Posted: Nov 21, 2019
|NCAA FIRST ROUND - #2 MOUNT UNION VS. HANOVER|
|Date & Time||Saturday, Nov. 23 | 12 p.m.|
|Location||Mount Union Stadium | Alliance, Ohio|
|Ticket Information||$8 (gates open at noon - all seats are reserved)|
|Video (pay-per-view):||LIVE VIDEO|
|Live Stats||LIVE STATS|
|Live Tweets||@purpleraiders | @MountUnionFB|
|Mount Union Info||Game Notes | Record Book|
|OAC Info||Website | Scoreboard|
|AFCA Top 25||Rankings - 11/18|
The Matchup: No. 2 ranked University of Mount Union hosts Hanover College in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday, Nov. 23 at 12 pm at Mount Union Stadium.
The Purple Raiders are 10-0 overall, and won their 30th Ohio Athletic Conference title to claim one of 27 automatic bids to the tournament.
Mount Union has an 103-17 record in NCAA Playoff games and the Raiders have advanced to the Stagg Bowl 21 times since 1993 with a record 13 National Championships.
Mount Union has now made the tournament a record 31 times and 28 years in row.
Hanover, located in Hanover, Indiana, is 9-1 overall and making its second-straight and eighth NCAA Playoff appearance as champions of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC).
The Panthers have a 1-7 record in the NCAA Playoffs.
The Series: This will be the second-ever meeting between the teams with Mount Union winning the previous meeting 52-18 in an NCAA First Round matchup in 1995 at Mount Union Stadium.
Mount Union has a 14-0 record against current members of the HCAC including a 66-14 win against Rose-Hulman (Ind.) in the season opener back on Sept. 7. The Raiders will also play HCAC-member Defiance to open the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Up Next: The winner of this game will take on the winner of a matchup between No. 5 ranked North Central (Ill.) and Wabash (Ind.) Saturday, November 30 at noon at a location to be announced Sunday.
Bracketology: For the 15th year, the NCAA Division III Football Championship consists of a 32-team field.
For perspective, in Mount Union's first appearance in the playoffs in 1985, the field was 16 teams.
This year's field breaks down like this: automatic bids were given to 27 conference champions and the other five spots are national at-large bids.
Each team is allowed to only dress a total of 58 players for a playoff game.
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 Andrew Roesch (Avon), offensive lineman Sean Sherman (Springboro / Bishop Fenwick) and linebacker Trey Williams (Cardington / Cardington-Lincoln).
On the Air: All Mount Union football games will be broadcast 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 563-999-3112.
Scouting the Panthers: Hanover suffered a season opening 35-21 home loss to Centre (Ky.) then won nine-straight, including all seven HCAC games to win the conference title and get the automatic bid.
The Panthers feature a high-powered offense that averages 40.3 points and 471 yards per game. Junior running back Shawn Coane is 10th in the nation in rushing with 1,307 yards and he is already Hanover's career rushing leader with 3,031 yards. His 19 rushing touchdowns this season are fifth best nationally. Fellow junior in quarterback Noah Wezensky has completed 65-percent of his passes for 2,346 yards with 21 TDs and just four interceptions. Six different players have caught at least 10 passes with seniors Conner Gibson (42 rec. 591 yds. 5 TD) and Taylor Bleistein (33 rec. 608 yds. 8 TD) leading the way.
On defense, Hanover is 16th nationally in scoring defense at 13.7 points per game and 21st in passing yards allowed at 157 per game. Junior linebacker Kyle Treber has a team-best 77 tackles, freshman lineman Devonte Hardiman is 15th in the nation with 9.5 sacks along with 12 tackles for loss while sophomore defensive back Kiefer Askew has four interceptions. Hanover defensive coordinator Aarik Gault is a 2006 Mount Union grad who spent the 2007-10 seasons as an assistant coach for the Raiders.
QB1: Senior quarterback D'Angelo Fulford (Miramar, Fla.) has completed 73-percent of his passes for 2,247 yards with 35 touchdowns and just one interception to be the nation's highest rater passer at 231.0. The leaders at the other levels include Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts at 209.1, Trey Lance of North Dakota St. (FCS) 196.6 and Roland Rivers III of Slippery Rock (D2) with a 192.7.
Hill Near The Top: Senior wide receiver Justin Hill (Circleville) had four touchdown catches last week and leads NCAA Division III with 21 receiving TDs this season. Hill now has 59 career TD catches which is just four behind the 63 of Mount Union's all-time leader in the category - Cecil Shorts III (2007-10).
Lucky No. 7: Junior running back Josh Petruccelli (Perry) had his seventh 100-yard rushing game this season with 126 yards on 12 carries last week. Petruccelli has 1,192 yards on 171 carries with 15 rushing TD's this season.
Linebacker UMU: Linebackers in senior Trey Williams (Cardington / Cardington-Lincoln) and junior Mitch O'Hara (Avon / Lakewood St. Edward) both are Mount Union's top two tacklers with 54 and 42 stops respectively.
Prince Harry: Freshman Harry Bowker (St. Augustine, Fla / Bantram Trail) is royality in the Raiders' secondary as he had his team leading third interception last week.