No. 1 Mount Union survived a huge scare as No. 12 John Carroll
took the three-time defending champs to three extra periods before
Mount Union had a chance to win the game in regulation but a Rodney Chenos 23-yard field goal attempt was no good. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime and touchdowns in the second before Mount Union quarterback Gary Smeck hit tight end Adam Irgang for a six-yard touchdown in the third overtime. John Carroll threw four incomplete passes, two of them dropped, to end the game.
JCU built a 7-0 lead by taking the opening drive 68 yards in seven plays, capped by a Bobby Kraft one-yard run. JCU was driving again when a Tom Arth fumble was scooped up by Jesse Pearson, who raced 33 yards to tie the score at 7-7.
After the teams traded the lead back and forth, it appeared Mount Union would take a 24-21 lead into the intermission. But the Blue Streaks took a 28-24 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to a 56-yard Hail Mary catch by senior split end Larry Holmes. Holmes had three touchdowns on the afternoon, including one in the second overtime.
The Purple Raiders scored twice in a two-minute span of the fourth quarter to take a 41-34 lead, but John Carroll answered with a Holmes 4-yard touchdown reception from Tom Arth with 59 seconds to tie the game at 41 apiece. A last-minute Mount Union drive set up Chenos' miss.
Mount Union quarterback Smeck ended the day 23-for-26 for 329 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Arth was 21-for-36 for 382 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.