Nov. 29, 2008

Courtesy of Mount Union

(ALLIANCE, OH)—Nate Kmic (Delta/Delta) became the NCAA Division III leader in career rushing yards with 235 yards on 37 carries along with four touchdowns to lead Mount Union College to a 42-7 win over Hobart (NY) College in the second round of the NCAA Football Playoffs.

Kmic now stands at 7,449 yards passing the previous mark of 7,353 by R.J. Bowers (1997-2000) of Grove City (PA) College.  The only player in college football history that has ran for more yards than Kmic is Danny Woodhead (2004-07) of Chardon State (CO) College, who has 7,962 yards.

Mount Union quarterback Greg Micheli (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) completed 14-of-22 passes for 223 yards and two scores.  His top target was Vince Petruziello (Mentor/Lake Catholic) who had a career-high seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Mount Union (12-0) advances to next week’s regional final where the Purple Raiders host Cortland State (NY), 42-0 winners over Curry (MA).  The game next Saturday will kick off at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.

Kmic started the scoring on the game’s opening possession as he capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with four-yard run.  After Hobart (9-2) was forced to punt on its first possession, it took just two plays for Kmic to strike again as he ran 41 yards for a score to make it 14-0.

Raider DefenseHobart’s defense would tighten as they held the Purple Raiders to 82 yards the remainder of the half, but the Statesmen managed only 110 yards of total offense to keep the score 14-0 at break.

Both teams traded possessions to start the second half and Hobart and the football on its own 15 yard line when quarterback Rich Doyle was intercepted by Mount Union safety Chaz Jordan on the Hobart 44-yard line.  Kmic cashed in the for the Raiders seven plays later as he ran in from four yards out to extend the lead to 21-0.

Hobart answered with a 13-play, 71-yard scoring drive that was extended by the Statesmen converting a fake punt for the third time on the afternoon.  Doyle capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to PJ Overdorf that closed the gap to 21-14.

The Raiders went right back to Kmic on the next drive as he carried the ball for 33 yards including the final four yards for his fourth score of the day to put Mount Union up 28-14 with 2:24 left in the third quarter.

Vince PetruzielloMicheli then got into the act as he hit wide receiver Cecil Shorts (Cleveland/Collinwood) on his school-record 20th touchdown reception from eight yards and Petruziello on 13-yard touchdown pass both in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring.

Mount Union outgained Hobart 503-196 and forced a fumble and an interception.  Yoder recovered the fumble and had a team-high nine tackles to lead the defense.

Doyle was 7-for-21 for 68 yards passing and a score, Andrew Marlier had 56 yards rushing and Tyler Vincent caught only three passes for 23 yards, but punted a 41.0 yard average and converted on three fake punts.

Linebacker Justin Hager became the school’s single-season leader in tackles with 134 as he had 20 stops on the day.