Story and photo courtesy of Mount Union Athletics
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - No. 1 ranked Mount Union matched an NCAA record with its sixth consecutive shutout as the Purple Raiders blanked Otterbein 51-0 in an Ohio Athletic Conference game Saturday in Westerville.
It was the 70th consecutive regular season victory for the Raiders (7-0, 6-0 OAC) and was the 324th coaching victory for head coach Larry Kehres (324-24-3) moving him past Paul "Bear" Bryant for fourth on college football's all-time wins list.
The nation's top ranked defense again put on another impressive performance as they held Otterbein (5-2, 4-2 OAC) to 96 total yards (17 rushing) and forced four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble). Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) led the unit with six tackles.
All of this was more than enough for an offense that generated 532 yards as senior running back T.J. Lattimore (Maple Heights/Maple Heights) had a career-high three rushing touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) completed 19-of-28 passes for 259 yards, threw for two scores and was also the Raiders' leading rusher with 83 yards on 11 carries.
Senior wide receiver Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) posted his second straight 100-yard receiving performance with six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) had his fourth punt return of the season for a touchdown as he took one back 54 yards for a score.
Otterbein received the opening kickoff and moved 50 yards to the Mount Union 29 before an interception by freshman linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam). It was the deepest penetration for the Cardinals for the game and they managed just 46 yards the rest of the game.
Mount Union turned the interception into points as eight plays later Lattimore scored from one-yard out.
The Raiders tacked on another score as senior Jake Simon (Parma Heights/Holy Name) scored on a one-yard run right at the end of the first quarter to make it 14-0.
Lattimore punched in another one-yard score early in the second quarter and Burke tossed a 36-yard scoring pass to Collins which gave the Raiders a 27-0 lead at halftime.
Burke capped the opening drive of the second half with a 16-yard strike to Shannon Stewart (Bloomdale/Elmwood) to extend the lead to 34-0. Stewart had a career-high 73 yards receiving.
Lattimore ran in from nine yards out for his third score of the game and Denton had his kick return with two minutes to play in the third as it wass 48-0.
Freshman Isaac Spearman (Railroad, Pa./Susquehannock) hit a 24-yard field goal with 2:11 left in the game to finish the scoring.
Mount Union returns home to host No. 16 in the nation Heidelberg in a key conference game next Saturday at 1:30 pm at Mount Union Stadium.