December 14, 2013

Mount Union holds on with 31-second drive

More news about: Mount Union
Mike Collichio's first career touchdown catch was a big one, coming with 1:07 left to lift Mount Union past North Central 41-40.
Photo by Dan Poel, d3photography.com

Quarterback Kevin Burke threw a touchdown pass with just over a minute to play to rally No. 1 ranked Mount Union to a 41-40 win over No. 4 North Central (Ill.) in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III football playoffs on a snowy Saturday at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance, Ohio.

Mount Union extends the nation's longest winning streak to 29 games, wins its 77th straight home game and advances to the championship game – the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl -- for the ninth consecutive time and 17th time in the last 20 years.

The Raiders will play UW-Whitewater – a 16-15 winner at Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in the other semifinal – next Friday night at 7 p.m. in Salem, Va. It will be the eighth time in nine seasons the two teams meet in the national title game.

Just 31 seconds earlier, North Central (13-1) had taken a 40-35 lead when Matt Randolph ran it in from 1 yard out to set up Burke's heroics as he drove 65 yards in three plays with the last of those a 26-yard touchdown pass to Mike Collichio. For Collichio, a sophomore, it was the first touchdown reception of his career.

Snow began falling about an hour before kickoff and intensified throughout a game that featured eight lead changes – four in the fourth quarter.

Aside from tossing that touchdown pass, Burke rushed for a game-high 131 yards and two touchdowns – which gives him a school single-season record 1,035 rushing yards.

Freshman running back B.J. Mitchell also rushed for 100 yards for the Raiders as he had 124 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Mitchell has now rushed over 100 yards in eight games and the last seven games in a row.

Linebacker Jonathan Gonell had a career-high 13 tackles and returned an interception 37 yards with 5:07 to go in the second quarter that gave Mount Union a 20-16 halftime lead.

The interception was just the second of the season for North Central quarterback Spencer Stanek. Stanek, who entered the day as the nation's top rated passer, completed 19 of 37 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

Both those touchdowns went to Peter Sorenson, who caught 10 passes for 119 yards while Matt Randolph came off the bench and scored three touchdowns on 68 yards rushing to lead the Cardinal offense after starting running back Ryan Kent left the game with a second-quarter injury.

Nick Slezak had 21 tackles for the North Central defense.

North Central failed to convert a pair of two-point conversions and had two extra points blocked by Sherman Wilkinson.

The Cardinals took the game's opening drive and Stanek hit Sorenson on a 3-yard touchdown pass to lead 7-0. Mount Union then tied the game on the ensuing possession as Burke went 78 yards on four plays and ran it in from 24 yards. North Central then drove to the Raiders' 11 yard line before settling for a 28-yard Nick Dace field goal and retook the lead and Mount Union responded as Mitchell scored on a 9-yard run and the Raiders led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Stanek found Sorenson again from 11 yards this time as the Cardinals reclaimed the lead but missed the extra point to lead 16-13 with 7:51 left in the half. Gonell's interception finished the first half scoring with his interception return.

Mount Union took the second half kickoff and went 79 yards on 13 plays and Burke scored from 3 yards out to push the Raiders lead to 27-16.

North Central came back with a long drive of its own going 79 yards on 14 plays with Randolph scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run but the extra point was blocked to make it 27-22 with 3:40 to go in the third quarter.

Randolph gave North Central the lead back with a 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter but a two-point conversion was no good and the Cardinals led 28-27.

After the teams traded possession, Mount Union facing a fourth-and-9 from its own 24 saw the long snap go over the punter's head and it was recovered in the end zone by Kolton Kuczynski for a North Central touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Cardinals in front 34-27.

Mount Union answered again with a six minute drive that saw backup running back Logan Nemeth run for 25 yards including a 15-yard touchdown scamper to bring the Raiders within a point – 34-33. Burke then ran in the two-point conversion diving for the pylon from the 3-yard line for a 35-34 lead with five minutes left.

Stanek then led the Cardinals down the field in seven plays over 3:13 and Randolph punched it in from 1 yard out but the two-point conversion was no good and North Central led 40-35 with 1:38 to play.

Burke covered 65 yards in three plays all in the air with a 20-yard pass to Nemeth, a 19-yard strike to Luc Meacham before the 26-yard pass to Collichio.

North Central drove to the Mount Union 45-yard line before four consecutive incompletions ended the game.

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