/playoffs/2011/mount-union-returns-to-stagg

Mount Union returns to Stagg

More news about: Mount Union | Wesley
Isaiah Scott picked off three passes and Jasper Collins caught three touchdowns in Mount Union's win against Wesley.

Every year, the challenge is there for the University of Mount Union football program. Get back to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl and play for the Division III national championship.

The 2011 version of the Purple Raiders tackled that challenge head on, and as a result will head back to Salem, Va., for Stagg Bowl XXXIX. They will face UW-Whitewater, which shut out St. Thomas 20-0 in the day's other national semifinal.

Mount Union (14-0), ranked No. 2 by the D3football.com and American Football Coaches Association polls, defeated No. 7 Wesley (Del.), 28-21, on Saturday, in a national semifinal at Mount Union Stadium.

Junior quarterback Matt Piloto threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns, tying a career high, and the Purple Raiders turned two third-quarter takeaways into touchdowns, advancing to their seventh consecutive Stagg Bowl and 15th in school history.

The Stagg Bowl will be played on Friday, December 16, with a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2.

Three of Piloto's scoring passes went to junior wide receiver Jasper Collins, covering 26, 31 and 18 yards. Collins caught nine passes overall for 139 yards.

Senior wide receiver A.J. Claycomb caught the other TD pass from Piloto.

"We were pretty pleased with our performance [on offense]," said Piloto. "We got off to one of our better starts which we emphasized all week."

Wesley (12-2) also moved the ball effectively, finishing with 496 total yards, but the Wolverines were done in by six turnovers. Mount Union junior defensive back Isaiah Scott had three interceptions, senior defensive back Alex Ferrara had a pick, and Wesley fumbles were recovered by junior defensive back Alex Nicholls and sophomore defensive lineman Matt Fechko.

"I think we had to adjust to their speed," said Mount Union junior defensive back Nick Driskill, who led the Purple Raiders with 13 tackles, including one for loss. "Their quarterback is a really good player."

Wesley senior quarterback Shane McSweeny was 19 of 33 for 350 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed for an additional 62 yards. Running back Askia Jahad added 77 yards on the ground, but his fumble on the first play of the second half gave Mount Union the ball at the Wolverines' 39. Seven plays later Piloto found Claycomb in the corner of the end zone, and a two-point conversion gave Mount Union a 21-14 lead with 12:04 left in the third quarter.

"We definitely left some plays on the field," said Wesley coach Mike Drass. "We wish we could have had some of them back. Defensively, even after the turnovers, we have to step up, but we couldn't keep them out of the end zone."

D3reports from this game

The Purple Raiders struck first, taking the opening kickoff and driving 79 yards in seven plays, with Piloto hitting Collins over the middle from 26 yards out. Collins broke a tackle at the 2 before getting into the end zone. The extra point was missed, leaving Mount Union ahead 6-0.

Wesley answered on its first drive, moving 65 yards in 11 plays, with quarterback McSweeny diving in from the 1. Dan Tryon's extra point gave the Wolverines a 7-6 lead with 5:22 remaining in the opening quarter.

The drive was momentarily stopped when McSweeny was intercepted by Scott, but Scott fumbled the ball on the return and Wesley recovered.

Mount Union regained the lead with a six-play, 71-yard drive, with Piloto hitting Collins in the right corner of the end zone from 31 yards out. Tyler Almeida's extra point made it 13-7 for the Purple Raiders with 2:38 left in the quarter.

After an exchange of punts, Wesley struck quickly to regain the lead. McSweeny found Matt Barile behind the secondary and hit him in stride for a 70-yard touchdown, and Tryon's extra point made it 14-13 in favor of Wesley with 8:45 left in the first half.

Each team had scoring chances but were turned away. Wesley twice had the ball inside the Mount Union 15, but McSweeny was intercepted — again — by Scott in the end zone, and Tryon's 32-yard field goal missed wide left.

The Purple Raiders got the ball in the final minute and three Murray runs for 49 yards, and a personal foul penalty on Wesley, allowed Mount Union to attempt a 32-yard field goal, which was blocked by the Wolverines' Tyler Hardy.

McSweeny lost a fumble on Wesley's second possession of the third quarter, and Mount Union responded with a five-play, 42-yard drive, Piloto hitting Collins from 18 yards out. Almeida's extra point made it 28-14 with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter.

Wesley closed the score to 28-21 on an 81-yard pass and run from McSweeny to Matt Barile, and Tryon's extra point, with 13:30 remaining in the game.

But the Purple Raiders stopped Wesley on two fourth down plays on their next possessions, and Scott ended the Wolverines' final drive with his third interception of the game.

"We played a good second half of defense today," said Mount Union coach Larry Kehres. "In the first half we were very average.

"Offensively, we got off to a good start, but we're still trying to put together an entire game."

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Framingham State
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Juniata
Live stats
12:00 PM
Becker at Dean
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Salisbury at TCNJ
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
MIT at Catholic
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Maine Maritime
Video Preview
12:00 PM
Endicott at Hobart
Video Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Nichols at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Widener at Albright
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Montclair State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bowdoin
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Williams at Colby
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Amherst at Hamilton
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Moravian
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Brevard at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Geneva at Thiel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Southern Virginia
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Lycoming at King's
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Husson at Western New England
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at DePauw
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Allegheny at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Lebanon Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Ferrum
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Gettysburg at McDaniel
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Denison
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Northwestern (Minn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Crown at Eureka
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Northern
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Defiance at Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Marietta
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Franklin at Bluffton
Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
Anderson at Hanover
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Manchester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Worcester State at Westfield State
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coast Guard at Norwich
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Fitchburg State
Live stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Preview Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Sewanee at Millsaps
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Rhodes
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Greenville at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Chapman at Trinity (Texas)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Loras
Video Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Washington U. at Wartburg
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Carleton
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Central
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Simpson at Coe
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Grinnell
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Ripon at Knox
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at MacMurray
Video
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Macalester
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2:30 PM
WPI at Springfield
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Beloit at Cornell
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Hartwick
Audio
4:00 PM
Carroll at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at St. Scholastica
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
UW-Eau Claire at George Fox
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Salve Regina at Western Connecticut
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Adrian at UW-Stevens Point
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Tufts at Wesleyan
Video Preview Live stats
6:00 PM
Methodist at Averett
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Centre at Berry
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
Lake Forest at Lawrence
Video Video
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
St. Vincent at Grove City
Box Score Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Carthage at Augustana
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Chicago at Illinois College
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
McMurry at Sul Ross State
Audio
7:30 PM
Capital at Wilmington
Video Preview Live stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Arizona Christian at Whittier
Video Live stats
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio Audio
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Preview Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio