/seasons/2010/contrib/20100922htbp9r

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

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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#.

Oct. 13: All times Eastern
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at UW-Whitewater 21, UW-La Crosse 14
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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