Alliance — It's quickly becoming one of Northeast Ohio's most heated and significant rivalries, and on Saturday, John Carroll and Mount Union added another chapter to their longstanding football matchup.
This time around, the No. 1-ranked (Division III) Purple Raiders prevailed 23-10, withstanding a tough fight in from the 15th-ranked Blue Streaks. The defending D-III national champions have still only lost just one regular season game since 2006 (against JCU just two years ago), and now have the inside track to their 29th Ohio Athletic Conference title in 34 years.
John Carroll (2-1) actually took an early 7-0 lead on a five-yard run by quarterback Anthony Moeglin, and still led 7-6 with possession of the ball as time wound down on the first half. However, a Jake Floriea fumble was recovered by Danny Robinson and taken 13 yards for a touchdown, giving Mount Union (3-0) a 13-7 edge at intermission.
After trading field goals in the second half, the Blue Streaks still had a chance to win down 16-10, and made it all the way to the Purple Raiders 43-yard line. But an incredible strip-sack of Moeglin by Louis Berry forced yet another fumble, which Berry himself took back 48 yards for a score to seal the deal for the home team.
In all, John Carroll had four turnovers on the afternoon, which made the difference in what was a defensive struggle. Mount Union QB D'Angelo Fulford completed just 39.5 percent of his passes, but still had 213 total yards and a TD pass. In all, he accounted for nearly three-quarters of UMU's offense.
The Purple Raiders will be on the road against Otterbein next week, while the Blue Streaks will look to keep their playoff hopes alive at Muskingum.