Victory against No. 13 Franklin gives No. 2 Mount Union 700th win
FRANKLIN, Ind. -- No. 2 Mount Union joined college football's 700-win club with a 45-7 win against No. 13 Franklin on Saturday.
The Purple Raiders became the 21st program overall, and second Division III team in college football history, to post at least 700 victories.
Sophomore Kevin Burke made his first career start at quarterback and completed his first eight passes en route to a 16-of-26 passing effort with 243 yards. His first career touchdown pass came to senior Shannon Stewart, who hauled in the 32-yarder against triple coverage in the end zone. Burke also rushed for 51 yards and had a 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, which was negated due to a holding penalty.
Burke's top target was senior Chris Denton who had a game-high seven catches for 89 yards and returned two punts, each 65 yards, for touchdowns.
Senior running back T.J. Lattimore also had two scores on the ground as he had a game-high 74 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Defensively, Mount Union didn't miss a beat from last year's No. 2 ranked unit as senior linebacker Charles Dieuseul had eight tackles while fellow senior Isaiah Scott had seven tackles and an interception.
Lattimore gave the Purple Raiders their first points of the season after a two-yard touchdown run with 6:42 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.
The margin grew to 14-0 following Denton's 65-yard punt return at the 5:10 mark of the first. The last punt return for a TD for the Purple Raiders came against Muskingum on Nov. 13, 2010 on a 54-yarder by current Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III.
The 14-0 lead looked to be plenty after a dominating defensive effort by the Purple Raiders. No. 13 Franklin was held to just 84 yards of total offense in the first half, including 1-of-10 on third downs.
Mount Union's offense didn't slow down in the second quarter and built a 24-0 halftime lead. Senior kicker Tyler Almeida connected on a 21-yard field goal and senior running back Blair Skilliter had a 3-yard touchdown run with :55 seconds remaining in the half.
Franklin avoided the shutout early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Jonny West to Kyle Linville.
It was the first time the Grizzlies scored against the Purple Raiders, as Mount Union won the only other meeting, 20-0 in 1968.