The College of Wooster's football team swept the North Coast Athletic Conference's weekly awards, marking the first time a program has done so in nearly three years, as senior quarterback Gary Muntean was tabbed as the NCAC's Offensive Player of the Week, while sophomore defensive end Robert Alvarez earned the NCAC's Defensive Player of the Week honor, the conference office announced on Monday afternoon.
Muntean, who picked up his third career NCAC weekly award, set or matched three individual program records while also contributing to a team record during Wooster's impressive 58-25 win over Hiram College on Saturday. In the second quarter, a 13-yard touchdown pass to junior Connor Allan marked Muntean's 22nd of the season, moving the Poland, Ohio native past W Association Hall of Famer Rich Judd's 21 from 1997 for the top spot on the single-season chart. Later in the game, a 24-yard strike to sophomore Nick Strausbaugh marked Muntean's 24th touchdown pass of the season and fifth of the game, with the latter feat matching the single-game program record. In fact, Judd and Muntean are the lone student-athletes with multiple five passing touchdown games in program history, and coincidentally, both of Muntean's have come against Hiram.
In the third quarter, Muntean's 15-yard completion to Allan moved the senior past former standout Richard Barnes for the most passing yards in program history, and at game's end, Muntean's career yardage stood at 7,338.
In all, Wooster had seven passing touchdowns in the game, marking the single-game team program record, besting the previous mark of six set against Oberlin College in 1997.
Alvarez's career day featured 11 tackles and a single-game program record 4.5 sacks, a total that's also tied for the second-most in a Div. III game this season. Alvarez, who topped Henry Adams' 1989 and Andy Mizak's 2004 4-sack games, recorded 3.5 of his sacks after halftime, including a momentum-shifting 6-yard sack on a first-and-15 play that originated from Wooster's side of the field. On the next drive, Alvarez was right there again with a 3-yard sack on the first-down play of an eventual three-and-out by the Terriers.
Later in the game, Alvarez fell on a Hiram fumble inside the Terriers' 10-yard line, and takeaway eventually led to the Scots' seventh touchdown pass of the day.
Alvarez and Muntean are the first Scots to earn weekly recognition by the NCAC this season, and the weekly sweep is a first by a NCAC institution since Wittenberg University did so on Nov. 3, 2014.