The Mansfield University Mountaineers put on their annual event LUMA, which celebrates being the first college ever to play under lights in history with a 31-6 victory. This year marks the 127th anniversary of this historic event, and the Mansfield Mountaineers were looking to give the fans something to cheer about during the festivities.
The Mountaineers were coming off a tough loss at home last week where they gave up a late score that lifted the visiting Chestnut Hill team to a win against a stunned Mountaineers squad. This week the Mountaineers took on the Saint Thomas Aquinas Spartans who were looking for their first win of the season.
Coach John Evans weighed in on his expectations and thoughts on his teams performance last week before kick-off where he said, “We really emphasized that we can’t have penalties, they ran 103 yards of extra sprints everyday last week, a yard for each penalty yard we had.”
The Mountaineers first drive was a long one that took six minutes on 15 plays and moved 58 yards, but were unable to come away with any points. The Mountaineers took the field after punting and put the clamps down on the Spartans from the start.
After a few penalties and stifling defense by the Mountaineers, they forced a punt with the Spartans pinned deep in their own territory. The Spartans punter was unable to hold on to a low snap as it rolled under him into the endzone. As he attempted to gain possession, a swarm of Mountaineers surrounded him, and as the punter regained possession, the defense closed in and scored the first points of the game on a huge safety.
With the Mountaineers up 2-0 in the first, they would receive the ball back and it didn’t take long for them to strike again. On the ensuing kickoff, Terrance Quaker wasted no time taking the kick to the house for a 70-yard touchdown return and to add to their lead. The Mountaineers converted the two-point conversion to push their lead to 10-0. The teams traded possessions to close out the first with the Mountaineers driving.
The Mountaineers continued their drive in the second quarter and capped it off with a two-yard touchdown catch by Jayden Walker to give them a 17-0 lead with a lot of time left to play in the half.
The Mountaineers defense continued to dominate the Spartans, stalling out drive after drive, making it impossible for the Spartans to sustain a drive, let alone score.
The Mountaineers scored one more time before the half on a 26-yard touchdown completion from Koby Peacock to John Rogers to push the score to 24-0. The Spartan put together their only touchdown drive of the night to bring the score to 24-6 at the half.
In the third, Peacock punched in a one-yard rush to score the final touchdown of the night for either team and close out scoring and bring the final score to 31-6.
The Mountaineers move to 3-1 on the season and put together their best all-around performance of the year. The defense was spectacular, holding the number one pass offense in the league to only 103 yards while completing less than 50 percent of their passes.
They also got to the quarterback early and often, racking up three sacks and even when they didn’t take the quarterback down they were still able to move him out of the pocket and disrupt his throws and rhythm. The run defense was stout as well, allowing less than four yard per carry and shutting down the offense in both facets of the game. The defense was led by Matt Roberts who had a total of 12 tackles from the linebacker position.
The Mountaineers offense was once again led by running back David Butler, who rushed for 112 yards on just 21 attempts and also caught two passes for 14 yards. D.J. McLean led the way for the receivers, catching five balls for 58 yards as well as some spectacular catches throughout the game.
Peacock also had a strong day slinging the football, with 170 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also added 19 yards on the ground as well as a one-yard touchdown run.
The Mountaineers will look to put together back to back victories as they host their Homecoming game this Saturday at 1 p.m. against the Alderson Broaddus University Battlers.
Passing: Koby Peacock 19-34 170 yds 2 TD 2 INT; Dylan Kmitch 1-2 18 yds 1 INT.
Rushing: David Butler 21-112; Terrance Quaker 1-25; Koby Peacock 8-19 1 TD; Jayden Walker 1-7; Dylan Kmitch 3-4; Ryan Ripka 3-(-6).
Receiving: D.J. McLean 5-58; Jayden Walker 5-36 1 TD; John Rogers 2-29 1 TD; Myante Drayton 3-26; Brandon Dejesus 2-19; David Butler 2-14; Jahlil Young 1-5.
Team Stats: MU STAS
First Downs: 21 11
Rush Atts-Yds: 37-161 34-57
Passing Yards: 188 103
Total Yards: 349 160
Penalties-Yds: 12-144 10-82