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Bethel meets Concorida-Moorhead in ranked matchup
Wilmington (Ohio) at No. 1 Mount Union, 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Top-ranked Mount Union hosts Wilmington (Ohio) in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup at Mount Union Stadium.
Mount Union (4-0, 3-0 OAC) dominated Ohio Northern on both sides of the ball in a 58-7 win last week. The Purple Raiders outgained the Polar Bears, 631-160 as the defense got a 36 yard interception return from a score from Tre Jones while Tom Lally had eight stops and a sack. On offense, quarterback Kevin Burke was an efficient 18-of-21 for 304 yards with four TD passes. Jack Nicholls caught two of those scores on seven catches for 91 yards while Luc Meacham had a career-best 110 yards receiving.
Wilmington (0-4, 0-3 OAC) had a 28-7 lead late in the third quarter but Muskingum scored 28 straight points with the last one coming in overtime and the Quakers fell 35-28. Quarterback Brandon Arehart threw for 369 yards with four touchdowns and his top target was Jeremy Duncan, who had 327 yards receiving with three touchdowns.
This is the 16th meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 15-0 lead in the series. The series started with a 43-0 Mount Union victory on Nov. 9, 1968 in Wilmington and the return game in 1969 was a 70-0 Raider win in Alliance. After that the teams did not play until Wilmington became a member of the OAC in 2000.
Former NFL player and Ohio Northern alum Stacey Hairston is in his first year as head coach at Wilmington. So far in his rebuilding project, he has injected some offense as the Quakers are fourth in the OAC in total offense (404.8 yards per game). Wilmington is ninth in total defense in the OAC allowing 439.8 yards and 44.8 points per game.
Senior quarterback and Wilmington native Brandon Arehart leads the OAC in passing yards averaging 341.5 yards per game. Sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Duncan tops the conference in receiving at 164.8 yards per game and maybe in height as he is list at 6-5. Freshman Zak Kruer is the top running back with 155 yards and two TD's.
Millikin at No. 4 North Central (Ill.), 7 p.m. ET Saturday
No. 4 North Central (Ill.) opened College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin play on Saturday with a 31-14 victory at Elmhurst. The Cardinals (4-0, 1-0 CCIW) host conference rival Millikin (1-3, 0-1) on Saturday at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
North Central is 14th in the nation in total offense with 518.8 yards per game, including a passing attack ranked 26th in the country. Quarterback Spencer Stanek has averaged 293 yards per game through the air. Stanek and the Cards will face a Millikin defense which is the fifth worst in all of Division III -- allowing 533.5 yards per game.
Big Blue lost last week at Illinois Wesleyan 35-21. Running back Sean Dunning has been sensational for Millikin, rushing for 127.8 yards per game and 11 touchdowns.
No. 5 Hobart at Springfield, Noon ET Saturday
Hobart will make its first trek to Springfield, Mass., to take on conference rival Springfield on Saturday. The Statesmen won the inaugural meeting between the two schools 28-7 last season at Boswell Field. One of 34 undefeated teams remaining in Division III, Hobart is 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play. The Pride is 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.
The Liberty League punt return leader, Troy Robinson averaged 13.7 yards per punt return in a 41-7 win against WPI on Saturday. His returns helped the Statesmen win the battle for field position. Hobart had an average starting field position of its own 41 in the first half. His 33-yard return in the second quarter, set the Statesmen up at the WPI 8. Three plays later, Hobart scored on a 3-yard run to take a 27-0 lead with 6:02 left in the half.
A wide receiver as well, Robinson had an exceptional day on offense, catching three passes for a game-high 127 yards and two touchdowns. His 89-yard TD reception capped the first half scoring, 34-0, and was the longest pass play in Hobart history. Robinson is the first Statesman with 100-yards receiving since Nov. 10, 2012.
Running back Steven Webb went over 100 yards rushing for the third time this season, producing a game-high 113 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries against the Engineers'. He shredded the WPI defense, needing only five carries and less than 10 minutes of game time to top 100 yards for the 11th time in his career. Webb scored on TD runs of 38 and 42 yards to give the Statesmen a 14-0 lead with 5:06 remaining in the first quarter. He also caught a pass for 5 yards. The conference leader in all purpose yards (169.25) and scoring (10.5 ppg), Webb is averaging 8.3 yards per carry. He has run for 563 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Webb also has seven receptions for 64 yards. He needs seven rushing touchdowns to tie the Hobart career record of 47 set by Rich Kowalski.
No. 6 Wisconsin-Platteville at Wisconsin-River Falls, 2 p.m. ET Saturday
The Pioneers hit the road this weekend to face winless Wisconsin-River Falls. The Falcons lead the all-time series 32-22-2.
Last Saturday, the Pioneers defeated Wisconsin-Eau Claire 49-27 moving to 4-0 for the first time since 2004. Senior quarterback John Kelly led the Pioneers with a record tying seven touchdown passes and threw for 442 yards, fourth most in program history.
UW-River Falls fell 47-14 at UW-Stevens Point a week ago.
Wisconsin-Stout at No. 7 Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2 p.m. ET Saturday
The Warhawks will face UW-Stout for the fifty-sixth time in program history. The first game played between UW-W and the Blue Devils took place in 1928.
QB Matt Behrendt led the Warhawks to a 47-3 rout of UW-La Crosse in the WIAC opener last week. He was 25 of 36 with 355 yards through the air. He tossed two touchdowns including a 70-yard connection with Jake Kumerow, his career long. Behrendt has the led UW-W to a 4-0 record averaging 212.5 yards of passing offense per game and a total of eight touchdowns this season.
WR Justin Howard took a kickoff, bounced outside and up the sidelines to coast in for a 77 yard touchdown to cap a nine point swing in favor of the Warhawks. His vision of the field and ability to make tacklers miss can provide a quick spark UW-W on special teams. Howard added four punt returns for 53 yards and totaled 104 yards on three kick returns in Saturday’s win. As part of the best return team in the WIAC, Howard averages 29.5 yards per return.
No. 8 Bethel at No. 18 Concordia-Moorhead, 2 p.m. ET Saturday
Saturday's matchup will be the 36th meeting between Bethel and Concordia-Moorhead. The Cobbers lead the series 22-13, but the Royals have won six of the last seven matchups. In last season's game, a personal foul with no time remaining allowed Bethel one more play to score and convert a two-point conversion to beat Concordia.
Bethel QB Erik Peterson's 70.7 percent completion percentage is the best in the MIAC and eighth overall in the nation. Concordia-Moorhead has allowed only 8.3 yards per kickoff return -- best in the nation.
Concordia had a bye last week. Before last weekend, the Cobbers posted a big 24-14 win against nationally ranked St. John's (Minn.) Collegeville on Sept. 28. The win against the Johnnies was the second consecutive for CC marking the first time since 1980-81 that Concordia has recorded back-to-back wins against SJU.
Wisconsin-La Crosse at No. 9 Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Wisconsin-Oshkosh can extend its home winning streak to 10 games when it meets Wisconsin-La Crosse on Saturday.
UW-La Crosse was the last team to defeat UW-Oshkosh at home, taking a 30-24 overtime decision on Oct. 29, 2011. Since then, the Titans captured nine consecutive games while scoring an average of 43 points.
During last week's road win at UW-Stout, UW-Oshkosh jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Titan defense intercepted three passes, including one by Reese Dziedzic with 15 seconds left, in the 28-26 victory. Nick Olla was precise guiding the offense, as he completed 28-of-39 throws for a career-high 328 yards and three touchdowns.
The Titans (4-0/1-0 WIAC) are also averaging 169 rushing yards per game. Cole Myhra (348 yards) leads the league with seven touchdowns, while Jake Dostalek has contributed 124 yards. UW-Oshkosh boasts four receivers with at least 185 yards in Caleb Voss (305), Zach Kasuboski (206), Joe Sommers (200) and Cory Wipperfurth (185).
Red zone defense was crucial at UW-Stout. The Blue Devils got inside the 20 six times, but UW-Oshkosh yielded just two touchdowns. The Titans are led by linebackers Dziedzic, who has 34 tackles, and Ryan Stefaniak, who owns 5.5 tackles for loss.
UW-La Crosse (0-4/0-1 WIAC) had a tough schedule for the first month, suffering losses of 41-24 to No. 4 North Central (Ill.) and 47-3 to No. 10 UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks held the Eagles to 137 total yards in last week's contest.
Ben Hertrampf paces the UW-La Crosse ground game with 185 yards. Quarterback Andy Sires has compiled 735 yards through the air with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. The receiving unit is led by Tony Favre, who averages 21.5 yards on his eight grabs.
The Eagles are allowing 548 yards and 38 points per game. Max Nicholson and Shane Rockweiler top the defense with 32 tackles each.
UW-La Crosse has dominated this series with a 49-11-6 record, but UW-Oshkosh won three of the past four. The Titans counted 171 receiving yards from Voss and 152 rushing from Myhra during their 41-7 victory last year.
Capital at No. 10 Heidelberg, 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Heidelberg welcomes Capital to Tiffin this Saturday following its rout of Marietta last weekend. QB Mike Mees threw for 180 yards on 13 of 16 passing. He connected on five touchdown heaves and threw no interceptions in the Berg’s 68-17 routing of the Pioneers.
The co-Player of the Week honor marks the second of Mees’ career and of 2013. So far through his junior campaign, Mees has thrown for 966 yards on 46 of 65 passing with 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions. The three-year starter has also rushed for 93 yards on 11 carries in 2013.
Mees is averaging over 240 yards per game through the air with 241.5 yards through four contests. He boasts a completion percentage of 70.8 and owns an efficiency rating of 260.53, which leads the nation.
The Crusaders (1-3 overall, 1-2 OAC) enter Saturday's game following a 54-0 defeat at then-No. 24 John Carroll last Saturday. Capital has lost two in a row since a 42-13 triumph at Marietta on Sept. 15.
Heidelberg owns a narrow 35-31-1 advantage in the all-time series against Capital. After the Crusaders defeated the Student Princes in a memorable 60-50 affair at Bernlohr Stadium in 2010, the 'Berg has won the last two games by a combined score of 100-13.