November 29, 2011

#2 Mount Union Makes 20th Straight Appearance in NCAA Quarterfinals Saturday Against #9 Wabash

More news about: Mount Union

#2 Mount Union Purple Raiders (12-0, 9-0 OAC) vs.
#9 Wabash Little Giants (12-0, 6-0 NCAC)
Sat., Dec. 3 - 12 pm - Mount Union Stadium (Alliance, Ohio)

TV:

Joe Tait (play-by-play), Harry Paidas (color): 
WIVM Ch. 52 (Tape Delay - Sat. Dec. 3 at 11 pm, Sun. Dec. 4 at 1 pm) 
SportsTime Ohio (Tape Delay - Sat. Dec. 3 at 11 pm; Mon. Dec. 5 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

WABASH:

THE GAME

No. 2 ranked Mount Union hosts No. 9 ranked Wabash in the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday at noon at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance.

Mount Union (12-0) 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. The Raiders then won their opening round game 47-7 over Benedictine (Ill.) and scored a 30-10 second round victory over Centre (Ky.). The Raiders are making their 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance with a 71-12 record. Mount Union has advanced to the Stagg Bowl 15 times with a record 10 National Championships.

Wabash (12-0), located in Crawfordsville, Ind., scored a 38-20 first round win over Illinois College then rallied from a 28-7 deficit to defeat No. 6 ranked North Central (Ill.) 29-28 in the second round. The Little Giants won the North Coast Athletic Conference championship and automatic bid to the tournament. Wabash is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance with a 9-6 record. The Little Giants lost to Widener (Pa.) in the 1977 Stagg Bowl.

Wabash is led by fourth-year head coach Erik Raeburn, who played and coached at Mount Union and is the nephew of Purple Raider head coach Larry Kehres.

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 second-ever meeting between the two teams, which previously met in the quarterfinals of the 2002 NCAA Playoffs which Mount Union scored a 45-16 win in Alliance.

THE COACHES

Larry Kehres (Mount Union '71) is 315-23-3 (.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.

Erik Raeburn (Mount Union '91) is 39-6 (.867) in his 4th season as head coach at Wabash. Raeburn has led the Little Giants to two NCAC titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances while earning 2011 NCAC Coach of the Year honors. He has a career head coaching record of 97-32 as he was the head coach at Coe (Iowa) College for 8 years leading the Kohawks to three conference titles and two NCAA Playoff appearances. For six years he was an assistant coach at Mount Union and part of national championship teams in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

UP NEXT ...

The winner of this game plays the winner of a matchup between Mary Hardin-Baylor and Wesley (Del.) next Saturday. The NCAA will announce a site on Sunday.

SCOUTING THE LITTLE GIANTS

Wabash trailed only twice during the regular season and never more than a single score until falling behind 28-7 in the second half last week to North Central.  The Little Giants then scored 22 fourth quarter points and took their first lead on a two-point conversion, 29-28, with just under a minute to play.

There is nothing little about the Little Giants (No. 5 vs. the run and No. 13 total defense) and their play on defense as linebackers in senior CJ Gum and freshman AJ Akinribade lead the way.  Gum is an All-American who leads the team in tackles and was the NCAC Defensive Player of the Year while Akinribade is third on team in stops with a team-best 6.0 sacks and was NCAC Newcomer of the year.        

On offense, junior Chase Belton started the first 11 games this season before suffering an injury and in came senior Tyler Burke who tossed for 311 yards and 4 TD's to lead the comeback against North Central.  Who will play under center this week is still a question.

What is not a question is who will be catching the passes in the 1-2 punch of Jonathan Horn (59 rec. 841yds 8 TD's) and Wes Chamblee (53 rec. 805yds 10 TD).  Chamblee is also third in the nation in punt returns.  Vann Hunt is leading rusher with 760yds and 4 TDs.

BY THE NUMBERS

165-6
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.

71-12
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.

58
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.

50
Mount Union has hosted 50-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.

  • 483 John Gagliardi * (Carroll, MT, St. John's, MN)
  • 409 Joe Paterno (Penn State)
  • 408 Eddie Robinson (Grambling 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)
  • 315 Larry Kehres * (Mount Union)
  • 314 Roy Kidd (Eastern Kentucky)
  • 314 Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield, Chicago, Pacific)
  • 305 Frosty Westering (Parsons, Lea, Pacific Lutheran)
  • 300 Tubby Raymond (Delaware)

* Active

THREE OF A KIND IN BACKFIELD

Mount Union has received contributions from three junior running backs this season. Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) managed just 13 yards on five carries against Centre before being knocked out of the game. He has eight 100-yard rushing performances this season and 15 in his career. In 26 career games, Murray has 3,015 yards on 554 attempts with 39 TD's. He is in fifth on the school's all-time rushing list and is 280 yards behind fourth place spot of Russ Kring (3,295 yds. 1983-84, 86-87). Filling in for Murray last week was Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) who had career-highs with 18 carries for 78 yards with a touchdown also fellow junior Jake Simon chipped in 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

DIEUSEUL FUELS THE DEFENSE

Junior defensive end Charles Dieuseul (pronounced Diesel) (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) matched his career-high with 12 tackles last week against Centre. The OAC's Defensive Lineman of the Year also had 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble on the day. He has a team-best eight sacks and three forced fumbles on the season.

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 12 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 179.1 yards per game. They have only allowed 17 first half points all year and just three in the second quarter.

Aside from being related, Larry Kehres and Erik Raeburn attended the same high school -- Southeast High School located just 14 miles north of Mount Union's campus in Alliance and southeast of Ravenna, Ohio.

FERRARA FINALIST FOR GAGLIARDI TROPHY

Senior safety Alex Ferrara (Independence/Walsh Jesuit) was named one of 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy given to the top all-around football player in NCAA Division III.

Ferrara has been a consistent performer for four years on one of nation's top ranked defenses. He is a three-time All-OAC selection, including first team nods in 2010 and 2011, as well as a 2010 All-North Region selection. He has two of his career 12 interceptions this season and scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery against Marietta. He also has blocked a kick and forced a fumble this season.

Off the field, Ferrara, who has a 3.77 grade point average as a business major, is an Academic All-OAC, two-time Academic All-District and an Academic All-American in 2010. He has aided in service projects such as Hugs for Haiti earthquake fundraiser, visited local schools with the Raider Buddy program and assisted with the Trick-or-Treat with the Raiders. In 2009, he traveled to El Salvador to help a needy village on a mission trip.

A record five other Purple Raiders have won the Gagliardi Trophy. Quarterback Jim Ballard won the inaugural award in 1993, fellow quarterback Bill Borchert in 1997, running backs Chuck Moore and Dan Pugh won the award in 2001 and 2002, while quarterback Greg Micheli won the award in 2008.

For the third year, fans will be given one collective vote by casting votes on the web site www.d3football.com. The student-athlete with the highest vote total is named recipient. The field will be narrowed down to four regional finalists who will be invited to an award dinner where the the winner will be announced at banquet on Wednesday, Dec. 14 as part of festivities leading up to the NCAA Division III National Championship game, the Stagg Bowl, in Salem, VA.

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 and may make a friendly wager with the team's offensive line coach and Wabash alum Pete Metzelaars '82.  

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.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos