September 22, 2010

Muskingum travels to 10th-ranked Ohio Northern in key OAC showdown

More news about: Muskingum

The Muskingum University football team hits the gridiron this Saturday when it travels to Ohio Athletic Conference foe and 10th-ranked Ohio Northern University in a battle of unbeaten teams.

Muskingum (2-0, 1-0) beat rival Marietta College last weekend, 31-23. The win was the second straight for the Muskies in the annual Shrine Game series against the Pioneers and extended the Muskies' OAC road winning streak to three games dating back to last season. Ohio Northern (2-0, 1-0) grabbed a 34-10 win at 18th-ranked Otterbein University to extend its current winning streak to nine games dating back to last year.

Last season's contest was a shoot-out in New Concord in which the Polar Bears narrowly escaped with a 37-34 win. In 2008, the Muskies handed the Polar Bears a 35-21 setback in Ada.

The Muskies will lean on its strong defensive unit, which ranks 11th in total defense and eighth in pass efficiency defense in NCAA Division III, to slow down the Polar Bear offense that is averaging 34.5 points a game.

The hard-hitting unit is led by its all-conference caliber junior linebackers Alex Thomas, Ethan Wetzel and James Beatty.

Thomas and Wetzel share the team lead for tackles averaging 7.5 stops per game. Thomas also ranks sixth in Division III with two interceptions. Beatty is third on the squad averaging five hits per game.

The defensive line is anchored by sophomore Jake Antolak and senior Chad Bajc. Antolak has brought down nine ball carriers, while Bajc who ranks in Muskingum's top 10 all-time for sacks, has five tackles.

Seniors KB Justus and CJ McArthur lead the secondary. Justus has six tackles and one sack. McArthur, last week's OAC Special Team Player of the Week for his blocked punt,
has collected four tackles, one pass breakup and one blocked kick.

Muskingum's spread-option offense, which is scoring 25.0 points per contest, is led by senior quarterback Jake Burns. Burns was honored for his play against Marietta with OAC Offensive Player of the Week accolades. He leads the team in both passing and rushing. He has thrown 140 yards on 10-of-18 passing with one touchdown. On the ground, he has amassed 104 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns.

In the backfield with Burns in junior running back Demetrius Bailey. Bailey has rushed 33 times for 100 yards in the first two games of the season and provides a big-play threat when he touches the ball. Bailey has also caught five passes out of the backfield for 40 yards and a score.

The Muskies have seven receivers with receptions this season. The receiver corps are led by junior Antowan Logan and senior Ben Smith. Logan has caught five passes for 59 yards, while Smith has added four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Andrew Davis and freshman tight end Wes Rataiczak have each logged two catches on the year.

Muskingum has also benefited from impressive special teams play early in the campaign. The unit has blocked two punts, recovered one blocked punt for a touchdown and forced and recovered a fumble on a kickoff. Freshman kicker Caleb Carpenter ranks second in the league with three field goals made (22, 29, 39) and sophomore punter Danny Snively has the second longest punt (55 yards) in the conference and ranks sixth overall in punting average (34.8 ypp).

Ohio Northern's 35th ranked scoring offense in Division III is directed by quarterback Kyle Simmons. Simmons has thrown for 385 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has added 101 yards rushing with two scores. Overall, Simmons ranks second in the OAC it total offense averaging 243 yards per contest.

The Polar Bear ground game is paced by Brent Donley who ranks second in the league averaging 105 yards per game. He's averaging 4.1 yards per tote and has rushed for two touchdowns.

Jay Priest, Brook Crawford and Ryan Fleming lead the Ohio Northern receivers. Priest has nine catches for 97 yards and Crawford has seven catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. Fleming has logged six grabs for 102 yards.

The Polar Bear defense, which allows 15.5 points per outing, is led by Jesse Richards with 14 tackles. Chad Coward has 13 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups, while Marcus Bodamer has 12 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss. Justin Henck has two interceptions, including one for a touchdown to help lead the secondary.

Ohio Northern also benefits from special teams play. The Polar Bears lead the nation in net punting averaging 46.2 yards per boot.

Kick off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Ada, Ohio and can be heard live on WMCO 90.7 FM and on the Muskingum web broadcasting network located at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/musk.portal#.

comments powered by Disqus
Nov. 22: All times Eastern
Final - OT
MIT 27, at Husson 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 63, Adrian 3
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 52, Hampden-Sydney 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 63, Centre 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wabash 33, Franklin 14
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 29, at Delaware Valley 26
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 22, Ithaca 15
Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 41, at Wittenberg 25
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Widener 36, Muhlenberg 35
Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 24, Rowan 16
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wartburg 37, St. Thomas 31
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 43, Benedictine 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Whitewater 55, Macalester 2
Box Score Photos
Final
at St. John's 35, St. Scholastica 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Linfield 55, Chapman 24
Box Score Recap Photos
Nov. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 27, Texas Lutheran 20
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Nov. 22: All times Eastern
Final
Salve Regina 48, at Norwich 21
Box Score
Final
at Wabash 33, Franklin 14
Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 41, at Wittenberg 25
Box Score Recap Photos
Final - OT
MIT 27, at Husson 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 63, Adrian 3
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 52, Hampden-Sydney 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 63, Centre 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 29, at Delaware Valley 26
Box Score Recap
Final
at Widener 36, Muhlenberg 35
Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 24, Rowan 16
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Hobart 22, Ithaca 15
Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Framingham State 42, RPI 36
Box Score
Final
at Salisbury 48, Albright 27
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at St. John Fisher 28, Western Connecticut 14
Box Score
Final
at Morrisville State 52, Utica 41
Box Score Recap
Final
Buffalo State 59, at Waynesburg 36
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 43, Benedictine 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wartburg 37, St. Thomas 31
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. John's 35, St. Scholastica 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 55, Macalester 2
Box Score Photos
Final
at Stevenson 29, Bethany 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 55, Chapman 24
Box Score Recap Photos
Nov. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 27, Texas Lutheran 20
Box Score Recap Recap Photos