By Eric Hamilton
ALLIANCE — Different uniforms, same result.
Outfitted in all black uniforms for the first time in the program’s history, the No. 1-ranked Mount Union College football team was its usual dominant self Saturday night against Ohio Athletic Conference rival Baldwin-Wallace.
The Purple Raiders’ took advantage of two BW interceptions to score a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to build a 16-0 lead and pulled away for a 30-0 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 6,472 at Mount Union Stadium.
The victory was Mount Union’s 15th straight over the Yellow Jackets (1-3) and improves the Purple Raiders to 4-0, 3-0.
“Our defense really gave us good field position and kept their offense under wraps tonight,” Mount Union coach Larry Kehres said. “That’s a 450-yard per game offense over there. They kept us in the game.
“We played better offensively in the third quarter and we would have played better in the fourth, but we were substituting too much to keep any continuity,” Kehres said.
Scott Panchik (115) and Terrance Morring (105) each rushed for more than 100 yards as Mount Union piled up 249 yards on the ground and 417 total yards.
Senior Kurt Rocco and freshman Neal Seaman rotated at quarterback and combined to complete 12-of-17 passes for 168 yards.
Senior Cecil Shorts caught three balls for 80 yards and scored on a 7-yard run.
Mount Union took a 3-0 lead on its first possession, courtesy of a 32-yard field goal by Jay Carpenter with 9:22 remaining in the first quarter.
The Purple Raiders padded the lead to 10-0 with a drive that started at the Baldwin-Wallace 26. The possession was set up by an interception by Mount Union’s Drew McClain. Scott Panchik scored six plays later on a 1-yard plunge.
For the second straight series, the Yellow Jackets turned the ball over, this time on an interception by Ryan Renbarger.
Mount Union showed it can sustain a drive, going 94 yards in eight plays to pay dirt. Mixing it up with the running of Panchik and a 53-yard pass to Cecil Shorts, the Purple Raiders drove to the BW 7.
The next play featured a wildcat formation with Shorts in the backfield. The senior slithered free, dodging tacklers into the end zone for the score. It was Shorts’ second rushing TD of the season, giving Mount a 16-0 halftime advantage.
Mount Union added a pair of touchdowns in the second half and the defense pitched its first shutout of the 2009 season.
The Purple Raiders’ defense limited the Yellow Jackets to just 131 total yards, including 47 yards on the ground. BW managed only seven first downs, converting 4-of-14 third down opportunities.
“We are a veteran defense and the backbone of our team right now,” McClain said. “We’re playing well together and we talked about getting the shut out all week.
“It’s always a huge goal of ours and we make sure the second unit knows there’s a 0 on the scoreboard and they need to keep it that way.”