Raiders still undefeated on the season

Oct. 2, 2004

From Mount Union College Athletics

(muc.edu/athletics)-- Mount Union College (4-0, 3-0 OAC) earned a 49-7 Ohio Athletic Conference win over #11 Capital University (3-1, 2-1 OAC) in front of a Bernlohr Stadium record crowd of 3,649 in Bexley, Ohio, on Saturday, October 2.

Mount Union took the opening possession and marched deep in Capital territory but failed on a 21-yard field goal. The Crusader offense took over and crossed midfield before Raider cornerback Josh Reger came up with his first career interception.

The Raiders would take advantage of the pick and march 60 yards on 13 plays with running back Rick Ciccone taking it in from one-yard out. George Wilders added the PAT and Mount Union led 7-0 with 0:36 remaining in the first quarter. The key play of the drive came when Mount Union converted a fourth and one at midfield.

On their second possession, the Crusaders converted on two fourth downs but the drive was stopped when Raider end Johnny Joseph sacked quarterback Rocky Pentello on fourth down on Mount Union's 40 yard line.





Two possessions later, the Raiders would pin the Crusaders back on their four yard line when Steve Watson got off a 59-yard punt with just under five minutes to play in the second quarter.

The Raider defense forced a three and out as end Greg Bauer sacked Pentello on third down forcing a punt.

The Purple Raiders, starting with excellent field position on the Capital 39, marched to the 13-yard line and faced a third and nine when receiver Scott Casto took a reverse and scampered in with 1:08 left in the quarter. Teague's PAT made it 14-0 Raiders.

The Raider special teams then came up big when the Crusaders fumbled a reverse attempt on the ensuing kick-off. Safety Jesse Clum recovered the ball on the Capital three-yard line. Bruney scored from one-yard out two plays later at the 0:43 mark. Teague's third PAT gave the Raiders a 21-0 first half edge.

"That turnover deep in their end just prior to halftime was huge," said Raider head coach Larry Kehres afterwards. "There's a big difference being down 21 compared to just two scores. That was a big boost for us."

At half, Mount Union totaled 189 yards of offense compared to Capital's 74. The Raider defense also posted five first half sacks and held the Crusader running game to -7 yards rushing.

The teams exchanged several punts in the third quarter before the Raiders marched 49 yards on eight plays with Bruney taking a quarterback draw in from seven yards outs on third and goal. Wilders added the PAT - making it 28-0 Mount Union with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

Mount Union struck quickly early in the fourth quarter as Bruney connected with Casto on a 64 yard touchdown pass at 12:57 of the quarter. Wilders' PAT gave Mount Union a 35-0 lead.

An 81-yard run from scrimmage by Raider running back Aaron Robinson, the longest from scrimmage for Mount Union this season, set up a one-yard dive by Robinson at 6:46 of the fourth quarter. Wilders added the PAT giving the Purple & White a 42-0 lead.

Capital got on board at the 5:24 of the final frame when Charlie Smith capped a 6-play/60 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Tyler Kazee added the PAT. Mount Union came right back with a 75-yard drive as running back Kelechi Ibeh scored from four yards out at 1:50 of the fourth. Wilders' added the PAT.

The Raiders totaled 529 yards of offense compared to the Crusaders' 235 yards. Mount Union had 368 yards on the ground while Capital had 2 rushing yards on 31 attempts. The Purple Raider defense also had a single-game school-record 10 sacks in the contest.

"Offensive players tend to get more notoriety, but we know how important it is to have an outstanding defensive team," added Kehres. `This group has a goal to be one of the best defensive units we've had. They've certainly gotten off to a terrific start."

Individually, Mount Union's Aaron Robinson had 11 carries for a career-best137 yards and Rick Ciccone had 20 attempts for 87 yards. Ciccone also had a team-best four receptions for 25 yards. Capital receiver Matt Cesaratto had a game-best five receptions for 73 yards. Bruney finished the day 12-of-22 for 161 with one touchdown and one interception while Pentello was 21-of-42 for 228 yards and one interceptions. Defensively, Raider middle linebacker Shaun Spisak had a team-best nine hits and two sacks. Capital cornerback Joel Ruetty finished with a game-best 11 hits.

The victory extends Mount Union's regular season win streak to 98 and its conference consecutive win total to 88 contests. The Raiders have now also posted 48 straight road victories.

The Purple Raiders return home on Saturday, Oct. 9 to face Wilmington. Kick-off from Mount Union Stadium is set for 1:30 p.m.