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D-III: Mary Hardin-Baylor Upsets Mount Union, 38-35; Advances to Title Game

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  • D-III: Mary Hardin-Baylor Upsets Mount Union, 38-35; Advances to Title Game

    Purple Raiders suffer just their third loss in 123 games

    Dec. 11, 2004

    ALLIANCE, Ohio (AP) - Freshman Josh Welch threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Walter Sharp on fourth down with 49 seconds to play, lifting Mary Hardin-Baylor to a 38-35 victory over Mount Union in the NCAA Division III semifinals Saturday.

    Mary Hardin-Baylor outscored Mount Union 17-0 in the fourth quarter to hand the Purple Raiders (12-1) just their third loss in 123 games.

    The Crusaders (13-1) will play for their first championship in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl on Dec. 18 in Salem, Va., against the winner of the semifinal between Linfield and Rowan.

    Mount Union has won six of the last eight Division III titles. Its previous two losses were in the 1999 semifinals to Rowan - a 24-17 setback after 54 straight wins - and to St. John's (Minn.) in last year's title game. That 24-6 loss snapped the longest winning streak in NCAA history at 55 games. Oklahoma set the major-college record for consecutive victories, winning 47 straight from 1953-57.

    Welch completed three key passes on the winning 68-yard drive, including the touchdown that came after he was sacked for a 4-yard loss on third down. After a timeout, Welch threw into a crowd of players in the end zone. Sharp leaped, fought off two defenders and came down with the ball to help the Crusaders become the first team from the American Southwest Conference to advance to the title game.

    Mount Union scored 14 points in 70 seconds late in the third quarter to take a 35-21 lead. Wade Kirk returned a blocked punt 11 yards for a touchdown 1:10 after quarterback Zac Bruney broke a 21-21 tie with a 10-yard scoring run.

    Mount Union took a 21-14 lead 4:10 into the second half when Bruney hit Jason Cavell with a 25-yard TD pass. The Crusaders promptly drove 71 yards to tie it as Chad Starnes ran the final 2 yards on fourth down to score.

    Mount Union went right back the other way, going 62 yards in four plays. Rick Ciccone broke up the middle for 37 yards to the Crusaders' 10 and Bruney ran into the end zone on the next play for a 28-21 lead.

    The Purple Raiders had scored on their first pass, a 51-yard strike from Bruney to Drew Hanley 2:11 into the game. Welch ran 13 yards around left end to tie it eight minutes later, 7-7.

    The Crusaders drove to the Purple Raiders' 8 in the second quarter before Ross Watson intercepted Welch's pass at the goal line to keep it tied.

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  • DJRamFan
    Mount Union Reaches Playoff Semi-Finals For 10th Consecutive Year
    by DJRamFan
    Beat visiting Carthage 38-20 to advance

    Dec. 4, 2004

    From Mount Union Athletics

    Mount Union College (12-0) earned a 38-20 victory over visiting Carthage, WI (11-2) on Saturday, December 4, at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio, clinching a 10th consecutive trip to the Division III Playoff Semi-Finals.

    The Purple Raiders took their opening drive 42 yards on six plays capped off by a 27-yard field goal by kicker George Wilders at 12:16 of the first quarter. Later in the quarter, the Redmen gained excellent field position after a Raider punt into a 20 mile per hour wind was returned 12 yards to Mount Union's six-yard line. Carthage running back Dante Washington scored two plays later from two yards out. Matt Denny's PAT made the score 7-3 Carthage with 8:33 remaining in the first quarter.

    Mount Union's next possession covered 80 yards on 14 plays culminating in a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zac Bruney. Wilders' PAT made the score 10-7 Mount Union with 2:29 left in the first period. During the middle of that drive, the Redmen were called for a five-yard running into the kicker penalty on fourth and six. Mount Union elected to go for it on fourth down and one. Running back Jeff's Strauch's five-yard carry kept the drive alive.

    At 12:48 of the second quarter, Carthage regained the lead when Washington ran in it from one yard out to cap off a 71-yard drive. Denny's PAT made the score 14-10. A team-best 16-yard run by Washington and a 16-yard pass completion from quarterback Ferni Garza to wide receiver Jake Johnson were instrumental in the touchdown march.

    Mount Union answered that score immediately on their first play from scrimmage when Bruney connected with wide receiver Jason Cavell on a 50-yard touchdown pass. Wilders' PAT gave the Raiders a 17-14 lead with 12:33 remaining in the second quarter.

    Carthage would threaten late in the second quarter before Raider cornerback Ross Watson's interception on Mount Union's eight-yard line preserved the 17-14 lead heading into the break.

    The Redmen took their first possession of the third quarter and marched 42 yards on 10 plays culminating in a 37-yard field goal by Denny with 10:07 left in the third. That tied the score at 17-17.

    "Every loss hurts, especially when you are tied with Mount Union in the third quarter, it probably hurts a little more," said Carthage head coach Tim Rucks. "That doesn't diminish from what our guys accomplished this year. I'm extremely proud of this group of players."

    On Carthage's next possession, Raider middle-linebacker Shaun Spisak, who had a game-best 17 hits, forced a fumble that was recovered by end Marcello DeAngelis on the Redmen 30 yard line. Bruney followed with a 21-yard touchdown run on fourth and one at 3:42...
    -12-09-2004, 12:27 PM
  • DJRamFan
    D-III No. 1 Mount Union Takes Down No. 11 Capital
    by DJRamFan
    Raiders still undefeated on the season

    Oct. 2, 2004

    From Mount Union College 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...
    -10-04-2004, 11:59 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Syracuse Buffaloes Bulls
    by DJRamFan
    Syracuse 31, Buffalo 0

    Sept. 10, 2005

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Damien Rhodes ran for 236 yards and scored four touchdowns, leading Syracuse to a 31-0 victory over Buffalo on Saturday for Greg Robinson's first win as coach of the Orange.

    The Bulls (0-2) were shut out for the third straight game dating back to last season. They lost 38-0 at Connecticut last week in their season opener and also were beaten 29-0 by the Huskies in the 2004 season finale.

    Rhodes' rushing total was 16 yards shy of the school record of 252 yards by Joe Morris against Kansas in 1979 and 5 yards off the Carrier Dome mark set two years ago by Walter Reyes against Central Florida.

    Rhodes gained 216 yards on 19 carries and scored three times in the first half to help the Orange (1-1) take a 24-0 halftime lead. He scored on runs of 27, 50, and 54 yards, the last one alone equaling the Bulls' offensive production for the half.

    Buffalo never seriously threatened to score in the game and finished with 123 yards on offense.

    Syracuse went ahead 7-0 late in the first quarter, despite some early rumbling from the home crowd. The jeers came after 6-foot-4 quarterback Perry Patterson, ineffective in last week's 15-7 loss to West Virginia, had a pass batted away on a second-down play, but the junior quickly regrouped.

    After scrambling 10 yards for a first down, Patterson hit tight end Tom Ferron for 30 yards down the right side. Rhodes followed Ferron's first career catch with a 27-yard touchdown run.

    A year ago, Buffalo threw a scare into the Orange, taking a 10-3 lead in the first quarter before Syracuse scored 34 straight points and won 37-17 at Buffalo. There was no scare on this day - the Bulls drove past midfield only three times and Ben Woods punted 11 times for the second straight week.

    After Buffalo failed to gain a first down after Syracuse's scoring drive, a high snap caused a short punt by Woods and the Orange took over at midfield. On third-and-10, Rhodes broke free over left tackle and raced untouched into the end zone with 12:15 left in the half for a 14-0 lead.

    Ricky Krautman added a 21-yard field goal for the Orange midway through the second quarter before Rhodes struck again.

    After the Bulls moved into Syracuse territory for the first time on runs of 11 and 25 yards by quarterback Stewart Sampsel, Orange safety Anthony Smith made his second interception of the game and Syracuse took over at its own 27.

    Rhodes gained 19 yards on consecutive runs and followed with a 54-yard sprint up the middle on the next play. He scored his final touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter and sat out the fourth.

    Buffalo defensive tackle Rob Schroeder blocked a field goal attempt by Krautman early in the second...
    -09-11-2005, 12:28 PM
  • DJRamFan
    No. 22 Florida 52, Middle Tennessee 16
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 16, 2004

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Chris Leak threw three touchdown passes, DeShawn Wynn scored three times and No. 22 Florida rebounded from a home loss to LSU with a 52-16 victory against Middle Tennessee on Saturday.


    Leak, who was 15-of-33 for a season-low 142 yards in a 24-21 loss to the Tigers, completed 17 of 22 passes for 316 yards against the Blue Raiders (2-4).

    He was rarely pressured, giving him plenty of time to find open receivers. He had TD passes to O.J. Small, Andre Caldwell and Chad Jackson before sitting out the fourth quarter.

    Wynn ran for 81 yards, and Ciatrick Fason added 48 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

    Defensively, the Gators (4-2) gave up more yards than they wanted. But for the most part, they kept Middle Tennessee out of the end zone.

    Clint Marks, who completed 30 of 34 passes for 447 yards with four touchdowns last week against Arkansas State, was hurried all afternoon and threw two interceptions.

    The game went about like expected: a mismatch from the opening kickoff. It was supposed to be played as the season opener but was postponed six weeks because of Hurricane Frances.

    The Swamp was about half empty when the fourth quarter started. The game was considered a sellout even though there were thousands of empty seats. The reasons? The weak opponent, it was the fourth consecutive home game, it was an early start and the Gators already have two losses.

    Nonetheless, Florida was ready from the start.

    The Gators scored on their first four possessions and led 24-3. They also scored touchdowns on all three drives in the third quarter, opening up a 36-point lead.

    After forcing the Blue Raiders to punt to open the third, Leak found Jackson for a 33-yard touchdown that made it 38-13. It was the second one-play scoring drive of the game. Leak had a 62-yard TD pass to Caldwell early in the second quarter.

    Colby Smith hit his third field goal for Middle Tennessee to make it 38-16, but the Gators quickly answered.

    Leak hooked up with Dallas Baker for a 41-yard gain, and then Fason ran 20 yards on the next play to make it 45-16.

    But Leak wasn't done.

    Middle Tennessee - which fell to 0-8 against ranked opponents since joining Division I-A in 1999 - punted for the fifth time, and Leak quickly drove the Gators back down the field. Wynn capped the drive with a 9-yard score. He also has TD runs of 5 and 15 yards.

    The Gators were short-handed on defense, playing without two starters. Linebacker Channing Crowder and safety Jarvis Herring were suspended in July for the Middle Tennessee game after an alleged dispute with police. Reserve running back Skyler Thornton also was suspended for the game, but for another off-the-field...
    -10-16-2004, 02:50 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Turnovers Bite Huskies at Michigan
    by DJRamFan
    No. 4 Michigan 33, Northern Illinois 17

    Sept. 3, 2005

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan made Northern Illinois pay for its mistakes, using turnovers to turn a competitive game into a lopsided win.

    Mike Hart ran for 117 yards and a scored two touchdowns, and the fourth-ranked Wolverines took advantage of five Northern Illinois giveaways to beat the Huskies 33-17 on Saturday.

    A season after leading the nation by losing only one fumble, the Huskies lost four fumbles and threw an interception while the Wolverines turned it over only once.

    "If you win the turnover battle, statistics say you win 79 percent of the time," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "If the turnovers were 1-1, the score would've been much different."

    The Wolverines led just 14-10 early in the second quarter before scoring 19 straight points in the opener for both schools.

    The Huskies ran for 211 yards and threw for 200, but they were doomed by the turnovers and a blocked field goal.

    "I honestly thought we had a shot if we didn't turn it over," said coach Joe Novak, who has built Northern Illinois into a mid-major power after it lost 23 straight from 1996-98.

    Michigan's Chad Henne was 20-of-31 for 227 yards and two TD passes. Jason Avant had nine receptions for 127 yards and a score. Hart had 27 carries and ran for more than 100 yards for the sixth time in his last eight games. He also caught four passes for 49 yards.

    The Wolverines scored TDs on their first three drives, missed a field goal on their fourth and led 27-10 at halftime after converting 8 of 10 third downs.

    "Offensively, we played as well in the first half as any team since I've been at Michigan," said Carr, in his 11th year as head coach.

    Adrian Arrington, Michigan's promising No. 3 receiver, was carted off the field with ice packed on his right ankle after he returned a kickoff early in the second quarter. Carr said he's going to miss some time, but didn't elaborate.

    Garrett Wolfe had 17 carries for 148 yards and a TD for the Huskies, but his fumble in the second quarter was the first of their turnovers.

    "With my fumble, everything started to turn around," he said. "The game started to go downhill for us."

    Phil Horvath was 17-of-25 for 200 yards with an interception and a fumble.

    Northern Illinois had some success against the Wolverines' high-powered offense, but not when it counted most on third downs.

    Michigan opened with a 14-play drive - converting four third downs - ending with Avant's leaping 4-yard catch in the corner of the end zone.

    The Huskies responded with a 16-play possession, but they missed their first of many opportunities...
    -09-05-2005, 08:21 AM