December 3, 2011

Murray and Defense Move #2 Mount Union Past #9 Wabash in NCAA Playoffs; Raiders in Semifinals for 17th Straight Year

More news about: Mount Union

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Junior running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, and the Mount Union defense held Wabash to 194 total yards, as the No. 2-ranked Purple Raiders defeated the No. 9 Little Giants, 20-8, in a NCAA Division III football national quarterfinal game at Mount Union Stadium on Saturday.

The Purple Raiders (13-0) advanced to the national semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the 17th consecutive season. Mount Union will play host to No. 7-ranked Wesley (Del.) (12-1) at a time to be determined on Dec. 10.

Wabash, champions of the North Coast Athletic Conference, finishes with a 12-1 record.

The Little Giants were averaging 171.8 yards per game rushing, but Mount Union allowed just 31 yards on the ground on Saturday.

"I would say this was our best game of the year, defensively," said Mount Union coach Larry Kehres. "This late in the season you're facing some outstanding teams, and I thought we played exceptional on defense."

The defense was led by junior defensive back Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood), who blocked a punt, recovered a fumble, had a quarterback sack and forced a fumble.

"We're definitely happy to get to [the national semifinals]," said Driskill, "but our ultimate goal is the final game [the Stagg Bowl on Dec. 16]."

Murray's biggest play of the game was a 46-yard run that got the Purple Raiders out from the shadow of their own goal line, and set up his 17-yard touchdown run a few plays later that put Mount Union ahead 7-0.

"The linemen all blocked well, and the hole just opened up," said Murray of his big run.

The Purple Raiders broke a scoreless tie on their third possession of the game, driving 82 yards in nine plays. Murray, whose 46-yard run got Mount Union out to its own 48, rushed five times for 75 yards on the drive, including the final 17 to the end zone, with 1:13 remaining in the opening period. Senior kicker Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) added the extra point to give the Purple Raiders a 7-0 lead.

Wabash was forced to punt, and Driskill blocked the kick, setting up Mount Union at the Little Giants' 11. The Purple Raiders couldn't get a first down, however, and Almeida booted a 22-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 10:59 remaining in the first half.

Mount Union extended its lead to 17-0 on a five-play, 47-yard drive late in the second quarter. Murray, again, was the key man on the possession, carrying the ball four times for 30 yards, including a scoring run of 1 yard with 1:11 left in the half. Almeida added the extra point.

The Purple Raiders extended their lead to 20-0 on a 33-yard field goal by Almeida with 13:18 remaining in the third quarter.

Wabash scored its points in the fourth quarter when the Purple Raiders took an intentional safety with 6:59 remaining, and when quarterback Chase Belton ran into the end zone from 4 yards out with 4:31 to go. The two-point conversion failed. Mount Union recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

"We played poorly in the first half," said Wabash head coach Erik Raeburn, a 1991 Mount Union and nephew of Larry Kehres, "and just dug ourselves too deep of a hole."

The Purple Raiders finished with 236 total yards, including 136 on the ground. Junior quarterback Matt Piloto (Rotonda West, Fla./Lemon Bay) was 6-of-8 for 40 yards on the Purple Raiders' first series before leaving the game. Junior Neal Seaman (Louisville/Louisville) was 6-of-10 for 36 yards, and freshman Kevin Burke (Westlake/St. Edward) was 2-of-4 for 24 yards.

Junior wide receiver Jasper Collins (Geneva, N.Y./Geneva) caught eight passes for 61 yards.

Defensively, Mount Union junior defensive back Isaiah Scott (Hamilton/Fairfield) had eight tackles and two pass breakups. Junior defensive back Alex Nicholls (Galion/Galion) had an interception.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats