football-d3 flag | November 16, 2013

Top 10: Mount Union wins 25th OAC title

Mount Union

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- No. 1 Mount Union finished an undefeated regular season and won the Ohio Athletic Conference title with a 42-34 victory against No. 9 John Carroll in front of a sellout crowd of 8,104 Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.

The Purple Raiders win their 22nd consecutive and 25th overall OAC title and the conference's automatic bid into the Division III Football tournament.

Mount Union (10-0, 9-0 OAC) also extended the nation's longest winning streak to 25 games, won its 83rd consecutive regular season game and 73rd home game in a row.

First year head coach Vince Kehres joins his father Larry Kehres as the only Mount Union coaches to go 10-0 in their first year on the sidelines.

In a matchup that featured the top-two defenses in Division III, it was the offenses that made the day with a combined 1,100 yards of offense as the Raiders outgained the Blue Streaks 555-545.

Mount Union junior quarterback Kevin Burke accounted for five touchdowns as he completed 21 of 35 passes for 374 yards with three scores while rushing for two more.  

The Raiders other touchdown came from freshman running back Bradley Mitchell who ran for a career high 157 yards on 20 carries.

Junior wide receiver Luc Meacham also had a career day as he caught 10 passes for 175 yards with two touchdowns while senior Jack Nicholls had 118 yards on eight catches.

Mark Myers led the John Carroll (9-1, 8-1 OAC) offense with 451 yards passing and two scores.  His top targets were Brian Kornowski who had six catches for 152 yards and Zach Strippy, who caught two TD's on seven catches for 74 yards.

No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor 56, Mississippi College 30

CLINTON, Miss. -- No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor took control of the game in the fourth quarter and then held on for a 56-30 victory against Mississippi College Saturday. The Cru clinches the outright American Southwest Conference Championship with the win. UMHB also finishes a fourth consecutive undefeated season at 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the ASC. Mississippi College finishes the season at 4-6 overall and 4-2 in the ASC.

UMHB took a 7-0 lead when Zach Anderson hit Eric Nelson with a 24-yard touchdown pass on the Cru's second offensive play. Marcus Wimby's one-yard scoring run stretched it to 14-0 and Wimby added a 26-yard run with 12:08 left in the second quarter to put the Cru up 21-0. Jonathon Redd scored on a two-yard plunge to cut it to 21-7, but Michael Carpenter raced 73 yards for a TD just two plays later to give UMHB a 28-7 lead. Redd hit Matthew Rubal with touchdown passes of 78 and 17 yards to cut the gap to 28-21 at the half. MC would add a 22-yard Hunter Estess field goal to pull to within 28-24 early in the third. Anderson hooked up with Nelson on a 56-yard scoring strike to push it to 35-24, but Redd hit Stacey Dillard with a one-yard TD toss to close the gap to 35-30. The Cru then took over in the fourth as Jake Bumgardner scored on a two-yard run, Anderson threw a two-yard TD pass to Colton Jacob and Glen Gilliam closed out the scoring with a three-yard run to provide the final margin.

The Cru finished with 383 rushing yards and 563 yards of total offense to help overcome three turnovers. The Choctaws rolled up 384 yards of total offense, but threw three interceptions.

Elijah Hudson ran for 103 yards for UMHB and Anderson was 14-20 passing for 180 yards and three scores. Cody Jones led the Cru with nine total tackles and he intercepted two passes.

Redd went 24-38 through the air for 250 yards and three scores and he added 79 yards and a TD on the ground. Rubal caught three passes for 108 yards and two scores. Jake Weddle posted a game-high 18 tackles to lead the Choctaw defense.

No. 3 Linfield 28, Pacific (Ore.) 22

FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Needing a stiff test to prepare for next week's Division III tournament, third-ranked Linfield got exactly that from the upset-minded Pacific Boxers Saturday at charged-up Lincoln Park Stadium.

Wildcats quarterback Josh Yoder galloped for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, turning away a feisty Boxers team with a gritty 28-22 Northwest Conference victory that kept the Wildcats' record spotless at 9-0, 6-0 in the NWC. Yoder rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries, three of them touchodowns, and completed 10 of 16 passes for another 89 yards.

Overcoming a six-point halftime deficit, Linfield secured its fifth consecutive outright Northwest Conference championship and 37th in program history. And by extending their conference-record NWC win streak to 32 games, the Wildcats wrapped up their fourth unbeaten regular season in five years.

Pacific, 7-3 overall, completed its finest season since reinstating its football program four years ago. The resurgent Boxers, whose three losses came by a total of 11 points, placed fourth in the NWC standings with a 3-3 record.

No. 4 North Central (Ill.) 53, Augustana (Ill.) 14

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- The third 10-0 regular season in the history of North Central (Ill.) was made complete Saturday, as the Cardinals stormed to a 53-14 victory against Augustana (Ill.) on Senior Day at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

Fourth-ranked North Central put its stamp on the game with 23 unanswered first-quarter points and owned a 40-7 halftime advantage as the Cardinals locked up the outright College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship.

The hosts put the game's first possession into the end zone after just over three minutes had elapsed, as Spencer Stanek completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chad O'Kane. After a Viking punt, Stanek went to O'Kane for another score just two plays later, completing a 46-yard toss to extend the lead to 13-0.

North Central's first defensive touchdown came on the ensuing drive, as linebacker Nick Slezak scooped up a fumbled option pitch and ran it back 22 yards to paydirt. Augustana punted away its next drive, and after six straight rushing attempts by Matt Randolph, kicker Nick Dace came on to convert a 20-yard field goal with 3:33 on the first-period clock.

The Cardinals' first punt of the day was a 64-yarder by Kevin Looff which was mishandled by Augustana, enabling Ryne Rezac to recover the ball at the Vikings' nine-yard line. Dace wound up kicking a 29-yard field goal with 10:48 left in the opening half, extending the lead to 26-0.

Stanek highlighted North Central's next scoring drive by completing four straight passes, including a fade route to Peter Sorenson in the left corner of the end zone for a three-yard touchdown. A penalty on the ensuing kickoff gave the Vikings a short field, and Augustana put together an eight-play, 53-yard drive to get on the board after a five-yard TD run by quarterback Chris Salazar with 24 seconds before halftime.

No. 5 Wisconsin-Whitewater 43, Wisconsin-River Falls 6

WHITEWATER, Wis. -- Fifth-ranked UW-Whitewater defeated UW-River Falls 43-6 Saturday afternoon in Perkins Stadium, earning the Warhawks' eighth Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in the last nine years, sole possession of the title for the seventh time, and the sixth undefeated league slate in that span.

UW-W started fast, with Matt Behrendt connecting to Jake Kumerow on a 45 yard pass on the first play of the game.  Four plays later Behrendt hooked up with Kyle Christensen on a four yard scoring play. Eric Kindler's kick made it 7-0 with just 1:05 off the clock.

River Falls answered later in the first quarter with a 15 play, 74 yard drive that ended at 9:04 with a Tyler Ledbetter to Jordan Christianson 21 yard pass, the Falcons' first pass attempt of the game and, as it turned out, the only pass the Falcons would attempt in the first half. UW-RF went for two on the extra point, but the rush attempt failed.

River Falls couldn't get out of its own side the rest of the half.

Facing a third and 17 at their 18, Ledbetter's fumble was recovered by Josh Williams at the River Falls eight, and two four yard runs by Booker Ross put UW-W in front 14-6 at 11:32 in the second quarter.

On their next possession UW-RF was forced to punt, but Will Jensen's kick was blocked by Loussaint Minett back through the end zone for a Whitewater safety and a 16-6 lead at 9:30.

UW-W limited River Falls  to 11 of 19 passes for 86 yards, the lowest numbers of the season for the Falcons in all three categories and the second time this season Whitewater has held an opponent under 100 yards passing. The Warhawk defense also limited the Falcons to 135 yards rushing, the lowest number by a UW-W opponent this season.  The three fumbles recovered by UW-W tied the season high. Senior linebacker Cole Klotz tied his team season high with 11 tackles (5 solo).

On the plus side for River Falls, the Falcons were penalized five times for 41 yards, their lowest total of the season.

The Whitewater offense wasn't on the field much, with a season low 30 rushing attempts and season low with 13 pass completions.

No. 6 Bethel 28, Saint John's (Minn.) 7

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. -- Already crowned 2013 MIAC football champions, Bethel wasn't satisfied with just a title. Instead they were thirsty for something that had only been done once before in program history—finish the regular season undefeated. So instead of looking past Saint John's (Minn.), the Royals (10-0, 8-0 MIAC) held the Johnnies (7-3, 5-3 MIAC) to seven points and 260 yards of total offense to complete its first undefeated regular season since 2000. The 28-7 victory was the fourth win against a regionally ranked opponent and the sixth against a team with a winning record. Additionally, it was the seventh win over SJU in the past eight matchups.

Quarterback Erik Peterson said after the game that he wanted to model to his team that physical toughness was essential to beat SJU and what a model he was. 188 yards in the air on 12-of-22 throwing and 55 yards rushing on nine carries, alongside four touchdowns (two rushing, two throwing) were exactly what Bethel needed in the triumph.

Peterson found Mitch Hallstrom seven times for 126 yards and a touchdown—Hallstrom's sixth game with at least 95 yards receiving. Hallstrom's sixth catch—a 20-yard completion in the fourth quarter—helped him secure the all-time record at Bethel for career receptions. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native topped the previous mark that was set by Jeremy Belisle from 1996-1999.

The Royals held Saint John's scoreless for the final 43:08—forcing the Johnnies to punt three times in the third quarter. Bethel's Kevin Flaherty was on the receiving end of Connor Brun's second interception of the day late in the fourth quarter at the SJU 33-yard line, which set up Peterson's second and final rushing score of the afternoon.

No. 7 Hobart 42, Rochester (N.Y.) 21

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- No. 7 Hobart generated four takeaways and logged three sacks as the Statesmen completed their second consecutive undefeated regular season, defeating Rochester (N.Y.) 42-21 at Edwin Fauver Stadium.

Hobart (9-0, 7-0 Liberty League) intercepted the Yellowjackets' league-leading passer Dean Kennedy three times and recovered a fumble without turning the ball over. Sophomore linebacker Trayvon Toney logged a game-high 14 tackles (13 solo) to lead the charge. Senior Jolyon Davis had two of the three picks, recording his first on the final play of the first half in the end zone to prevent a Rochester score. He ran back his second 43 yards for a touchdown and a 28-14 third quarter Hobart lead.

Senior linebacker Devin Worthington recorded three tackles for loss, including a sack, breaking the Hobart career record for tackles for loss, previously held by Rob Gould (59.0). Worthington has 61.5 heading into the NCAA tournament. Gould slips back to No. 3 on the all-time list, as junior defensive end Tyre Coleman had one tackle for loss raising his career total to 59.5.

Hobart clinched the Liberty League title outright a week ago when the Statesmen defeated St. Lawrence and Rochester lost to WPI. However, with the win, the Statesmen retain The Centennial Cup, a trophy created in 2007 to mark the 100th game between the Upstate New York rivals. Hobart has won the trophy six times in seven years. The Statesmen lead the all-time series, which began in 1892, 51-48-7.

Senior quarterback Patrick Conlon threw for a pair of touchdowns and junior fullback Dominique Ellis ran for two scores to lead the offense. Junior wideout Elvin Souffrant was Hobart's top receiver with three catches for 77 yards.

No. 8 Johns Hopkins 52, McDaniel 21

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Eighth-ranked Johns Hopkins entered Saturday's regular season finale at McDaniel with its fifth consecutive Centennial Conference title and third NCAA tournament berth in a row already in hand. While head coach Jim Margraff wouldn't have been happy, it would not have been terribly surprising if the eighth-ranked Blue Jays were caught looking ahead to the first round of the playoffs next Saturday.

A senior-laden Blue Jay team would have none of that as Johns Hopkins scored the first four times it had the ball and added a defensive touchdown during that time as well as Hopkins cruised to a 52-21 victory that capped the second perfect regular season in school history.

Johns Hopkins finished its second undefeated regular season in three years with a 10-0 record, including a 9-0 mark in the Centennial. The Blue Jays will learn their tournament draw on Sunday.

The Blue Jays took all the drama out of the 92nd all-time meeting between the two teams in the first quarter with three quick touchdown drives and the defensive score that all but assured a 13th straight win for JHU against its biggest rival.

Hopkins needed just 10 plays and 3:23 to go 65 yards on its first drive with senior quarterback Robbie Matey capping the opening drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Matey was 7-for-8 on the drive for 53 yards with his one-yard TD scamper and an 11-yard run one play earlier the only rushing plays on the drive.

The Blue Jays needed less than four more minutes to extend the lead from 7-0 to 21-0. A 26-yard punt return by freshman Bradley Munday set JHU up at the McDaniel 35 and Matey hit senior Dan Wodicka with a five-yard touchdown pass five plays later to make it 14-0 and freshman Jack Toner returned an interception 36 yards for touchdown on the second play of McDaniel's next drive to give JHU the three-touchdown lead.

No. 12 Wisconsin-Platteville 17, No. 10 Wisconsin-Oshkosh 16

OSHKOSH, Wis. -- Senior kicker Zach Litchfield booted a 37-yard field goal through the uprights with two seconds left on the clock to give No. 12 Wisconsin-Platteville its ninth win of the season against No. 10 Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

The Pioneers (9-1, 6-1 WIAC) won in a matchup where the winner is the odds-on favorite to receive an at-large bid into the Division III tournament.

After forcing a Titan punt, the Pioneers got the ball back with just less than three minutes to play in the fourth quarter and one time out. UW-Platteville marched down to the Titans' 20 yard line with just two seconds left to set up Litchfield's heroic finish.  

With his two passing touchdowns in the game, senior quarterback John Kelly has tallied 31 on the year, surpassing Chris Charnish's school record of 29 passing touchdowns in the 1969 season.

The Pioneers and the Titans played neck-and-neck in the first quarter, as the teams traded punts before UW-Oshkosh's Beau Steffens picked off a pass from John Kelly. The Titans got on the board first on the strength of a 13-play drive following the pick, scoring on a two yard plunge from Cole Myhra.

UW-Oshkosh missed the kick however, so the score stayed 6-0.

The Pioneers took the lead later in the second quarter after Kelly moved the ball down the field, helped by 22- and 23-yard catches from senior wide receiver Ryley Bailey. UW-Platteville scored the go-ahead touchdown as Kelly found Bailey in the end zone from 10 yards out, giving the Pioneers a 7-6 lead.

UW-Oshkosh tacked on a field goal as time expired in the half to hold a 9-7 lead going into the break.

Junior Pioneer linebacker Alex Schleis started the second half off with a bang, as he forced a fumble to halt a Titan drive on their first possession of the half.

After a Pioneer punt, the Titans scored a touchdown on a 12-play drive capped by a two-yard rush from Myhra.

UW-Platteville answered with a drive deep into Titan territory that ended in an interception at the three yard line. The Pioneer defense held, forcing a Titan punt.

Kelly and the offense again moved the ball down the field through the air, getting down to the UW-Oshkosh five yard line before Kelly was picked off in the end zone.

The defense again forced a Titan punt, and the offense avoided any mistakes to score a touchdown on a 23-yard pass from Kelly to junior receiver Trevor Whitehead to make it 16-14, which set up the dramatic finish.

Whitehead finished the day with 14 catches and 131 yards and the score, while Kelly went 30-45 with 340 yards.

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