ALLIANCE, Ohio – No. 1 ranked Mount Union defeated Denison 60-0 in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.
The Purple Raiders move to 11-0 overall, extend the nation's longest win streak to 26 games and have posted their 100th all-time playoff victory.
Mount Union continued a trend of scoring early and getting scores from special teams and defense as it advanced to the second round against Centre (Ky.) next Saturday at noon at a site to be announced Sunday.
All four touchdowns went to Jared Ruth (Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike) who had six catches for 209 yards, running back Josh Petruccelli (Perry) had his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the season with 128 yards on 22 carries as the offense generated 495 yards.
This was all more than enough for a defense that held Denison (8-3) to 116 yards with 7.0 sacks and two interceptions. Danny Robinson (Massillon / Washington) has seven tackles while Louis Berry (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Shady Side Academy) and Austin White (Wadsworth) each had interceptions.
Alex Minton had 77 yards rushing on 20 carries and quarterback Cannan Gebele was 8-of-27 passing for 68 yards to lead the Big Red.
Mount Union scored a pair of rushing touchdowns on its first two drives in the first quarter on a 54-yard scamper by Petruccelli and a two-yard run by Ernie Burkes (New Castle, Pa. / Neshannock) to lead 13-0.
The Raiders tacked on another score when Keeney found Ruth on a 16-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 19-0.
Mount Union then continued a trend from the regular season scoring touchdowns on special teams and defense. Justin Hill (Circleville) then had his third punt return for a score this season scampering 68 yards for a score while Berry had his third interception return for a score on the year taking a tipped ball back nine yards and it was 32-0 Mount Union at the break.
Kenney and Ruth got going in third quarter as two hooked up on touchdowns from 20, 67 and 61 yards to make it 53-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
The scoring finished with Kyle Moore (Marboro, N.J.) throwing a 41-yard touchdown pass to Demarco Haynes (Miramar, Fla. / Chaminade-Madonna).