Story and photo courtesy of Mount Union Athletics
ALLIANCE, Ohio – No. 1 ranked Mount Union scored 28 first quarter points and never looked back in a 72-14 victory over Christopher Newport (Va.) in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs Saturday at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.
The 72 points was a team record for Mount Union in the playoffs and it was the 65th straight home field win for the Purple Raiders who play No. 15 Johns Hopkins (Md.) in the second round next Saturday at noon at site to be announced by the NCAA Sunday.
Kevin Burke (Westlake/Lakewood St. Edward) completed 11-of-15 passes for 264 yards and three touchdown passes all in the first half as the Raiders led 49-7 at the break.
For the second straight week, Mount Union had a pair of 100-yard receivers as Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) had six catches for 145 yards with two touchdowns and Julius Moore (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen Senior) had three catches for 100 yards with a touchdown.
After forcing a Christopher Newport to punt on the opening possession, the Raiders covered 67 yards on five plays as T.J. Lattimore (Maple Heights/Maple Heights) went in from 10 yards out.
The Captains went three-and-out on their next possession and Chris Denton (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) returned the punt 80 yards for a touchdown. It was Denton's fifth punt return for a score for the season which matched an NCAA record and made the score 14-0 just over five minutes into the game.
Mason Minnich (Greenwich/Ashland Crestview), Drew Prendergast (Minerva/Minerva), Blair Skilliter (Curtice/Genoa) and Jake Simon (Parma Heights/Holy Name) all tacked on rushing touchdowns for the Raiders who had a season-high 641 yards of offense.
The top rated Mount Union defense again had another stellar performance as they held the Captains to just 102 total yards including nine net rushing yards and two total yards in the second half.
All-Americans Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) and Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) each had seven tackles to lead the unit.