NEW CONCORD, Ohio – No. 1 ranked Mount Union punched its ticket back to the postseason with a 52-10 win at Muskingum Saturday in an Ohio Athletic Conference football matchup at McConagha Stadium.
The Purple Raiders, which extended the nation's longest active win streak to 24 games, are now 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the OAC have clinched at least a share of the conference title and the OAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs.
It is the 27th straight year and 30th overall that Mount Union has qualified for the postseason.
Mount Union junior quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.) completed 14-of-18 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
His top targets were seniors Luke Herrington (Wintersville / Steubenville) and Jared Ruth (Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike). Herrington had four catches for 112 yards with two scores while Ruth had six catches for 90 yards.
The Mount Union defense entered today leading the nation with 41.0 sacks and got after quarterback Brody Hahn to the tune of two sacks by senior linebacker Danny Robinson (Massillon / Washington), junior Andrew Roesch (Avon) had 4.0 tackles for loss and senior Gabe Brown (Plant City, Fla. / Durant) had an interception and returned a blocked field goal 80 yards for a score.
Hahn led the Muskingum (4-5, 3-5 OAC) with 110 yards passing while Warren Wilson had 51 yards rushing.
The Raiders scored 21 points in its first 11 plays from scrimmage as Fulford threw a pair of touchdown passes to Lucas Herrington and Josh Petruccelli had a one-yard touchdown run.
Herrington, which also had a 78-yard catch to set up a score, had 112 yards on four catches as Mount Union led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Petruccelli found the end zone early in the second quarter to cap a seven-play drive and push the lead to 28-0.
Muskingum got on the board with 17 seconds left before halftime on a 21-yard field goal from Gavin Costello and it was 28-3 at the break.
Darian Littlejohn (Fulton, Md. / Reservoir) opened the second half with a 63-yard kickoff return but the drive stalled and Cory Barnett (Grove City / Teays Valley) had a 20-yard field goal to push the lead to 31-3.
Brown got the Mount Union defense an interception Muskies first possession of the second half to give the Raiders the ball on the Muskingum 37-yard line. Four plays later Fulford tossed his third touchdown pass of the day – a 15-yard strike to Hill and it was 38-3 with 10:13 to go in the third quarter.
Brown then found the end zone on an 80-yard return after Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Shady Side Academy) blocked a Muskingum field goal attempt and Mount Union led 45-3. It was Berry's second blocked field goal of the season.
Muskingum backup quarterback Jordan Garrett threw a 58-yard scoring pass to Jailen Willis and it was 45-10 after three quarters.
Mount Union backup quarterback Ernie Burkes (New Castle, Pa. / Neshannock) had a 54-yard touchdown run to make it 52-10 for the final.
The Raiders return home to finish the regular season against Marietta Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m. at Mount Union Stadium.