November 21, 2011

#2 Mount Union Plays #25 Centre Saturday in NCAA Football Playoff Second Round Game

More news about: Mount Union

#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (11-0, 9-0 OAC) vs.
#25 Centre Colonels (9-1, 5-1 SCAC)
Sat., Nov. 26 - 12 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

TV:

Joe Tait (play-by-play), Harry Paidas (color): 
WIVM Ch. 52 (Tape Delay - Sat. Nov. 26 at 8 pm, Sun. Nov. 27 at 1 pm) 
SportsTime Ohio (Tape Delay - Sun. Nov. 27 at 5 am; Mon. Nov. 28 at Noon)

RADIO:

WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE
WRMU 91.1 FM (Alliance): LISTEN LIVE

LIVE STATS: http://livestats.prestosports.com/mountunion

Complete Mount Union Game Notes in PDF Format: CLICK HERE

CENTRE:

THE GAME

No. 2 ranked University of Mount Union hosts No. 25 Centre (Ky.) College in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday, Nov. 26 at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Mount Union (11-0) completed its sixth straight undefeated regular season to win its 23rd overall and 20th straight Ohio Athletic Conference and an automatic bid into the 32-team tournament then won its opening round game 47-7 over Benedictine (Ill.).

The Purple Raiders are making their 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance with a 70-12record in the NCAA Playoff games. Mount Union has advanced to the Stagg Bowl (National Championship game) 15 times and have won a record 10 National Championships.

Centre (9-1), located in Danville, Ky., scored a 51-41 victory over Hampden-Sydney (Va.) in its first-ever NCAA Playoff game this past Saturday.  The Colonels finished second in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and were selected as one of six national at-large teams to the tournament as their lone loss came in a conference matchup with Trinty (Texas).

MOUNT UNION FOOTBALL ON TV, RADIO AND ONLINE

All Mount Union football games are broadcast on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM and WRMU 91.1 FM and simulcast online along with a LIVE STATS game tracker. You can also here the WRMU 91.1 FM feed on any phone by calling (330) 445-7900.

This game will be shown on television via tape delay on regional sports cable channel SportsTime Ohio and WIVM TV52 (Stark County), WIVN TV29 (New Philadelphia), Time Warner Cable (ch. 989-Stark County, ch. 99-Tuscarawas County), Massillion Cable (ch. 21) and Clear Picture Cable (ch. 21-Wayne County). Image Video produces the broadcasts with Joe Tait, who just finished a 39-year run as the radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers, does the play-by-play and Harry Paidas handles the color commentary.

THE SERIES

This will be the first ever meeting between the teams and the first time that Mount Union has played a team from Kentucky.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 314-23-3 (.927) in his 26th season as head coach and is 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 22 OAC Championships, including the last 20 in a row, along with 10 of the last 18 NCAA Division III National Championships. He is a past president of the American Football Coaches Association and this past summer was the offensive coordinator for Team USA as they won the gold medal in the IFAF World Championships.

Andy Frye (Muskingum '81) is 87-52 (.626) in his 14th season as head coach at Centre.  Frye, the 2003 SCAC Coach of the Year, came to Centre in 1989 and was an assistant coach until taking over as head coach in 1998. He was an assistant coach at his alma mater, OAC member Muskingum, where he was defensive coordinator and head wrestling coach. He was the 1987 OAC Wrestling Coach of the Year.

UP NEXT ...

The winner of this game plays the winner of a matchup between North Central (Ill.) and Wabash (Ind.) next Saturday at noon. The NCAA will announce a site on Sunday.

SCOUTING THE COLONELS

Centre is making its first NCAA Playoff appearance and first post-season footballappearance in 90 years. The Colonels started the season 7-0 before falling to conference rival and No. 13 in the nation Trinity (Texas), 20-14. Centre bounced back to win its regular season finale then scored their first NCAA Playoff win 51-41 against Hampden-Sydney.

Senior quarterback Tyler Osterman runs the offense as he has completed nearly 60-percent of his passes for 1,696 yards with 18 touchdowns with just three interceptions. His brother junior Jason Osterman is one of his top targets as he has a team-best 444 yards receiving with eight TD's along with being the third leading rusher with 337 yards and touchdown on the ground. Other offensive leaders include sophomore receiver Rob Melillo with 39 catches for 427 yards with four TD's and senior running back Jonathan Pinque with 867yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Colonels play a 4-3 defense and are led by senior safety Ryan Gallas, who has 70tackles with a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery. Senior defensive back Kent Crick has a team-best four interceptions and seven pass breakups while senior defensive end Javod Sewell leads the squad with 4.0 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss.

BY THE NUMBERS

164-6
Mount Union's win-loss record since 2000

55, 54
The Raiders hold the NCAA's two longest consecutive college football win streaks -- 55 from 2000-2003 and 54 from 1996-99.

70-12
Mount Union's record in the NCAA Playoffs 

63
game regular season win streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

57
game home winning streak for Mount Union dating back to a 21-14 loss to Ohio Northern in Alliance on Oct. 22, 2005.

104
consecutive regular season road victories for Mount Union dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.

117-0
Since 1996, the Raiders record when winning the turnover battle.

162-1
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 that game, the Raiders had a +1 turnover margin.

49
Mount Union has hosted 49-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 in Madison, which the Raiders won 39-21.

BRACKETOLOGY

For the seventh 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 25 conference champions, one spot is reserved for teams that are independents or in conferences not granted automatic bids and the final six spots are national at-large bids.

Each team is allowed to dress 52 players for a game.  Six additional players can go through warm-ups but must be in street clothes and a jersey during the game.

THE RAIDERS in 2011

Mount Union returns 16 starters and 48 letterwinners in 2011.

300 WIN CLUB

With a 49-0 win over St. Lawrence in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Playoffs, Larry Kehres became the 11th coach in college football history to win at least 300 games. Here is a list of the others.

* Active

THREE FOR MURRAY

Junior running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) matched his season-high with three rushing touchdowns as he ran for 64 yards on 17 carries against Benedictine.  He has eight 100-yard rushing performances this season and 15 in his career. Last week he crossed the 3,000-yard plateau as he in 25 career games, Murray has 3,002 yards on 549 attempts with 39 TD's. He is in fifth on the school's all-time rushing list and is 293 yards behind fourth place spot of Russ Kring (3,295 yds. 1983-84, 86-87).

MR SMITH GOES TO THE RED ZONE ... AGAIN

Senior linebacker Arthur Smith (Miami, Fla./Killian) returned an interception for 44 yards for a touchdown last week against Benedictine. It was the second interception return for a touchdown for Smith this season as he took one back 40 yards for a score earlier this year at Capital. The Raiders have 24 interceptions on the season with four of them returned for touchdowns.

DID YOU KNOW?

Larry Kehres is in his 26th season as head coach but 37th 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. If you include his four years as a quarterback with the Raiders (1967-70), the 1971 Mount Union grad has spent 41 years as a student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach, teacher and administrator in Alliance.

Eight of 11 Mount Union opponents have been held to 200 yards or less of total offense. The Raiders are No. 1 in the nation in total defense allowing 175.5 yards per game. They have only allowed 17 first half points all year and just three in the second quarter.

THREE JUNIORS EARN ALL-OAC SPECIAL AWARDS

Three Mount Union football juniors in offensive lineman Antonio Tate (Cleveland/VillaAngela St. Joseph), defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region)and safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) each earned OAC special awards and were three of 10 Raiders named to the All-OAC First Team by the conference's 10 head coaches.

Tate received the Ken Wable Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award as he startedall 10 regular season games at left tackle for a unit that topped the conference in scoring and total offense. He is the 17th Mount Union player to win the award named for former Raider head coach Ken Wable and first since Derek Blanchard in 2007.

Dieuseul earned the Paul Hoernemann Oustanding Defensive Lineman award as he started all 10 regular season games and was among conference leaders with 5.5 sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss and is a two-time All-OAC First Team pick. He is the 11th Raider to win the awardnamed for College Football Hall of Famer and former Heidelberg coach Paul Hoernemann and first since James Herbert in 2008.

Driskill nabbed the Lee Tressel Outstanding Defensive Back award as he started all 10 games and leads the Raiders in tackles and interceptions while he is the conference leader in passes defended who has earned Academic All-OAC and two-time Academic All-District honors. He is the ninth Raider to win the award named for College Football Hall of Famer and former Baldwin-Wallace coach Lee Tressel and is the first Mount Union player since Drew McClain in 2009 to win the award.

The trio were joined on the All-OAC First Team by senior center Brett Ekkens (Kentwood,Mich./East Kentwood) along with juniors Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) at wide receiver, Matt Mattox (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) on the offensive line and JeremyMurray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) at running back on offense. On defense was senior linebacker Arthur Smith (Miami, Fla/Killian) and senior defensive back Alex Ferrara (Independence/Walsh Jesuit) along with sophomore Matt Fechko (Twinsburg/Twinsburg).

Rounding out the first team selections was senior kicker Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria).

PURPLE RAIDERS IN THE PROs

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon was a sixth round draft pick in 2008 and is in his fourth season as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Cecil Shorts III was a fourth round pick this past spring and is in his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Two Raiders in the NFL coaching ranks are Dom Capers, the defensive coordinator of Green Bay Packers and Nick Sirianni as the offensive quality control coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

NEW TURF, NEW HOME UNIFORMS

Mount Union replaced its 10-year old AstroPlay surface with a new FieldTurf playing surface this past summer. Fans will notice that the football and soccer lines are permanent with two tones of alternating green and black end zones. The black also carries over to new Nike home purple jerseys that the Raiders will wear this season. Mount Union's newest teams -- men's and women's lacrosse will start varsity play in the spring of 2013 and their lines will be painted onto the field. New turf was put in the South end zone which moved the students and band to the North end leading to Mount Union warming up on North side and entering the stadium from the Northwest corner of stadium.

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