Poorman comes off bench to lift MU
By Dan Hiner
It’s been 14 months since Luke Poorman was the starting quarterback for the Mount Union football team.
Poorman started in place of D’Angelo Fulford in a Division III quarterfinal on Saturday.
He threw for a 355 yards and six touchdowns on 12-of-16 passing in the Raiders’ 70-37 win over Frostburg State at Mount Union Stadium.
Poorman also ran for a 25-yard touchdown in midway through the first quarter.
“We got what we expected from Luke. He’s well-prepared, took advantage of his opportunity, played well, protected the football today,” Raiders head coach Vince Kehres said. “I don’t think he had a turnover, threw accurate passes to receivers and they converted it into some pretty good gains out there.”
Under Poorman, the Raiders produced 544 yards of offense. Frostburg state (11-2) entered the game allowing 242 per game.
“His decision-making was outstanding, and we expected it to be,” Kehres said. “You guys could probably see why we had a difficult decision to make for the quarterback position from the get-go. We had three or four good quarterbacks and they all played well in preseason camp.
“I told Luke after the game, ‘I didn’t lose any sleep with how you play’, I lost a little bit of sleep over defending this stuff, but not over how our quarterback would play.”
Frostburg State head coach DeLane Fitzgerald said the Bobcats were prepared to play Fulford. He said Poorman’s start took the team out of their game plan.
Fulford started 17 games for the Raiders over the last two seasons. Poorman started the first four games of the 2016 season, but was benched in favor of Fulford.
Fulford didn’t start because of a “coach’s decision”, and Kehres said the starting quarterback will be determined in the future.
Raiders wide receiver Justin Hill was Poorman’s favorite target. Hill caught six passes for 196 yards and three scores. All three of Hill’s touchdowns came on passes of 45 yards or longer.
Mount Union (13-0) led 28-10 with 3:55 to play in the first half. But shortly after both offenses started scoring at will.
Both teams combined to score five touchdowns in the final 2:55 of the second quarter. Poorman threw three touchdowns in the final three minutes and racked up 145 passing yards on four completions.
Frostburg State quarterback Connor Cox threw two touchdowns during that span, including an 18-yarder to Sergio Andino with no time on the clock. Cox was 15 of 36 for 236 yards and four touchdowns.
“We faced adversity like that before so we were prepared for that situation,” Mount Union defensive lineman Adam Mihoci said. “Get the guys together, keep everyone calm, keep everyone poised and keep executing. We knew things would start going our way again, but we were prepared for a situation like that.”
Frostburg State wanted to keep pace with the Raiders in the second half, but Mount Union forced two fumbles on the Bobcats’ first two drives of the half.
Mount Union will play Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday in the semifinals. The Raiders have now made the semifinals for 23 consecutive seasons.
Wisconsin-Oshkosh played in the national championship last season and lost 10-7 to Mary Hardin-Baylor.
The site and time will be released today.