#2 Mount Union Takes on Alfred (N.Y.) in NCAA Football Playoff Quarterfinals
2010 University of Mount Union Football - NCAA Playoffs
#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (12-0) vs
Alfred (N.Y.) Saxons (10-2)
Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 - 12 pm
Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)
LIVE STATS: Click Here
Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE
No. 2 ranked Mount Union hosts Alfred (N.Y.) in the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Division III Football Championship Saturday at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.
The Purple Raiders are 12-0 after a 31-3 win against Delware Valley in the second round. Mount Union won its 19th straight and 22nd Ohio Athletic Conference title to claim the OAC's automatic bid. Mount Union is making its 22nd NCAA playoff appearance with a record of 67-11 (.855) in the playoffs with 10 national championships (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008). Mount Union has played in the Stagg Bowl national championship game 13 times.
Alfred is 10-2 and won the Empire 8 title for an automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. The Saxons are making their second-straight and third-ever playoff appearance and have a 2-2 record in the playoffs claiming their first two NCAA post-season wins this season.
MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON THE RADIO AND ONLINE
All Mount Union football playoff games will be broadcast on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker at http://athletics.mountunion.edu. Ric Brienza and Mark Grossman broadcast the games on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM. You can listen to Mount Union's student radio feed on WRMU 91.1 FM on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.
The two schools have never met on the football field. Mount Union is 5-0 against current members of the Empire 8 as the Raiders beat Ithaca (N.Y.) 42-18 in 2007 playoffs then went 4-0 against St. John Fisher with playoff games in 2006 (26-14) and 2007 (52-10) and regular season games in 2008 (33-3) and 2009 (52-10).
Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 301-22-3 (.927) in his 25th season as head coach as one of the most successful coaches in college football history as he is one of only 11 coaches in college football history to win at least 300 games. His teams have won 21 OAC Championships, including the last 19 in a row, along with 10 of the last 17 NCAA Division III National Championships. This year he is president of the American Football Coaches Association.
Dave Murray (Springfield, Mass. '81) is 86-49 (.637) in his 13th season as head coach of the Saxons. He has led Alfred to back-to-back Empire 8 conference titles and NCAA Division III playoffs appearances. It is Murray's second head coaching trip to the playoffs as he went in 1990 as head coach at Cortland State (N.Y.). In seven seasons as head coach at Cortland and a season as head coach at Lebanon Valley (Pa.) his combined record is 130-89-1 in 20 seasons.
PLAYOFFS ... TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS
For the sixth year the NCAA Division III Football Championship consists of a 32-team field. For perspective, in Mount Union's first appearance in the playoffs in 1985, the field was 16 teams. This year's field breaks down like this: Automatic bids will be given to 23 conference champions, three spots are reserved for teams that are independents or in conferences not granted automatic bids and the final six spots are national at-large bids.
UP NEXT ...
The winner of this game plays the winner of a matchup between Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rivals Bethel and St. Thomas next Saturday. If St. Thomas wins, they will host the game in St. Paul, Minn. at 1 pm (eastern time).
SCOUTING THE SAXONS
Alfred won its first five games then sandwiched between a pair of non-conference losses to R.P.I. (N.Y.) (27-24) and Rochester (N.Y.) (24-14) was a big conference win against then No. 19 in the nation St. John Fisher (42-31). The Saxons finished the regular season with a pair of wins against Ithaca (N.Y.) (31-17) and Utica (N.Y.) (37-20) to claim the conference title and NCAA bid.
The offense is led by freshman running back Austin Dwyer, who has rushed for 1,390 yds. (217 carries) with 8 TD's. Linebacker Nick Clark is a short-yardage back as he has rushed for 12 TD's. Clark is also the Empire 8 Defensive Player of the Year as he has at team-high 96 tackles with three sacks and three interceptions.
Junior Tom Secky has thrown for 2,640 yards completing 61.8-percent of his passes with 26 touchdowns and 13 inteceptions. His top target is senior wide receiver Ryan Thon 71 catches for 931 yards with 15 touchdowns.
Aside from Clark on defense, junior Marcellus Jones and sophomore Mike Raplee anchor's the defensive line with 85 tackles and six sacks. Junior defensive back Roland O'Brien has seven interceptions and leads a secondary that has 23 interceptions.
With a win last week against St. Lawrence, Larry Kehres became the 11th coach in college football to win at least 300 games. Here is a list of the others.
478 John Gagliardi * (Carroll, Mont.; St. John's, Minn.)
408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling State)
401 Joe Paterno * (Penn State)
377 Bobby Bowden (Samford, West Virginia, Florida State)
323 Paul "Bear" Bryant (Alabama, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M)
319 Pop Warner (Georgia, Carlisle, Pitt, Stanford, Temple)
314 Roy Kidd (Eastern Kentucky)
314 Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield, Chicago, Pacific)
305 Frosty Westering (Parsons, Lea, Pacific Lutheran)
301 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)
300 Tubby Raymond (Delaware)
BY THE NUMBERS
Mount Union's win-loss record since 2000
The Raiders hold the NCAA's two longest consecutive college football win streaks -- 55 from 2000-2003 and 54 from 1996-99
Mount Union's record in the NCAA Playoffs
game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.
game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.
consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.
Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.
The Raiders record since 1990 when winning the turnover battle. That lone loss was a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-LaCrosse in a 1995 national semifinal game in Alliance. In that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.
Mount Union has hosted 46-straight playoff games (not including Stagg Bowl that is played at a neutral site) dating back to a national semifinal vs. Wis.-LaCrosse in 1996 at Camp Randall Stadium, which the Raiders won 39-21.
DID YOU KNOW?
Larry Kehres is in his 25th season as head coach but 36th season working at Mount Union as he spent 10 seasons (1975-84) as an assistant coach to Ken Wable then in 1985 worked only as director of athletics before becoming head football coach and director of athletics in 1986. You might not know, he was also the first swimming coach at Mount Union.
Eight of 12 Mount Union opponents have been held to 200 yards or less of total offense. The Raiders are No. 2 in the nation in total defense allowing 191.0 yards per game. They have also not allowed a point in the last 11 quarters.
MAKE IT A DOZEN
All-American senior wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland/Collinwood) has scored 12 touchdowns over the last four weeks after being out for a month -- an 80 yd. kickoff return, a 54 yd. punt return and nine receiving TD's and a rushing TD. He caught a 20-yard touchdown pass and ran in five yard touchdown against Delaware Valley. He enters this week with a school-record 239 catches for 4,335 yards with 60 TD's in 52 career games.
(NOTE: Prior to 2002, playoff games did not count in NCAA statistics, if those stats counted Adam Marino (1997-2000) would have 272 rec. for 4,704 yds with 52 TD's).
Senior defensive end Lambert Budzinski (Canton/Massillon Jackson) had two sacks against Delaware Valley to give him 17.0 for the season. The 17.0 sacks is the second highest total in the nation this season and sets a new Mount Union single-season record topping the 16 by Mike Jarrett in 1986. The Raiders have 45 sacks in 2010 which is good for the second highest total in the nation. Sophomore defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) is next with 7.5 sacks while freshman defensive end Nyejel Thomas (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) has come off the bench with 6.5 sacks.
MURRAY MAKES HIS WAY
Sophomore running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) had an 81-yard run for a touchdown on Mount Union's first offensive play against Delaware Valley. It was the longest run by a Raider since current running back coach Nate Kmic had a school-record tying 95-yard run against UW-Whitewater in the 2005 Stagg Bowl. Murray finished the game with 19 carries for 181 yards and for the season has 250 carries for 1403 yards and 19 TD's.
SEVEN RAIDERS EARN ACADEMIC HONORS
A record seven University of Mount Union football players have been awarded ESPN Academic All-District IV honors as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Senior tight end Kyle Miller (Elida/Elida), senior linebacker Sam Kershaw (West Jefferson/West Jefferson), junior safety Alex Ferrara (Independence/Walsh Jesuit), sophomore defensive back Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood), and sophomore punter Zak Suhar (Cedarburg, Wis./Cedarburg) are all first team selections and will advance to the national Academic All-America ballot. Junior offensive lineman Brett Ekkens (East Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) and sophomore quarterback Neal Seaman (Louisville/Louisville) both garnered second team honors.
PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs
Former Mount Union wide receiver Pierre Garcon is in his third season with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, had a game-high 5 catches for 72 yards in the Colts 36-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Garcon had a breakout season in 2009 as he started 16 games including Super Bowl XLIV where he caught one of his six touchdowns on the season. Against the NY Jets in the AFC Championship game, he had 11 catches for 151 yards and his post-game celebration that included waiving a Haiti flag (birthplace of his parents) made national news headlines as he was bringing awareness to the nation that was ravaged by an earthquake just days before the game. This past offseason he returned to Mount Union and completed his bachelor's degree in communications. He had 3,363 yards and 47 touchdowns receiving in three seasons at Mount Union. He played his freshman season at Norwich (Vt.) in the Empire 8 against Alfred and in 2008 the Colts drafted him in the sixth round (208 overall).
Nick Sirianni '03 is in his second season as an assistant coach (offensive quality control) with the Kansas City Chiefs ... Mount Union alum Dom Capers '72 is the defense coordinator for a Green Bay Packers ... Former Mount Union quarterback Kurt Rocco has signed a contract to play for the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League ... Former Mount Union wide reciever Brandon Boehm has signed a contract to play for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Ultimate Indoor Football Leauge. Boehm was a three-year letterwinner (2005-07) who had 91 catches for 1,178 yards.