With the post-season near, the Purple Raiders prepare to enter the 2012 NCAA Division III Playoffs. Now that Wisconsin-Whitewater is out of the picture, Mount Union has clinched the number 1 spot in the playoff bracket, making this their 24th NCAA playoff appearance. Mount Union will start out its road to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl on Saturday as they host the Christopher Newport University Captains.
The Captains are 6-4 overall for the season and have received an automatic bid into the playoff picture after they won the USA South Conference title. For the season, they averaged 24.1 points per game while also allowing 24 points per game to their opponents. Overall, Christopher Newport made 32 touchdowns this season while their opponents averaged 32 touchdowns against them.
In terms of yardage, The Captains have made 16 touchdowns by rushing and gained 2,132 yards overall. While the Captains are skilled in rushing, they lack in their passing game. They completed 121 passes and allowed their opponents to complete 164 passes and 15 interceptions. They only made 15 touchdowns by passing.
The player the Purple Raiders should watch out for is sophomore running back Marcus Morrast. As a freshman, he led the Captains in rushing average of players over 50 attempts with an average of 5.1 yards per rush. Morrast also accounted for 176 passing yards throughout the season including a 29-yard touchdown pass during a game against Maryville College. For this season, Morrast showed his passing skills by leading the team in completed passes and with a total of 772 passing yards.
This week could be the deciding factor in whether or not the Purple Raiders will bring home the Stagg Bowl trophy this Christmas, and the Christopher Newport Captains will try their hardest this Saturday to make sure that the Purple Raiders won’t make it that far.