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#.

Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
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Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
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Sep. 30: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
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Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap