No. 2 Mount Union Football Blanks St. Lawrence in NCAA Playoffs
|Matt Mattox clears the way for Jeremy Murray, who
scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to start the first-round
Photo by Dan Poel for d3photography.com
ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union head football coach Larry Kehres recorded his 300th career victory as the No. 2-ranked Purple Raiders defeated St. Lawrence, 49-0, in an NCAA Tournament first-round matchup at Mount Union Stadium on Saturday.
Sophomore quarterback Neal Seaman (Louisville/Louisville) completed 16 of 22 passes for 215 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) also excelled for Mount Union's offense, finishing with eight catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns.
On their first possession, the Purple Raiders turned the ball over on downs after stalling on the Saints' 16-yard line.
Two plays later, Mount Union sophomore defensive back Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) made an interception and returned the ball to the Saints' 1-yard line.
Sophomore running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) rushed for a 1-yard score two plays after Driskill's interception. Senior tight end Kyle Miller (Elida/Elida) added a 4-yard touchdown reception from Seaman, giving the hosts a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
The Raiders built a 21-0 lead with a five-yard touchdown run by junior running back Zac Lemmon (Granville/Granville).
Shorts then had touchdown receptions of 13 and 11 yards to give Mount Union a 35-0 halftime lead. He added a 37-yard scoring catch from Seaman in the third quarter, which gave the Raiders a 42-point edge.
Mount Union's final score came in the fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Matt Piloto (Rotonda West, Fla./Lemon Bay) hooked up with junior wide receiver Ben Shenk (East Petersburg, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) for a 19-yard score.
The Purple Raiders outgained the Saints, 471-100, and held a 25-8 first-down advantage.
Senior defensive back Brett Fimbinger (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) made an interception for the Purple Raiders in their own end zone during the fourth quarter.
Senior defensive lineman Lambert Budzinski (Canton/Massillon Jackson) had 2.5 sacks while Driskill, junior linebacker Arthurt Smith (Miami, Fla./Killian) and freshman defensive lineman Nyejel Thomas (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) recorded a half-sack each.
With the victory, Kehres improves his career record to 300-22-3. He became the 11th college football coach in all divisions -- and the fastest -- to reach the 300-win mark.
Now in the Round of 16, the Raiders (11-0) will host Delaware Valley next Saturday at noon. Delaware Valley defeated Salisbury in the first round, 23-12.