Updated Sun, Sep 29, 2013 8:34 am
A Marietta Pioneers’ upset of the Mount Union Purple Raiders would have gone down as one of the most unexpected upsets in sports history. Instead, the Pioneers recorded the most lopsided loss of their current losing streak, falling to No. 1 Mount Union 84-14.
The Pioneer attack started positively, as quarterback Tom Fulton led the offense on a 10 play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard Tim Conner touchdown run to give Marietta an early 7-0 lead.
With that score, the Pioneers woke the sleeping giant.
The Raiders lit up the scoreboard, scoring 63 unanswered points until the fourth quarter when the Pioneers added a late score. Mount Union’s 84-point performance is the highest in Raider history and their 12 touchdowns tie the Ohio Athletic Conference single-game record.
First-team All-OAC quarterback Kevin Burke played a nearly flawless game for Mount Union, completing on 22 of 30 passes for 336 yards and five touchdowns. Burke completed passes to nine different receivers throughout the night and delivered touchdown passes to three.
Brain Gainer and Jack Nicholls of the Raiders recorded 112 yards and 105 yards receiving respectively, and both hauled in two touchdowns.
The leading contributor for the Pioneers, wide receiver Kirby Harris, pulled in seven passes for 105 yards, which was his most productive outing of the 2013 season. Harris was Second Team All-OAC last season, and has continued to be one of the Pioneers’ leading offensive contributors.
Coach Andy Waddle decided to stick with Fulton for the second straight game of the season, but after the opening drive of the game, Fulton struggled to repeat that same success. Fulton finished with 218 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 15-for-32 passes. Running back Tim Conner also stalled after his early touchdown dive, finishing with just 30 yards on 13 carries.
The Pioneers were confident in their developing rushing attack in their game against Capital as Conner ran for 116 yards against the Crusaders. Waddle commented on the growth and improvement of their offensive line against Capital, but the whole unit took a big step back this week, leaving Marietta with only 32 rushing yards on the night. The Raiders outgained the Pioneers on the ground by 263 yards.
In total, Mount Union’s offense outgained Marietta’s by 414 yards and averaged 4.4 more yards per play than the Pioneers.
Mount Union continues their quest for yet another perfect season and national championship next week on the road against Ohio Northern.
Unfortunately for Marietta, the road doesn’t get much easier as they face No. 13 Heidelberg University in Marietta next Saturday at 7 p.m.