FB: Berg falls at Mount Union

Photos courtesy of Dave Finck
Photos courtesy of Dave Finck

ALLIANCE -- The Heidelberg University football team fell to top-ranked Mount Union, 54-0, on Saturday.  Though there were several bright spots throughout the box score for the Student Princes, the loss is Heidelberg's 30th-straight defeat at the hands of the perennial powerhouse Purple Raiders … a string that stretches back to 1988.  

Heidelberg dropped to 4-3 overall, 3-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference.  Mount Union remains a perfect 7-0, 6-0.

KEY STATS:  

Mount Union outgained Heidelberg 509-210.

Quarterback Trace Reynolds was 10-for-21 passing for 167 yards. He carried the ball 29 times for a net, with sack yardage deducted, of 18 yards.  

Maceo Matthews was three yards shy of the century mark, finishing with a career-high 97 yards on three catches.

Linebacker Zachary Blackiston had a game-high 13 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and two sacks.  

HOW IT HAPPENED:

Forced to punt on the game's first possession, Mount Union pinned HU down at the 1-yard line.  MTU's Andrew Roesch got in the backfield and tackled Jace Grossman for a safety. Up two, with the ball, Mount Union drove deep into Heidelberg territory.  D'Angelo Fulford found the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the 2.

Up 9-0 in the second, Mount Union scored on its next three possessions.  Two scores came via touchdowns -- a Fulford pass to Jared Ruth and a Josh Petruccelli rush -- and the third was a 38-yard field goal by Cory Barnett.  

Despite his team being down 26-0, Zach Blackiston capped the first half on a high note for HU.  He sacked Fulford as time expired.

On the opening possession of the second half, Heidelberg threw the ball effectively and drove down the field.  Reynolds found Maceo Matthews for a 30-yard gain, then hit Braden Jerome for gains of 13 and 21 yards. Inside the red zone, Reynolds began to run and got the ball down to the Mount 7.  Faced with 4th-and-1, Heidelberg elected to go for it, but Reynolds' pass for Jerome fell incomplete.

After a scoreless third quarter, Mount pulled away in the fourth.  Petruccelli scored on the first play of the frame. As Heidelberg punted on the next possession, speedy Justin Hill returned it 85 yards for a score.  Up 40-0, the Mount starters remained in for one more touchdown, a 41-yard pass from Fulford to Hill.

Trailing 47-0, Heidelberg determinedly drove back into the Mount Union red zone.  Reynolds found Dimitri Penick for 11 yards and Matthews for 36 yards before finding some success rushing the ball.  HU got as far as the MTU 18 yard line before turning it over on downs.

Mount ended the scoring with an Ernie Burkes 54-yard scamper into the end zone.  

The game can be viewed on tape delay on Sunday, October 21 at 8 p.m. and Tuesday, October 23 at noon on Sports Time Ohio.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:  

Austin Baker punted the ball eight times and averaged 48.8 yards per attempt.

Neither side turned the ball over in the game.  It was HU's first 0-turnover game of the season, and snapped its string of four consecutive games intercepting a pass.  

The safety was the first yielded by Heidelberg since Sept. 22, 2012, which came in a 51-2 win at Wilmington.

UP NEXT:

Heidelberg welcomes Muskingum University to Hoernemann Stadium for Homecoming and Hall of Fame Day for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, October 27.