Fresh off its first season opening win since 2008, The College of Wooster football team gets right into North Coast Athletic Conference play with a 5 p.m. trip to Meadville, Pa. to take on Allegheny College at the 3,500-seat Frank B. Fuhrer Field. In fact, both teams won their respective season lid-lifters as Allegheny cruised to a 38-6 win over Thiel College on Thursday evening. This will mark the third straight year Wooster's opened league play against Allegheny, and the Scots won the previous two meetings – 28-13 in 2015, and last season's 49-40 thriller at John P. Papp Stadium.
All-Time Series: Allegheny leads the all-time series 20-17, but Wooster's had a high degree of success, bringing a four-game win streak into Saturday's meeting. During the current four-game stretch, Wooster's outscored Allegheny 152-90. In Meadville, the teams have split 16 all-time meetings, including the last four.
Last Meeting: Senior Gary Muntean (Poland, Ohio/Struthers) made program history through the air, but it was Wooster's ground game that provided the majority of the points, and the defense that made a couple of big plays in the final minutes, as the football team topped Allegheny College 49-40 in the league-opener. Muntean finished with 419 yards passing and backed that up with 42 on the ground. Muntean's passing total marked his fifth 300-yard game, establishing a new Wooster program record for that category, while his 461 yards of total offense trailed only the 482 he piled up during the 2015 contest at Hiram College.
Six of Wooster's seven touchdowns came on the ground, the most since the Scots had eight against Hiram on Oct. 30, 2010.
Defensively, Wooster recorded 13 tackles for loss in the game, including 2.5 by senior Aaron Roberson (Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day). In fact, Roberson's tackles for loss also went for sacks as the then-junior drove the Gators back 25 yards.
Offense Notes: Wooster's offense ran the ball extremely effectively during its win over Bluffton as the Scots wracked up 205 yards on 48 carries. Junior Antonio Bailey (Duluth, Ga./Meadowcreek) rushed 21 times for 106 yards, eight shy of his career high. Muntean backed that up with 89 yards on 18 games, marking a career-high in rushing yardage for the Scots' veteran signal-caller. Sophomore Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) hauled in a 56-yard touchdown reception in his first collegiate football game. Wooster's veteran offense line consisting of sophomore right tackle Mick Appel (Arlington, Va./Washington-Lee), sophomore left guard Adam Clark (Stoneboro, Pa./Greenville), senior right guard Clayton Geib (London, Ohio/London), senior center Patrick Mohorcic (Highland Hts., Ohio/Gilmour Academy), and senior left tackle Drake Schwenke (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) now have 93 games of starting experience between them.
Defense Notes: Wooster started three freshmen on defense last week in linebacker Christian Dokes (Akron, Ohio/Firestone), strong safety Danté Fair (Pataskala, Ohio/Watkins Memorial), and cornerback Twyan Reynolds (Columbus, Ohio/Harvest Prep School). Seven of Wooster's eight student-athletes with at least five tackles in Saturday's win over Bluffton are either freshmen or sophomores. Sophomore Christian Santos (Yeadon, Pa./Penn Wood Senior) led the team with 10 stops while Dokes, Fair, freshman Beau Greenwood (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon), and sophomore Jake Cohen (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) each tallied seven. Wooster picked off Bluffton four times, with two interceptions coming from senior Patrick Johnson (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor), including one in the end zone in the third quarter. Cohen's interception turned into a pick-six, as the sophomore linebacker navigated through the Beavers' defense for the 24-yard score. Notable, the four interceptions marked the most by the Scots in a game since Wooster had a quartet of picks against Kenyon College on Nov. 9, 2013.
Special Teams Notes: Head coach Frank Colaprete turned to Muntean for a pair of pooch punts in Saturday's win, and Muntean delivered boots of 38 and 42 yards. Senior Trevor Bowden (Eatonton, Ga./Gatewood Schools) split the uprights on a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter to cap Wooster's first drive of the season with points.
This and That: Colaprete's stellar coaching career started at Allegheny, where the Scots' mentor served as the defensive backs coach during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. Wooster has 10 student-athletes on the roster from Pennsylvania, including Clark, who hails from about 30 minutes south of Meadville. Junior Cornelius Gyamfi (Atlanta, Ga./Chamblee) is now listed as a defensive lineman after spending his career primarily at linebacker. Junior Hunter Coia (Oldsmar, Fla./Canterbury) and sophomore Jordan Patterson (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Falls) are both now listed as linebackers after being listed on last week's two-deep as starters in the secondary.