 2 at 12 pm at Mount Union Stadium.

The Purple Raiders are 12-0 overall, and won its 28th Ohio Athletic Conference title to claim one of 25 automatic bids to the tournament. Mount Union shutout Washington & Lee 21-0 in the first round and defeated No. 16 Case Western Reserve 45-16 in the second round.

Mount Union has an 96-16 record in NCAA Playoff games and the Raiders have advanced to the Stagg Bowl 19 times since 1993 with a record 12 National Championships. Mount Union is in the tournament for a record 29th time and for the 26th straight year.

Frostburg State, located in Frostburg, Maryland,  is 11-1 and earned one of five national at-large bids after placing second in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The Bobcats have won a pair of road games in the tournament knocking off No. 9 Wittenberg 35-7 in the first round and beating No. 10 Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) 46-23 in the second round. Frostburg State is in the tournament for the second time, first since 1993, and has a 3-1 record in NCAA Playoff games.

The Series: It is the first-ever meeting between the teams and only the third time Mount Union has played a team from Maryland as the Raiders have a pair of playoff wins against Johns Hopkins.

Bracketology: For the 13th year, the NCAA Division III Football Championship consists of a 32-team field. In Mount Union's first playoff appearance in 1985, the field was 16 teams. In this year's field automatic bids were given to 25 conference champions, two spots for teams that are an independent or in conferences not granted automatic bids while the final five spots are national at-large bids. Each team is allowed to only dress a total of 58 players for a playoff game.

Scouting the Bobcats: Frostburg features an athletic quarterback who can make plays behind a talented line with depth at skill positions complimeted by an agressive defense ... sound familiar. The Bobcats have won seven straight since a 27-24 loss to NJAC champ Wesley (Del.).

Quarterback Connor Cox has completed 62-percent of his passes for 2,413 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Sergio Andino has 36 catches -- 12 for TDs as three receivers have at least 35 catches. Jamaal Morant has 953 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns with All-NJAC first teamers Jake Townsend at left tackle and Christian Walsh at left guard leading the way.

The Bobcats defense is ranked No. 8 in the nation allowing just 242 yards per game with 38 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions. All-NJAC first team picks Niles Scott and Josh Washington lead the unit. Scott anchors the line with 16.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks while Washington has three interceptions.

Dante Chinnery is the second leading tackler and the safety doubles as the punter. He had a 93 yard run for a touchdown on a fake punt against Wittenberg in the first round.

QB1 is No. 1: After tossing four more TD passes last week, quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.) leads all levels of college football with 48 passing touchdowns this season. The 48 passing TDs is the 5th most in a single season at Mount Union. The OAC Offensive Back of the Year also leads the nation with a 241.7 passer rating with Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in second at 203.3. He also ran in a touchdown last week and leads the nation in points responsible for this season with 330 for the nation's highest scoring offense (52.8 ppg).

Lucky 7: Kollyn Crensaw (Solon) ran back an interception for a touchdown last week which was the seventh pick-6 of the year for the Raider defense. The seven defensive TDs is second-best in the nation to the nine Widener had this season. Mount Union had three interceptions and a fumble recovery on the day and raised its turnover margin to plus-13 on the season.

Climbing the Hill: Justin Hill (Circleville) had two touchdown catches and his now 16 TDs on the season is sixth-best in the nation. His teammate Braeden Friss (Avon) had a career-best 11 catches last week.

On the Run: Jawanza Evans-Morris (Coral Springs, Fla. / Taravella) matched his career-high with 110 rushing yards last week. On the season, he has 962 yards on 123 carries and his 7.8 yards per carry is second in the nation in the category.

Academic All-District: Seniors in offensive lineman Matt Fitchet and wide receiver Jared Ruth along with junior linebacker Danny Robinson and sophomore offensive lineman Frazier Daniel were all named Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America and each advance to the Academic All-America ballot.

Team Captains: Mount Union has five senior team captains in 2017 --  linebacker Charlie Dear, wide receiver Braeden Friss, safety Brian Groves, offensive lineman Cole Parrish and defensive lineman Michael Vidal.
 
Headed to the Hall: Former head coach and current athletic director Larry Kehres will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility Dec. 5 in New York. Kehres posted a record of 332-24-3 with 23 OAC titles and 11 national titles coaching the Raiders from 1986-2012. You can watch the dinner LIVE on ESPN3.

On the Air: All Mount Union football games are 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 winner of this game advances to the national semifinals against the winner of a matchup between No. 3 Wisconsin-Oshkosh and No. 15 Wartburg (Iowa) in the national semifinals Saturday, Dec. 9 at time and location to be announced.