Nov. 28, 2009

Courtesy of Mount Union Athletics

ALLIANCE, Ohio - Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) scored three rushing touchdowns out of the “Wildcat” formation and the Mount Union defense forced eight turnovers as the top ranked Purple Raiders scored a 62-14 victory over #24 ranked Montclair State (NJ) in the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship.

Mount Union moves to 12-0 and extends the nation’s longest win streak to 26 games and will host Albright (PA) College next week in a regional final (round of 8) matchup at noon at Mount Union Stadium.

Shorts, doubled his season total for rushing touchdowns with scoring runs of 7, 3 and 3 yards, had four runs for 39 yards to go along with five catches for 53 yards.

Running back Terrance Morring (Sanford, FL/Winter Springs) had a career-high 31 carries and 146 yards and two scores, while quarterback Kurt Rocco (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) completed 22-of-31 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns to lead an offense that generated 597 yards of total offense and scored over 55 points for the sixth straight game.

The Mount Union defense had a record setting day as they got a school-record seven interceptions and forced eight turnovers on the day.  Safety Drew McClain (Newark/Licking Valley), the Ohio Athletic Conference’s defensive back of the year, had two interceptions and defensive back Chaz Jordan (Medina/Buckeye) had seven tackles to lead a unit that held Montclair State (10-2) to 15 total rushing yards and 239 total yards.

Mount Union jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter as Rocco hit Judd Harrold (Chagrin Falls/Chagrin Falls) on an 18-yard touchdown pass, Shorts scored his first rushing touchdown from seven yards and Rocco found Vince Petruziello (Mentor/Lake Catholic) on an 11-yard pass.

Montclair State got on the board just before the end of the first quarter as Tom Fischer threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Dan Keegan.  It was the longest offensive an opponent has had against Mount Union this season and made the score 21-7 at the end of the quarter.

The Raiders answered on the ensuing possession as Morring capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with a two yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 28-7.  The teams then traded scores as Fischer and Keegan hooked up again from four yards out and Shorts had his second score on the ground from three yards out that took the score to 35-14 at the break.

The Mount Union defense took over in the second half as they held Montclair State to 66 yards in the second half and forced six turnovers.

Shorts and Morring each had rushing touchdowns from three and two yards in the third quarter as the lead grew to 48-14 at the end of the third.

Petruziello caught a 30-yard scoring pass from Rocco and Brett Baker (St. Marys/St. Marys Memorial) got the final interception of the day and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and the 62-14 final.