Football: #2 Mount Union Opens 2019 Season Saturday

The 2019 Mount Union football team captains - Mitch O'Hara, Adam Pastor, Justin Hill, Trey Williams, Brendan Klaus, Sean Sherman, Andrew Roesch, D'Angelo Fulford, Joe Fornaro
The 2019 Mount Union football team captains - Mitch O'Hara, Adam Pastor, Justin Hill, Trey Williams, Brendan Klaus, Sean Sherman, Andrew Roesch, D'Angelo Fulford, Joe Fornaro
#2 MOUNT UNION VS. ROSE-HULMAN
Date & Time Saturday, Sept. 7 | 7 p.m.
Location Cook Stadium | Terre Haute, Ind.
Ticket Information $5 general admission at the gate
Radio WRMU 91.1 - Listen Live | WDPN 1310 AM - Listen Live
Video LIVE VIDEO
Live Stats LIVE STATS
Live Tweets @purpleraiders | @MountUnionFB
Hash Tags #gomountgo 
Mount Union Info Game Notes | Record Book
Rose-Hulman Info Game Notes 
OAC Info Website | Scoreboard
 
The Matchup: No. 2 ranked Mount Union begins its 122nd season of football on the road playing Rose-Hulman, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. at Cook Stadium in Terre Haute, Indiana.
 
The Purple Raiders returns 45 letterwinners and 14 starters from a 2018 team that won its 29th Ohio Athletic Conference title and advanced to the national championship game for a 21st time.
 
Rose-Hulman went 5-5 in 2018 to stop a streak of three straight eight-win seasons. The Fightin' Engineers bring back 44 letterwinners and 10 starters while being picked to finish fourth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2019.
 
The Series: This will be the second-ever meeting between the schools after Mount Union scored a 54-0 win last year in Alliance.
 
Mount Union has a 12-1 all-time record against current members of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. 
 
This will be Mount Union's first game in the state of Indiana since September 1, 2012 when the Raiders played at Franklin. Mount Union won that game 45-7 on its way to a 15-0 season and a national title. 
 
Let's Go Streaking: The Purple Raiders have won 31-straight season openers dating back to a 17-15 loss to Wooster in 1987 at Mount Union Stadium.
 
Up Next: Mount Union has a bye week before opening Ohio Athletic Conference play Sept. 21 against Baldwin Wallace with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.
 
Team Captains: Mount Union has nine team captains in 2019 in fullback Joe Fornaro (Chesterland / West Geagua), quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.), wide receiver Justin Hill (Circleville), linebacker Mitch O'Hara (Avon / Lakewood St. Edward), offensive lineman Brendan Klaus (Brighton, Mich.), defensive linemen Adam Pastor (Mantua / Walsh Jesuit) and Adam Roesch (Avon), offensive lineman Sean Sherman (Springboro / Bishop Fenwick) and linebacker Trey Williams (Cardington / Cardington-Lincoln).
 
Scoutin' the Fightin' Engineers: Rose-Hulman returns six starters on offense and four on defense including a pair of first team all-conference selections in wide receiver Noah Thomas and linebacker Jack Heyl.
 
As a sophomore last year, Thomas set a Rose-Hulman single-season school record for receiving yards with 932. He had 71 catches with 12 touchdowns, despite missing two games to injury including the game at Mount Union.  He also rushed for 288 yards and a 10.7-yard average-per-carry to go along with two touchdowns. He was eighth nationally last year with 183.8 all-purpose yards per game.
 
The guy that got Thomas the ball last year is also back in quarterback Andrew Dion, who completed 53-percent of his passes for 1,847 yards with 16 TDs and 11 interceptions last year.
 
Heyl had 56 tackles, tied for the team lead with 8.5 sacks and added 13 tackles-for-loss a year ago to lead a defense that allowed opponents 26 points and 355 yards per game.
 
High Powered Offense: Mount Union returns eight starters from an offense that was the nation's second highest scoring unit a year ago, averaging 48.8 points per game. 
 
Senior quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Mirmar, Fla.) has been among the nation's highest rated passers in each of the last two seasons. A year ago, he completed 62-percent of his passes for over 2,800 yards with 37 touchdowns while running for eight more scores on his way to being named an All-American and the OAC Offensive Back of the Year. 
 
Two other All-Americans are back on offense in senior wide receiver Justin Hill (Circleville) and junior running back Josh Petruccelli (Perry). Hill, the OAC Receiver of the Year, had 55 catches for 927 yards and his 14 touchdowns was 10th nationally while Petruccelli was eighth in the country with 1,531 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. 
 
All three of these guys will work behind an offensive line that returns all five starters and nine different players that have started a game at some point in their careers. Leading the line is senior Brendan Klaus (Brighton, Mich.), who was an All-OAC first team selection while fellow senior Sean Sherman (Springboro / Bishop Fenwick)was an All-OAC second team pick.
 
Attacking Defense: Five starters return on a defense that ranked with the nation's best as it scored 15 touchdowns and held opponents to the second fewest first downs in the country and just 259.2 yards per game. 
 
The top two tacklers are back in senior Trey Williams (Cardington / Cardington-Lincoln) and junior Mitch O'Hara (Avon / Lakewood St. Edward). Williams had 22.5 tackles for loss with 9.5 sacks while O'Hara had a team-best 89 stops with 9.5 tackles for loss as both linebackers earned All-OAC first and second team honors, respectively. 
 
Up front, senior linemen in All-American Andrew Roesch (Avon) and All-OAC honorable mention pick Ethan McComb (Huntingtown, Md.) anchored a group that helped produce 67 sacks, which was second-best in the country. Roesch had 11 sacks and 20 tackles for loss while McComb had 60 total tackles, 11 for loss and six sacks. Also back up front is tackle Adam Pastor (Mantua / Walsh Jesuit), who has not missed a game each of the last two seasons and had 3.0 sacks a year ago.
 
There will be some new faces starting in the secondary headlined by junior defensive back Jalen Griffin (Chicago, Ill. / Simeon) had 35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, an interception and a blocked kick. Junior Malik Britt (Bossier City, La. / Airline) will start at one of the safety spots and a year ago led the team in special teams tackles.
 
Just for Kicks: A pair of seniors are back to handle the kicking duties in Cory Barnett (Grove City / Teays Valley) and Max Righetti (Salem). 
 
A year ago, Barnett made 91 extra points and nine field goals including a career-long 41-yarder in the Stagg Bowl. This year he will also handle punting duties. Righetti had 113 kickoffs in 2018 with 22 touchbacks.
 
Sweet Sixteen: Mount Union has an NCAA Division III best 798 wins as a program. With two more wins, the Raiders will be just the 16th program in NCAA history with 800 wins.
 
1. Michigan -- 954
2. Ohio State --  912
3. Texas --  909
4. Yale --  907
5. Alabama --  906
6. Nebraska and Notre Dame --  898
8. Oklahoma --  897
9. Penn State --  888
10. Harvard --  875
11. Penn --  856
12. USC --  840
13. Tennessee --  838
14. Princeton --  832
15. Georgia --  820
16. Mount Union --  798