Posted: Oct 10, 2018
#1 Mount Union Purple Raiders (5-0, 4-0 OAC) vs. Capital Crusaders (0-5, 0-4 OAC)
Saturday, October 13, 1:30 pm | Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Game program (pdf)
SCOUTING THE PURPLE RAIDERS
Mount Union is number one in the country for a reason. Junior QB D'Angelo Fulford has over 1,100 passing yards and a 14:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio through five games. His favorite target has been junior WR Justin Hill, who has 27 catches, 444 yards, and three touchdowns. Senior WR Luke Herrington leads the Purple Raiders with five touchdown grabs. On the ground, sophomore RB Josh Petrucceli leads the team with 332 yards on 41 carries (8.1 ypc) and four touchdowns. Fulford can also move with his 216 rushing yards and two scores. Mount scores 50.4 points per game on average, and conversely allows just 10.4 points. The staunch defense is led by junior LB Trey Williams with his team-leading 33 tackles and five sacks. The defensive unit has sacked opposing quarterbacks 21 times between 14 different players. The top four Mount tacklers all come out of the linebacking corps and 10 of those sacks come from that group, as well.
HISTORY WITH MOUNT UNION
Capital seeks its first win over Mount Union since the 1987 season when they defeated the Purple Raiders 26-25 en route to becoming OAC Champions. Mount Union has won the last 32 meetings and holds a 40-12 advantage over Capital in the all-time series.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET ...
... the Crusaders tagged the Purple Raiders with 14 points in the first quarter and at one point trailed by only one touchdown late in the frame. Both scores came off of touchdown passes by CU QB Thomas Wibbeler from 10 and 14 yards out. Mount Union then scored 51 unanswered points to run away with the game by a 72-14 final.
CAP'S LAST TIME OUT
... the Crusaders were shutout by the No. 11 John Carroll University Blue Streaks. After the first quarter, JCU held a slim 3-0 edge and the defense kept the Crusaders in the game. Cap trailed just 16-0 at the half but was unable to get its offense in sync while John Carroll began to break away with two touchdowns in each of the final two quarters. Cap was held scoreless and to just 180 yards of total offense in its 44-0 road loss to the Blue Streaks, last week.
DEFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS VS. JCU
Despite a 44-0 result, the Cap defense had some very bright moments in the first half. CU induced three three-and-outs early in the game and four overall. One resulted in a failed field goal attempt and the other two led to punts. In two of JCU's three field goals in the first half, Cap's defense limited the Blue Streak offense to under 30 yards on the drive before the attempt was made.
ZERO IS NOT COMMON
Until last week loss to the Blue Streaks, Capital had not been shutout since the 2016 season when then-#23 John Carroll (Oct. 22) defeated Cap, 56-0.
THE TRENCH GRIND
In the first three games of the season, Capital had great success in the offensive trenches. They allowed just two sacks, backs gained more than 100 yards in all three games, and they ran into the end zone six times. In the last two games, Capital quarterbacks have been sacked 15 times, have not had anyone accumulate more than 30 yards rushing, have finished below zero yards rushing as a team, and have not found the end zone.
WIBBELER IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
QB Thomas Wibbeler is currently ranked in the top-25 in multiple categories on a NATIONAL level.
#11 Passing Yards (1,592)
#10 Pass Yards per Game (318.4)
#5 Total Offense (356.0)
#5 Completions per Game (28.20)
NATIONAL NOTORIETY NOT FOR WIBBELER
We've come to expect lots of the national rankings to go the way of the offense, but what about special teams?! Junior KR/RB Antwan Shipp has his name in the top-25, too! Currently, Shipp is ranked No. 11 in total kickoff return yards with 447 this season. His season and career long return is 30 yards (9/15 vs. Heidelberg).
Capital was only one of 17 teams in the country in NCAA Division III to have not thrown an interception through week four of the season. Senior QB Thomas Wibbeler went six games without throwing a pick until 9/29 versus Baldwin Wallace. He now has two picks, and the team has three total. Wibbeler now has 52 TDs to just 16 INTs in his career, and 12 TDs to 2 INT this season. Only four teams in NCAA Division III have zero interceptions this season.
(ALMOST) NO TO'S
Capital has lost the ball just five times this season compared to their opponent's seven. The Crusaders five turnovers is the 18th-fewest in NCAA Division III.
SWORD AND THE (MILE)STONES
It's not Merlin's magic. It's talent. Check out some of the milestones achieved by Capital players this season!
- WR Wyatt Pertuset's 1st career TD catch - 9/1 @ MSJ
- WR Dartavious Stanford reaches 1,500 yards - 9/29 vs. BW
- With his 8 catches at JCU, Dar Stanford hit 100 catches and now has 101 in his career - 10/3 at JCU
- WR David Barnett eclipses 2,000 yards - 9/29 vs. BW
- QB Thomas Wibbeler hit 50 career TD passes - 9/15 vs. Heidelberg
- QB Thomas Wibbeler surpassed 5,500 passing yards - 9/29 vs. BW
- QB Thomas Wibbeler surpassed 6,000 total yards - 9-29 vs. BW
- LB Kane Murray tallied his 150th career tackle - 9/15 vs. Heidelberg
- DB LaShaun Sanders Jr. notched his 100th tackle - 9/15 vs. Heidelberg
- K Blake Middleton scored his 50th career point - 9/29 vs. BW
- WR David Barnett made career catch #150 - 10/3 at JCU
Still to come ...
Middleton is six PATs away from 50 in his career
Capital has a strong duo to lead the team into Saturday gamedays. The following individuals will serve as captains this season, as voted on by the team:
#13 Cory Heeter, RB, Sr.
#17 Thomas Wibbeler, QB, Sr.
The team will also dress an honorary defensive captain that will rotate each week.
THE BALL IS IN OUR HANDS
Capital has won the time of possession battle in all five of its games this season. In 2017, they won TOP in six of 10 games and 2016 just four times. The 2016 season turned out to be Capital's best (4-6) and in their wins the TOP sided with them just once - and only by 26 seconds. Their TOP this year is 36:19, which ranks third in the country at the D3 level.
Capital's record in October games in recent history has not been pleasant. Over the last seven seasons, Capital is 3-29 in the month of October, where the meat of the OAC schedule resides. Their 2016 win versus Otterbein snapped a streak of 19 straight losses in October. Their last October win prior to that, ironically, came at Otterbein (24-20) on 10/15/11. They defeated Baldwin Wallace in double overtime in 2016 in the final game of October for its second win, marking its best October in nearly a decade.
For full media/fan notes, click here!