Purple Raiders open playoffs with soggy shutout win

From Staff Reports

ALLIANCE – Second-ranked Mount Union scored twice in the first quarter and held on during a rainy Saturday afternoon for a 21-0 win over Washington and Lee (Va.) in an NCAA Division III playoff opener.

The Mount Union defense held a Washington & Lee offense — which is second in the nation with 421 rushing yards per game — to 220 yards on the ground and a season-low 269 total yards.

Junior linebacker Danny Robinson led the Purple Raiders with 13 tackles and a sack.

Mount Union (11-0) will host Case Western Reserve (11-0) in a second-round playoff game at noon Saturday.

Freshman Josh Petruccelli ran for 118 yards on 19 carries and sophomore quarterback D’Angelo Fulford ran for a touchdown and passed for two more for the Purple Raiders.

Mount Union led 14-0 with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns as Fulford had a one-yard TD run and then threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Braeden Friss.

The Generals were held to 101 total yards in the first half.

Throughout a steady downpour, the game featured just 15 total pass attempts but one of those was a 60-yard scoring pass from Fulford to Jared Ruth on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Raiders a commanding 21-0 lead.

Freshman Josh Breece ran for 169 yards for Washington and Lee (8-3)

Game notes

¯ Mount Union sophomore kicker Max Righetti, a 2016 graduate of Salem High School, is working his way into the lineup.

Righetti kicked off after the Purple Raiders’ last two touchdowns and both went for touchbacks. He is one of three kickers on the Mount Union playoff roster.

¯ Weather affected both offenses. Mount Union topped the nation in scoring, averaging 56.7 points in the regular season, while Washington and Lee averaged 30.0 points a game.

¯ Washington and Lee dropped to 0-5 in the playoffs.

¯ Washington and Lee’s fight song is a popular one. The Washington and Lee Swing is the fight song of at least 17 Ohio high schools, including United Local.

¯ Case Western Reserve holds a 12-7-1 series edge against Mount Union, although the teams haven’t played since 1956.

¯Former Mount Union quarterback and coach Kevin Burke is the running backs coach coach for Case Western Reserve.

As Mount Union’s starting quarterback, Burke led the Purple Raiders to a 43-2 record and the 2012 NCAA Division III national title.

He served as an assistant coach at Mount Union the past two seasons before joining the Case Western Reserve staff this year.