Shorts' Four Scores Lead Raiders Past Muskingum
ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Senior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Collinwood/Collinwood) eclipsed 4,000 career yards in receiving and had his first collegiate four-touchdown game -- three on receptions and one on a punt return -- as the No. 2 Mount Union football team defeated Muskingum, 52-0, to claim the outright Ohio Athletic Conference championship.
The Purple Raiders posted their 53rd consecutive regular season victory as they move to 10-0 overall and 9-0. They have won a share of 19 straight OAC titles -- the last 17 outright -- and 22 total.
Shorts finished with seven catches for 106 yards while sophomore running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) ran 14 times for 90 yards and two scores.
Sophomore quarterback Neal Seamon (Louisville/Louisville) completed 19 of 27 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once.
Shorts received touchdown passes of 23 and 19 yards from Seaman, helping Mount Union take a 17-0 first-quarter lead.
Sophomore kicker Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) provided the Raiders' other points in the opening period with a 27-yard field goal.
Murray got in on the action in the second quarter, scoring 9- and 1-yard touchdown runs, which extended Mount Union's advantage to 31-0.
Shorts then returned a punt 54 yards, giving the hosts a 38-0 lead at intermission, before pushing the Raider lead to 45-0 with a 9-yard reception from Seaman.
Junior running back Zac Lemmon (Granville/Granville) provided Mount Union's final touchdown on a 23-yard run in the third quarter.
In total, the Raiders outgained the Fighting Muskies, 451-108.
Defensively, Mount Union recorded three sacks and three turnovers.
Junior defensive lineman Chris Favazzo (Blacklick/Columbus-St. Charles Prep) was the Purple Raiders' leading tackler with six stops.
Junior linebacker Jack LaForce (Vermillion/Vermillion) and freshman defensive lineman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) recorded one sack each while sophomore defensive linemen Jared Modrak (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley) and Frank Orteca (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) combined for a sack.
Senior defensive back Reggie Overton (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) and sophomore defensive back Tyler Alwardt (Macomb Township, Mich./Chippewa) made interceptions and junior defensive back Shane Lester (Dover/Dover) recovered a fumble.
The Purple Raiders now await word from the NCAA, which will come on Sunday, when they learn the location and opponent of their NCAA Tournament first-round opponent.