Nov. 26, 2008

By Amy Farnum Novin

Top-ranked Mount Union dominated the Ohio Athletic Conference annual football awards after the Purple Raiders ran away with the league championship this season.

Senior running back Nate Kmic headlined the lengthy Purple Raider list of 16 All-OAC honorees after leading the league in rushing with 175.5 yards per game.  He was not only a first-team all-league selection, but earned the Bob Packard Award as the conference’s top offensive back. 

Kmic holds almost every league rushing and scoring record, and needs just 139 rushing yards to become the NCAA Division III all-time leading rusher.  R.J. Bowers of Grove City College is the record-holder with 7,353 yards.  Kmic has more touchdowns (118) and scored more points (708) than any other player at any level in college football history.  With 290 yards rushing against Randolph-Macon last weekend, Kmic surpassed the 3,000-yard rushing mark in 16 career NCAA playoff games.

The Purple Raiders have the nation’s top-ranked offense with 554.0 yards per game and are guided by senior quarter Greg Micheli, the top-rated passer (217.73) in Division III football this season.
Mount Union’s defense also had its share of recognition as junior defensive end James Herbert and senior defensive back Daryl Ely won individual awards for their respective positions.  Herbert paces the OAC with 13 sacks, while Ely topped the team with seven pass breakups.

Mount Union will host Hobart in the second round of the Division III playoffs.

GIANT HONORS: Wabash’s junior quarterback Matt Hudson and senior defensive lineman Darryl Kennon garnered North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors after sparking the Little Giants to a flawless 11-0 and first round by in the Division III playoffs.

Hudson leads the league in passing yards (2,905), TD passes (26) and total yards (2,941), and ranks 11th in the nation with a 169.96 pass efficiency rating.

"Matt is very unselfish at quarterback," head coach Erik Raeburn said in a release. "A lot of quarterbacks want to make the big throw or put up phenomenal numbers to show what they can do. Many times that leads to a lot of turnovers. Matt does what's best for the team, whether it's throwing the short pass for a completion instead of trying to throw the bomb for a touchdown, or working the running game to help the team win. That's what a great quarterback does and I think that's why the other conference coaches recognized his efforts this season with this award."

Kennon has recorded six sacks this season to become the school’s career mark with 30 while anchoring a defense that ranks 13th in the nation in total yards allowed (253.09).

Wabash hosts Wheaton (Ill.) College in second-round playoff action.

NOTABLE: Millsaps advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs for the first time in 33 years with the Majors’ 51-26 victory over LaGrange.  The Majors are the first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference squad since 2002 to record a victory in the postseason.  Millsaps will attempt to extend its school-record 13-game winning streak against Washington & Jefferson… Cortland won its first NCAA game since 1988 with a victory over Plymouth State, and will host Curry College in second round action this weekend.  Senior tailback Andrew Giuliano and senior quarterback Ray Miles will look to increase their school single-season records for rushing (1,436) and passing (2,493) yards, respectively.