District College Football Preview for Saturday, November 29th
Thursday, November 27, 2014 | 10:12 PM
And then there was one, only a single team remains on the field in the final week of November in the local area. W & J has a tough test on the road for the second straight week against one of the most recognizable programs in Division III and across the country.
Here is a preview of the game, which can be heard right here on the Network:
NCAA Division III Playoffs/Second Round
W & J (10-1) at Mount Union (11-0) Noon on WJPA 1450-AM and the MSA Sports Network
The Presidents intercepted a school record eight passes in a 41-25 road victory over NCAC champion Wittenburg last Saturday.
W & J has not advanced to the second round since 2008.
The Presidents are fifth in D-III in total offense at 527 yards per game and seventh in scoring offense at 45 per game.
W & J is the only team in D-III that has a three thousand yard passer and a fifteen-hundred yard rusher. Ryan Ruffing of Thomas Jefferson has ran for 1,543 yards this season and has gone over 100 yards in ten of eleven games. Upper St. Clair’s Pete Coughlin has thrown for 3,159 yards this season, he has gone over 300 yards in a game five times in 2014. He has 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Daniel Lis leads the Presidents with 76 catches, Max Creighan has pulled in 63 and freshman Jesse Zubik of Avonworth has 54.
Ruffing has scored 29 touchdowns, Zubik has 10, Lis 8 and Creighan 7. Blake Davis has hit on 60 extra points this season, he is 6-9 on field goals, but his longest kick is just 32 yards.
LB Jared Pratt leads the Presidents and the PAC with 114 tackles. DB Billy Kelley leads the defense with six interceptions. Both Kelley and Alec Schram each picked off three passes last week.
Since 2000, Mount Union has a record of 206-8 and has won 82 straight home games. The Purple Raiders lead all Division III team in all time wins with 738. Wittenburg has 736 wins, W & J 707.
Mount Union eliminated W & J in the first round in both 2009 and 2013. The Purple Raiders have made 17 trips to the Stagg Bowl and have won the D-III title 11 times.
The Purple Raiders ended the season ranked number 3 in the AFCA poll, claiming their 23rd straight OAC title. Mount Union leads the nation in scoring offense at 61 points per game, total offense at 601 yards per, scoring defense at 7 points per and total defense at 199 yards.
QB Kevin Burke has thrown for 2,975 yards and 32 touchdowns this season, with just four interceptions. Burke was the D-III Gagliardi Award winner last year, given to the division’s top player and is a favorite to repeat once again.
RB Bradley Mitchell has ran for 1,028 yards and 18 touchdowns. Taurice Scott is the top receiver with 51 catches, Roman Namdar has 46 catches, 13 for touchdowns.
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