NCAA First Round: Mount Union 60, Denison 0 - Boxscore
Denison (8-3) saw its 2018 season come to a close with a tough 60-0 loss to the No. 1 team in Division III, Mount Union (11-0), in the opening round of the NCAA Football Championships on Saturday (11/17) in Alliance, Ohio.
Denison quarterback Canaan Gebele (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) and running back Alex Minton (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) came into the game with over 4,000 of the team's 4,800 yards of offense but the Mount Union defense, had all the answers.
The Purple Raiders struck early with a 54-yard run by Josh Petruccelli at 11:59. After a failed two-point conversion, the Purple Raiders were up 6-0. A little under five minutes later, UMU recorded a two-yard score from Ernie Burkes to close out the first quarter, 13-0.
The second quarter would see Mount Union score three more touchdowns, but miss two extra points, taking a 32-0 lead into the half.
The Purple Raiders controlled the third quarter with three more touchdowns all through the air from Jake Keeney to Jared Ruth, which included 20-yard, 67-yard and 61-yard scores. All three extra point attempts were good as Mount Union took a 53-0 lead into the final quarter.
The last score of the game would be a 41-yard pass from Kyle Moore to Demarco Haynes at 3:32. The win gave the Purple Raiders their 27th consecutive first round victory.
Denison totaled 116 yards of total offense compared to 495 yards for Mount Union. Gebele was 8-of-27 from 68 yards and Minton carried the ball 20 times for 77 yards. Jordan Lobel (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) had eight tackles, one sack, and four tackles-for-loss to lead a strong effort from the DU defensive line.
Mount Union will now advance into the second round to face Centre on Saturday, November 24.
GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Denison Football team earned the automatic bid from the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) into the 2018 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs and will travel to Mount Union in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Noon.
The Big Red captured the program's first conference championship since 1986 and its their second playoff appearance since 1985.
Mount Union is 10-0 and the No. 1 ranked team in the nation in both the D3football.com and the AFCA Division III Top-25 poll. The Purple Raiders are the defending national champions and the winners of 13 national championships.
In Denison's only playoff appearance in 1985, the Purple Raiders posted a 35-3 victory over the Big Red. That was Mount Union's first NCAA playoff appearance.
Saturday's game will be the 30th meeting between the two teams with Denison holding a 19-9-1 lead in the series. The team's last met in 1989 with Denison scoring a 24-21 win in Alliance. Mount Union hasn't lost a non-conference home game since.