ALLIANCE, Ohio – On a rainy and cold evening in Alliance, the Capital University football team raised eyebrows by doing something no opponent had done against the University of Mount Union, but fell to the No. 2 Purple Raiders by a final score of 62-7.
After falling behind 14-0 after the first quarter, Capital came out with an offensive drive that broke a lengthy streak built up by the Mount Union defense. Sophomore Zak Sheridan (Zanesville, Ohio) earned his reps and led the Crusaders 78 yards down the field, and then ended the drive with a two-yard touchdown run around the left side of the Mount Union defense.
Junior Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) did his part to help the Crusaders on its scoring drive, moving the sticks twice on two key runs to continue the attack. As they drove forward, Sheridan dove into the end zone on a run around the left of the Purple Raider defensive line, ending a three-plus game scoreless streak Mount had built. Sheridan's second career rushing touchdown halved Mount lead, 14-7, with 10:52 to go in the second quarter.
Before that score, Mount Union had gone 199 minutes and eight seconds of keeping opponents off of the scoreboard. Mount Union had defeated its previous 2015 opponents by a combined 164-0. The touchdown was the Crusaders' first against the Purple Raiders since the 2011 season.
Capital (2-2, 2-1 OAC) kept the Purple Raiders' lead to a manageable level, trailing just 14 points going into halftime. However, the number-two team in the land broke out with five third-quarter touchdowns to break open the game. Mount Union quarterback Taurice Scott broke off a 74-yard scoring run on their first play from scrimmage, and then added a six-yard rushing touchdown on their next drive.
Walton came into the game needing 106 yards to become Capital's all-time leading rushing. He gained 83 yards on 15 attempts against a defense that had allowed 44.7 rushing yards per game to its opponents, a vast improvement from last year's 24-yard output against Mount Union. He did surpass Ed Garver (1954-57) for second all-time on the Capital rushing yards list. Walton now has 2,264 yards in his career and is 23 yards away from taking the top spot.
Sheridan finished with a career-high 15 rushes and 38 yards to go along with his one touchdown. Teammate Nick Iske (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) struggled on the ground with just 24 yards and two fumbles, but went 4-for-4 for 27 yards through the air.
Capital rolled out 172 yards on the ground, while Mount Union turned out 393 yards led by Bradley Mitchell's 131 yards and one touchdown. Scott went 10-of-18 through the air for 175 yards and two scores.
Capital is now 2-2 overall on the year and has a 2-1 conference record heading into next weekend's homecoming match against rival Otterbein University. Mount Union remains unbeaten at 4-0 overall, 3-0 in OAC competition.
Next weekend's rivalry battle will commence at 1:30 p.m. from Bernlohr Stadium.