Nov. 22, 2008

Courtesy Mount Union

(ALLIANCE, OH)--No. 1 ranked Mount Union College rolled up a season-high 420 yards rushing and 676 yards of total offense in a 56-0 shutout of Randolph-Macon (VA) College in an NCAA First Round Playoff game Saturday in Alliance, Ohio.

All-American senior running back Nate Kmic (Delta/Delta) led the way for the Purple Raiders as he had 290 yards rushing on 20 carries with four touchdowns.  The performance took Kmic over 7,000 career rushing yards and with 7,214 yards is 139 shy of NCAA Divsion III career rushing leader, R.J. Bowers of Grove City, PA (7,383).

Senior quarterback Greg Micheli (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) completed 11 of 13 pass for 218 yards with a touchdown to sophomore A.J. Claycomb (Medina/Medina), while junior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) had four catches for 84 yards.

This was all more than enough for a defense that allowed just 53 yards rushing and 207 total yards even though Randolph-Macon (6-5) had the football for 36 minutes with 16 more plays than the Raiders.

Senior defensive back Daryl Ely (Winter Springs, FL/Winter Springs) had a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown, junior defensive back Drew McClain (Newark/Licking Valley) had two of teams three sacks, while junior Roger Stewart (Pleasantville/Fairfield Union) and sophomore Sam Kershaw (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) each had nine tackles to lead the unit.

Steve Matthews rushed 35 times for 50 yards and quarterback Austin Faulkner completed 14-of-31 passes for 154 yards to lead Randolph-Macon.

Micheli had a 13-yard touchdown run as Mount Union marched 64 yards in five plays on game's opening drive to start the scoring.  After a Yellow Jacket drive stalled on the next possession, the Raiders struck again in just two plays at Kmic had the longest run from scrimmage on the season with a 67-yard scamper to make it 14-0.  Ely's interception return came on the ensuing drive and gave the Raiders a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Both teams traded the football on three possessions in the second quarter before Mount Union got the ball back with under two left in the half.  The Raiders went 73 yards in just three plays, highlighted by a 37 yard run by Kmic and Micheli nailed Claycomb from 16 yards out to set the score at 28-0 at the break.

The second half featured a heavy dose of Kmic as he had scoring runs of 9, 19 and a one-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 49-0. 

Backup running back Scott Panchick (Natrona Heights, PA/Natrona Heights) finished the scoring with a 31 yard touchdown run.

Mount Union will host Hobart (NY) College, 33-15 winners over Lycoming (PA) College, in a second round game next Saturday at noon in Alliance.