NEW CONCORD, OHIO, November 9, 2011 - The Muskingum University football team hosts the second-ranked University of Mount Union this Saturday for Senior Day at 1:30 p.m. in McConagha Stadium.
The game will be broadcast live on WMCO 90.7 FM and simulcast on the Muskingum Web Broadcasting Network, located on the Muskingum athletic web site, beginning with the pregame show at 1:15 p.m.
The Purple Raiders of Mount Union and the Fighting Muskies of Muskingum have previously met 65 times, dating back to the first meeting in 1906. Mount Union leads the all-time series 34-29-2.
The contest will mark the final game for Muskingum seniors Demetrius Bailey, James Beatty, Donte Douglas, Chad Foster, Jesse Gibbs, Kevin Good, Romie Graham, Kaijon Hawley, Hugh Hudson, Antowan Logan, Jacob Moore, Nick Phillips, Brad Polaski, Rob Premdas, Shane Sato, Matt Smith, Alex Thomas, Ethan Wetzel and Anthony Zarcone.
The Muskies (4-5, 3-5), who started the season at 4-0, have been saddled with five straight losses. During the past five games, Muskingum has committed 18 turnovers.
Mount Union (9-0, 8-0) arrives in New Concord on the heels of winning its 20th straight OAC title last week with its 25-20 win over Baldwin-Wallace College. Since 1991, Mount Union has won 103 consecutive regular season road games.
The game will feature Muskingum's nationally-ranked defense against Mount Union's nationally-ranked offense.
Muskingum ranks second in NCAA Division III in sacks per game, averaging four per outing. The Muskie rush defense, which ranks 19th in Division III, is allowing just 91.4 yards per contest. Muskingum ranks third in the OAC in total defense.
Mount Union presents a rushing offense that leads the OAC and ranks 11th in the nation, averaging 277 yards per game. Mount Union has scored 28 rushing touchdowns and average 5.9 yards per tote. The Purple Raiders lead the league in total offense and total defense.
The Muskie defense is led by senior linebacker Alex Thomas, who is tied for the Ohio Athletic Conference lead in tackles per game averaging 11.2 stops. Thomas has notched 288 career tackles, which ranks fifth all-time at Muskingum.
Also aiding the Muskies defense are junior defensive lineman Sean West, senior safety Anthony Zarcone and junior safety Tyler Richardson.
West ranks fifth in the OAC with 5.5 sacks, Zarcone ranks fourth in the league in passes defended with 10 and Richardson ranks third in the OAC in interceptions with four.
The Muskie offense, which is averaging 19.6 points and 311.6 yards per game, is led by sophomore quarterback Dalton Smith. Smith has thrown for 1,683 yards this season which ranks third all-time at Muskingum for a single season. He is just 177 yards shy of second place and 183 yards shy of first place. Smith also has tallied 2,060 yards of total offense, which ranks third all-time at Muskingum. He is 190 yards short of second place and 266 yards shy of first place.
Senior running back Palmer Smith leads the rushing attack with 389 yards on 96 totes. He's averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Also helping the ground game is sophomore running back Anthony Frye, who has rushed for 206 yards and two scores.
The receivers are paced by sophomore James Washington and senior Brad Polaski. Washington ranks second all-time at Muskingum in receiving yards for a season with 738 and four touchdowns. He is just 67 yards shy of the top spot. Polaksi has grabbed 24 receptions for 203 yards. Senior wide out Antowan Logan has caught 21 passes for 287 yards and two scores.
Muskingum special teams are paced by junior punter Danny Snively and sophomore kicker Caleb Carpenter. Snively ranks third in the OAC in punting with a 39.3 average and Carpenter ranks third in the league in field goals kicking. Carpenter has connected on 6-of-8 attempts this season with a career-best kick of 40 yards.
Junior quarterback Neal Piloto leads the Mount Union offense that is averaging 486.2 yards and 43.4 points per game. Piloto has thrown for 1,040 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Joining Piloto in the backfield is junior running back Jeremy Murray who leads the league with 1,248 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns. He is averaging 138.7 yards and 6.2 yards per carry.
The receivers are led by junior Jasper Collins and senior A.J. Claycomb. Collins has 38 receptions for 543 yards and nine touchdowns. Claycomb has grabbed 26 balls for 369 yards and two scores.
The Purple Raider defense is led by junior defensive back Nick Driskill and senior linebacker Jorge Carbonell. Driskill is averaging 7.8 hits per game with four interceptions and three sacks. Carbonell is tallying 5.t stops per game with eight tackles for loss.