Muskingum to host top-ranked Mount Union

The Muskingum University football team will host top-ranked University of Mount Union at McConagha Stadium on Saturday, September 21. Kickoff begins at 1:30 p.m.

The game will broadcast live on WMCO 90.7 FM and simulcast on the Muskie Sports Network located on the Muskingum athletic web site beginning with the pregame show at 1:15 p.m.

The Muskies enter the game with 499 program wins, one shy of the 500-win milestone.

The Fighting Muskies (0-1, 0-0) begin Ohio Athletic Conference play after dropping their opener at Waynesburg University, 21-17. This marks the 68th meeting between the two squads with the Purple Raiders leading the overall series 36-29-2.

Mount Union (1-0, 0-0) enters the ballgame after beating 19th-ranked Franklin College, 30-27.

The Muskie offense, which gained almost 400 yards in the season opener, is led by sophomore quarterback C.J. Snider.

Snider, a dual-threat, threw for 157 yards and one touchdown, as well as gained 141 yards on the ground with one score. Snider leads the OAC in rushing yards.

Along with Snider, senior running back Shane Dotson is counted on to fuel the Muskie offense. Dotson carried the ball 20 times for 65 yards in the opener, which ranks him 6th best in the OAC. 

The aerial threats are senior two-time All-OAC receiver James Washington and senior tight end Wes Rataiczak.

Washington, who ranks third all-time at Muskingum with 1,645 receiving yards, had an OAC-leading nine catches for 122 yards and one score in the season opener. With that performance, he is only 312 yards shy of breaking the career receiving record held by former Muskie and current Purdue University Head Coach, Darrell Hazel.

Rataiczak hauled in three passes for 25 yards.

Muskingum's defense ranks third in the league in rushing defense (76 ypg) and fifth in total defense (298 ypg). The stalwart unit is led by sophomore linebacker Chaney Fulton and senior safety Alex Adams.

Both notched seven total stops, which ranks them 11th best in the conference.

Also aiding the Muskie defense is senior defensive lineman Luke Weber and freshman defensive lineman Jordan Lee. Weber made five stops, including one tackle for loss. Lee contributed with three tackles and one sack.

Muskingum special teams are guided by senior kicker Caleb Carpenter and freshman punter Samuel Green. Carpenter booted a 32-yard field goal attempt at Waynesburg. Green was called on to punt six times, averaging 32.7 yards, with a long of 46.

Junior quarterback Kevin Burke is the man under center for Mount Union's offense, which gathered 424 yards in its opening contest. Burke is dangerous through the air, throwing for 266 yards and one score, as well as on the ground rushing for 72 yards on just nine carries.

Joining Burke in the backfield is junior running back Germany Woods and sophomore running back Mason Minnich. Woods rushed for 49 yards and one score. Minnich has carried the pigskin 13 times for 37 yards and one touchdown.

The receiving core is led by senior receiver Jack Nicholls and junior receiver Luc Meacham. Nicholls has eight receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown. Meacham has four receptions and 61 yards on the young season.

The Purple Raider defense, which yielded 27 points and 281 yards in their home opener, is led by junior defensive lineman Ted Rosalva. Rosalva leads the OAC in sacks with two.

The special teams are paced by junior Edward Ruhnke, who handles both kicking duties. Ruhnke legged a 18-yard field goal attempt, while averaging 42 yards a punt.