The unbeaten Raiders fell behind again early, but were never really threatened.
By MARK W. MILLER
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
ALLIANCE -- In its two home football games Mount Union College has fallen behind early only to respond with convincing victories.
Otterbein took a 3-0 lead on Derek Hone's 50-yard field goal with 10 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter of Saturday's Ohio Athletic Conference opener at Mount Union Stadium.
The Purple Raiders (2-0, 1-0 OAC) answered with 24 straight points on the way to a 48-10 win Saturday before 4,132 fans.
It was the Purple Raiders' 59th consecutive Ohio Conference victory and 66th regular season win in a row.
Mount Union coach Larry Kehres, said, "Our first series we didn't do much and when their guy kicked the 50-yard field goal we didn't panic."
Tying score: What the Purple Raiders did was move 78 yards in 13 plays, capped by Rodney Chenos' 19-yard field goal to tie the score 3 with 5:37 remaining in the period.
"We established the inside run in that series," said Kehres.
From that point on Mount Union's offense was unstoppable as its balanced attack accounted for 557 yards (270 rushing and 287 passing).
Senior wide receiver Jason Candle, a West Branch High graduate, caught a career-high six passes for 111 yards, including touchdown passes of 57 and 4 yards from quarterback Rob Adamson.
"Candle runs good patterns. He's quick and he's our guy we go to when we need to," said Kehres.
Senior running back Chuck Moore rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries, which included TD runs of 2 and 1 yards, and he also caught a 26-yard TD strike from Adamson.
Adamson was 16-of-23 for 275 yards and was intercepted once. He was sacked late in the second quarter and fumbled. The ball was scooped up and returned 34 yards by Otterbein's Mark Pezo for a TD.
Defense tough: The Purple Raiders' defense limited Otterbein to 59 rushing and 85 passing yards.
Senior defensive tackle Rocky Coniglio, who intercepted a pass which led to Mount Union's final TD, said, "We knew they had a new coach [Rocky Alt] which presented us with different things from last year. They surprised us a little with some trick plays, but our coaches had us well prepared for them.
"We didn't want them to make any big plays and they didn't."
Alt said, "Their offensive and defensive lines wore us down. We couldn't block their defense and we couldn't take advantage of what they were doing.
"We realized this was going to be a hard game and we knew we had to get ahead quickly and then try to hold them down and we couldn't."
OTT--Hone 50 FG, 10:44
MUC--Chenos 19 FG, 5:37
MUC--Candle 57 pass from Adamson (Chenos kick), 2:48
MUC--Pugh 33 pass from Adamson (Chenos kick), 14:48
MUC--Moore 2 run (Chenos kick), 6:00
OTT--Pezo 34 fumble return (Hone kick), 2:40
MUC--Moore 1 run (Chenos kick), 0:16
MUC--Candle 4 pass from Adamson (Chenos kick), 11:11
MUC--Moore 26 pass from Adamson (Chenos kick), 10:49
MUC--Chenos 36 FG, 13:27
Time of Possession24:1935:41
RUSHING--Otterbein, Rannebarger 16-56, Binkley 1-5, Rosendahl 6-4, Wilson 1-2, Mock 1-2, Benjamin 2-(minus-10). Mount Union, Moore 19-102, Pugh 15-72, Deitrick 10-69, Kelly 4-15, Ilacqua 3-15, Burghardt 1-6, Miller 1-0, Modica 2-(minus-2), Adamson 3-(minus-7).
PASSING--Otterbein, Rosendahl 7-17-1-62, Benjamin 2-9-1-22, Gibbs 0-1-0-0. Mount Union, Adamson 16-23-1-275, Burghardt 1-2-0-12.
RECEIVING--Mock 2-28, Walters 2-14, Fisher 1-13, Bowers 1-9, Whaley 1-9, Rannebarger 1-8, Polverini 1-3. Mount Union, Candle 6-111, Liddell 3-46, Pugh 2-47, Moore 2-44, Richards 2-21, Skelton 1-12, Leach 1-6.