Story and photo courtesy of Mount Union Athletics
MARIETTA, Ohio – Defense was the best offense for No. 1 ranked Mount Union as the Purple Raiders scored a 52-0 Ohio Athletic Conference win over Marietta on a windy night in Marietta, Ohio.
The Raiders defense had seven sacks and forced three turnovers all in the first half which the offense converted into 21 points that helped Mount Union take a 24-0 lead at the break.
For the game, the nation's No. 1 ranked defense held Marietta (0-3, 0-2 OAC) to zero rushing yards and 90 total yards (19 in the second half). Reigning National Defensive Player of the Year in senior Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) had a seven tackles, a sack an interception and a forced fumble.
The offense generated 496 total yards as senior running back T.J. Lattimore (Maple Heights/Maple Heights) had a pair of rushing touchdowns and his second-straight 100-yard rushing performance with 100 yards on 18 carries.
Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) went 8-of-14 passing for 163 yards with three touchdown passes. One of those went to senior Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) who had six catches for 89 yards.
Mount Union (3-0, 2-0 OAC) wins its 66th consecutive regular season game and head coach Larry Kehres wins career game No. 320 to pass Pop Warner for fifth on college football's all-time wins list.
Mount Union senior linebacker Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) intercepted a pass on Marietta's first possession and seven plays later the Raiders got on the board on a seven-yard touchdown run by Lattimore.
The score stayed 7-0 until early in the second quarter when Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) kicked a 22-yard field goal to make the score 10-0.
On the ensuing possession, Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) made a diving interception at the Marietta 42-yard line. Burke then tossed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) as the lead was pushed to 17-0.
Driskill got things going again three plays later as he sacked Pioneer quarterback Tom Fulton and forced a fumble which gave Mount Union the ball on the 23-yard line.
On the very snap, Burke hit Denton on a 23-yard touchdown pass that took the score to 24-0.
Lattimore capped a 55-yard drive on the Raiders first possession of second half with a three-yard touchdown run.
The score went to 38-0 when Burke on fourth and 25 tossed his third touchdown pass, a 31-yarder to Shannon Stewart (Bloomdale/Elmwood).
Sophomore backup quarterback Roman Namdar (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) had a four-yard touchdown run and tossed a 45-yard touchdown pass to junior Jack Nicholls (Galion/Galion) to finish the scoring.
Mount Union returns home to host Ohio Northern in an OAC game next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1:30 pm at Mount Union Stadium.