Notre Dame College gashed Urbana University, 45-7, in MEC football Saturday afternoon at UU Stadium.
The Blue Knights (3-4, 2-4 MEC) scored on the first play from scrimmage, but could not get anything else going against the Falcons (6-1, 6-1 MEC), who won their sixth straight game.
Starting for the injured Tajuan Green, redshirt sophomore quarterback Chance Short found Rodell Rahmaan down the right sideline for an 81-yard score to open the game. It was the seventh touchdown grab for Rahmaan over a streak of 13 catches during the past four games.
Unfortunately, that was all UU could put on the board as the visitors awakened to control the rest of the game.
UU turned the ball over four times and punted a season-high nine times. The Falcons wore down the UU defense with 317 rushing yards and outgained the Blue Knights 546 yards to 335, while holding the ball for nearly 34 minutes.
Short finished 9 of 30 through the air with two interceptions. The 81-yard TD pass went down as the longest pass play this season for the Blue Knights.
Running back duo Maurice Warren Jr. and Ja’Vahri Portis combined for 119 rushing yards for UU. Portis tied the longest run by a Blue Knight this season with a 32-yard dash in the first quarter. Senior WR Tre Saunders secured a team-high six catches for 88 yards.
NDC quarterback Malik Grove tossed five touchdowns, finishing 10-of-20 passing for 229 yards. Four of those scores went to wideout Marvelle Ross, who recorded 164 receiving yards. NDC running back Brian Walker ran for 129 yards and a score on 20 carries.
UU linebacker Duray Hall collected a season-high 16 tackles and defensive end Mikal Toliver recorded two sacks to lead the Blue Knights on defense.
Notre Dame ran out to a 31-7 halftime lead, following a 21-point second quarter. The Falcons cruised through the second half and forced UU to punt on its final six drives.
Stat of the game
For the second straight week, UU’s opponent ran 74 offensive plays. The Falcons limited the Blue Knights, who led the MEC in average time of possession entering the game, to a TOP time of 26:38.
Trailing 10-7, UU fumbled a kickoff return after NDC’s first quarter touchdown that led to the Falcons ultimately scoring on four straight possessions.
It was over when
The Falcons scored on a 24-yard pass play late in the third quarter to go ahead 38-7.
Star of the game
UU punter Brandon Purk of Mechanicsburg was solid in a heavy workload with a 44.9 net average on nine punts. He booted three kicks over 50 yards and three that landed inside the NDC 20.
UU travels to nationally-ranked Shepherd on Saturday. Kickoff in Shepherdstown, W. Va., is slated for noon.