NEW CONCORD, OHIO, October 1, 2011 - The Muskingum University football team spoiled Wilmington College's Homecoming on Saturday with a 14-3 win at Williams Stadium.
With the victory, Muskingum moves to 4-0 overall and stays atop the Ohio Athletic Conference with the University of Mount Union with a 3-0 mark. The last time the Muskies started at 4-0 was in 1996. Muskingum next hosts Heidelberg University (3-1, 2-1) on Saturday, October 8. Game time is slated for 1:30 p.m. and can be heard live on WMCO 90.7 FM and on the Muskingum Web Broadcasting Network located on the Muskingum athletic web site beginning with the pregame show at 1:15 p.m.
The loss was Wilmington's 20th straight dating back to 2008 and drops the Quakers to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Muskingum took the opening kickoff and orchestrated a 15-play, 46-yard drive that ended with sophomore quarterback Dalton Smith scoring on a two-yard touchdown run. The drive chewed 7:06 off the clock and put the Muskies up 7-0. Smith ended the outing going 14-of-24 with two interceptions for 187 yards.
Wilmington trimmed its deficit to 7-3 early in the second quarter with a 24-yard field goal by Max Gabbard that capped off a 12-play, 66-yard drive.
The Muskies sealed the game late in the fourth quarter when they pieced together a six-play, 45-yard drive that culminated with senior running back Palmer Smith barrelling in from one-yard out to put the Muskies up 14-3. Smith led all rushers with 21 carries for 70 yards and a score.
Muskingum sophomore wide receiver James Washington hauled in a career-high five receptions for a career-best 103 yards to lead the Muskie receivers.
The Muskie defense, which ranks 10th in the NCAA Division III in scoring defense and rushing defense and 18th in total defense, held Wilmington to just three points, 47 yards rushing and 221 yards of offense.
Senior linebacker Alex Thomas led the unit with 10 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Senior safety Anthony Zarcone added seven hits and three pass break-ups, while junior defensive back Tyler Richardson and sophomore defensive back Tristan Heath each registered an interception to aid the defensive effort.
Quarterback Brandon Arehart led the Quaker offense going 20-of-46 with two interceptions for 174 yards. He also added 24 yards on the ground.
Kyle Blakeman led the Quaker receivers with six catches for 43 yards and Malcolm Heard hauled in four balls for 27 yards.
Matt McFadden and Antoine Shelton each logged 10 hits to pace the Quaker defense. McFadden also had one sack and two tackles for loss.