Big crowd expected for meeting of D III powers

Mount Union Purple Raiders head coach Vince Kehres reacts during last year's championship game.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a really big football game in Northeast Ohio Saturday afternoon as unbeatens John Carroll and Mount Union play at Mount Union Stadium in Alliance for the Ohio Athletic Conference title.

Both are 9-0 and both will almost certainly be in the Div. III playoffs starting next week. Mount Union is No. 3 in the latest D3Football.com national top 25 poll and John Carroll is No. 6.

Over the season, Mount Union is outscoring its opponents 64-6 and John Carroll is outscoring its opponents 55-7. Each team is led by a senior quarterback from a Cleveland high school power. Mount Union’s Kevin Burke (St. Edward) won last year’s Gagliardi Trophy, the Div. equivalent of the Heisman, and John Carroll is led by Pitt transfer Mark Myers (St. Ignatius).

John Carroll’s defense ranks second nationally in yards per game behind — you guessed it — Mount Union. This should be good.

Mount Union plans to sell standing room-only tickets starting at 10 a.m. to as many fans who want to buy them. The stadium’s 5,500 seats (not counting student section) have been sold.

Mount Union officials believe the stadium’s attendance record — 8,972 for a 2004 night game against John Carroll — could be broken. John Carroll is hoping to break a couple other streaks, namely Mount Union’s 92-game regular season win streak and 79-game home win streak that date to 2005.

Since 2000, Mount Union is 204-8.

Really. Two hundred four and eight.

Watch Mount Union vs. John Carroll Saturday at 11 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio