Football: #1 Mount Union Opens OAC Play at Baldwin Wallace

Josh Petruccelli (Photo by Ed Hall, Jr.)
Josh Petruccelli (Photo by Ed Hall, Jr.)

#1 Mount Union Purple Raiders vs Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets

The Matchup: No. 1 ranked Mount Union opens Ohio Athletic Conference action and plays its first road game at Baldwin Wallace Saturday at 2 p.m. in Berea.
 
The Purple Raiders (1-0, 0-0 OAC) won its 31st straight season opener and ran their nation's best win streak to 16 games with a 54-0 win over Rose-Hulman (Ind.) two weeks ago. 
 
D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.) threw for two scores and ran for two more while Josh Petruccelli (Perry) rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries as Mount Union 529 yards of offense.
 
The defense, which has now not allowed in touchdown in nine quarters dating back to last year's NCAA semifinal game at UW-Oshkosh, held the Fightin' Engineers to just 107 total yards. Austin White (Wadsworth) had five tackles, a sack, forced fumble and scored a touchdown to lead the unit.
 
BW (2-0, 1-0 OAC) is 2-0 for the first time since 2012 after a 33-3 win against Otterbein in its OAC opener last week.
 
Jake Hudson completed 24 of 31 passes for 282 yards and two scores. One of those TD's went to Chad Steinwachs, who had seven catches for 82 yards. 
 
North Canton native Wezlee Spence had eight stops, two for loss and a sack to pace a defense that held Otterbein to 135 total yards with four sacks and an interception.
 
Up Next: The Raiders return home to host nationally ranked John Carroll next Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. at Mount Union Stadium.
The Series: This is the 57th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 34-21-1 lead in the series that dates back to a 10-0 Mount Union win in 1896. The Raiders have won 23-straight meetings dating back to a 23-10 BW win in 1994 in Alliance.
 
Road Warriors: Mount Union has won 130-straight regular season road games dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.
 
First Impressions: Baldwin Walalce is sixth in the nation in first downs on offense with 56. On the other side, Mount Union's defense has pitched two straight shutouts and  allowed just eight first downs in their 54-0 win over Rose-Hulman two weeks ago.
 
Team Captains: Mount Union has five team captains in wide receivers Luke Herrrington (Wintersville/Steubenville) and Jared Ruth (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike), safety Nick Brish (Milford, Mich./Brighton), linebacker Danny Robinson (Massillon/Massillon Washington) and defensive back Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy).
 
Scouting the Yellow Jackets: Baldwin Wallace has scored a conference-best 96 points in two games so far this season.
 
Senior quarterback Jake Hudson has completed 75-percent of his passes for 507 yards with six TD's and no interceptions. Hudson also has a team-best 25 rushing attempts while sophomore Jon Murray has 128 yards rushing. Hudson's top target is senior Chad Steinwachs with 11 catches for 111 yards with two scores. Leading the defense is senior lineman Wezlee Spence, who has team-highs with 15 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
 
Defense in the Zone: Mount Union's defense found the end zone as Austin White (Wadsworth) had a sack, forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown all on the same play on the first possession of the second half against Rose-Hulman. A year ago, the Raiders were third in the nation with seven defensive touchdowns.
 
Magnficient Seven: Linebacker Trey Williams (Cardington / Cardington-Lincoln) and lineman Ethan McComb (Huntingtown, Md.) both lead the Raiders in tackles this season with seven each.
 
Fulford Fills Stat Sheet: Mount Union quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.) usually has no problem registering statistics and the season opener was no exception. The Raiders quarterback threw for two scores and ran for two more but one of his biggest plays against Rose-Hulman was a tackle. Late in the first half, Mount Union fumbled the football at midfield and it was picked up by a Rose-Hulman defender who appeared unimpeded to the end zone, before Fulford chased him down from behind and made the tackle at the five-yard line. The defense took over from there and held up to force a turnover on downs which preserved the shutout.
 
Running with Petro: Mount Union running back Josh Petruccelli (Perry) had 115 yards rushing on 13 carries against Rose-Hulman two weeks ago. It was the fourth 100-yard rushing performance in the sophomore's 16-game career. His first 100-yard plus rushing performance came a year ago against Baldwin Wallace when he ran for 127 yards on 13 carries.
 
Climbing the Hill: Mount Union junior receiver Justin Hill (Circleville) had a team-high five catches against Rose-Hulman. Hill enters this week with 24 career touchdown receptions and with one more would be tied for 10th all-time at Mount Union in the category with former Raiders Brian Tyla (1994-97) and Rob Atwood (1991-93). The Mount Union record for pass reception touchdowns is 63 held by Cecil Shorts (2007-10).
 
Clean Sheet: Mount Union's offensive line did not allow a sack against Rose-Hulman. Five juniors started up front for the Raiders in left tackle Stephen Sumner (Miamisburg), left guard Jonny Todd (Canton / GlenOak), center Tavis Stika (Creston / Norwayne), right guard Brendan Klaus (Brighton, Mich.) and right tackle Sean Sherman (Springboro / Middletown Fenwick).
 
Remembering Coach Wable: Ken Wable, age 91, who served as Mount Union head football coach from 1962-1985, passed away September 5, 2018 in Alliance.
 
In 24 years on the sidelines, Wable won a total of 123 games and was the OAC Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1985.  In recognition of his accomplishments, the OAC presents the Ken Wable Award every year to the conference's outstanding offensive lineman. In his final year as head coach in 1985, the Purple Raiders had their first undefeated regular season, won their first Ohio Athletic Conference Championship and made their first NCAA Playoff appearance.
 
Wable also served as head men's golf coach and as a faculty member that helped establish what is now the sport business major at Mount Union. In recognition of his service and loyalty to the institution, both the Wable-Harter Football Locker Room, located on North end of Mount Union Stadium and Wable Park -- the new artificial turf practice field on the West end of campus -- bear his name.
 
A native of Van Wert, Ohio, Wable was a multi-sport athlete at Van Wert High School where he graduated in 1945. He went on to Muskingum College where he was a football and track standout. Wable began his coaching career as head football coach of New London High School in 1952. In 1954, he became an assistant coach at Massillon Washington High School for two seasons (1954-55) before taking his first position in the college ranks as an assistant coach at Wake Forest University. After two years at Wake Forest (1956-57), he returned to Muskingum as an assistant coach for three seasons (1958-60) before spending a year (1961) as an assistant coach Cornell University.