University Heights, OH – Mount Union and John Carroll both entered Saturday’s rivalry game with a 1-0 record in Ohio Athletic Conference play. Last week, the Raiders dispatched Baldwin-Wallace (31-7) in their home opener and the Blue Streaks knocked off Otterbein (41-17) on the road. The Raiders had to work but managed to come away with a 28-14 rivalry win over JCU.
Mount Union opened the scoring when Braxton Plunk found Jaden Manley for a 10-yard touchdown pass (PAT was good) to cap a long, 92 yard, 16 play drive that burned just over eight minutes off the clock. The Raiders got the ball back, not even a full minute later after Josh Jones came up with an interception. Plunk and the Purple Raiders offense then marched down the field and doubled the Raiders’ advantage when Plunk found Chase Lawson over the middle for a 2-yard touchdown pass (PAT was good). JCU finally managed to end the 14-point scoring run for the Raiders when Jake Floriea hit Brennan Fugh in stride down the sideline for a 33-yard touchdown pass (PAT was good). That cut the Raider lead to 14-7 with 8:34 remaining in the first half. The Raiders looked to make it a 17-7 game with a hair over three minutes to go in the half, but Nick Deack’s 35-yard attempt was no good. In the closing seconds of the opening half, Plunk gave the Raiders an insurance touchdown when he found Ulice Gillard for a 14-yard touchdown (PAT was good). The two teams went to the locker room after a couple fruitless plays from JCU to close the half with Mount Union leading 21-7.
The second half was a defensive battle with both teams only finding the endzone one time each. The Raiders pushed their lead up to 28-7 with 10:33 left in the third quarter when Plunk tossed a pass down the sideline to Wayne Ruby Jr., who proceeded to absolutely MOSS his defender and turn up the sideline and into the endzone for a 44-yard touchdown (PAT was good). That would be the last scoring for the Purple Raiders on the day. John Carroll got their last touchdown in the fourth quarter when Floriea found Fugh in the endzone for a 20-yard touchdown pass (PAT was good). That would conclude the scoring and a couple drives later, Plunk took a knee to run out the clock.
Trap’s Sporting Goods Player of the Game honors went to Deandre Parker for his outstanding win for the Raiders. Parker had 200+ total yards of offense with 21 carries for 122 rushing yards and 14 catches for 142 receiving yards. Mount Union improved to 3-0 (2-0 OAC) with the win and will next be in action on October 2nd when they welcome Otterbein to Mount Union Stadium. On the other hand, John Carroll dropped to 1-2 (1-1 OAC) and will next take the field on October 2nd as well and will host Muskingum.