Braxton Plunk, Wayne Ruby Jr. lead Mount Union football past Johns Hopkins

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  • Johns Hopkins
    American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and abolitionist (1795–1873)
Mount Union quarterback Braxton Plunk looks for a receiver downfield against Johns Hopkins during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.
Mount Union quarterback Braxton Plunk looks for a receiver downfield against Johns Hopkins during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.

ALLIANCE — Braxton Plunk threw four touchdown passes to help the Mount Union football team erase early deficits and beat Johns Hopkins 45-35 in an NCAA Division III second-round playoff game.

The 16th-ranked Blue Jays led 5-0 before Plunk's first TD pass and 15-7 before his second helped cut the Mount Union deficit to a point. Wayne Ruby Jr. caught both of those TD passes, a 51-yarder and a 53-yarder.

Nick Deack's 25-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the half gave No. 4 Mount Union the lead for good, at 17-15.

Mount Union receiver Wayne Ruby Jr. (6) pulls in the pass for a touchdown defended by Johns Hopkins' Finn Zechman during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.
Mount Union receiver Wayne Ruby Jr. (6) pulls in the pass for a touchdown defended by Johns Hopkins' Finn Zechman during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.

Two more Plunk TD passes — 20 yards to Ruby and 19 yards to Jaden Manley — in the third quarter helped give the Purple Raiders (12-0) some breathing room. They maintained a lead of at least 10 points the rest of the game.

Mount Union's Josh Petruccelli ran for two scores in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.

Plunk threw for 256 yards on 21-of-36 passing, with one interception. Ruby caught nine balls for 176 yards.

Mount Union running back Josh Petruccelli raises his arm while lifted by lineman John Valentine after Petruccelli's touchdown run against Johns Hopkins during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.
Mount Union running back Josh Petruccelli raises his arm while lifted by lineman John Valentine after Petruccelli's touchdown run against Johns Hopkins during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.

Petruccelli ran for a game-high 102 yards on 19 carries. Deandre Parker added 66 yards on 16 carries for the Purple Raiders, who outrushed their visitors 164-27.

Ryan Stevens threw for 359 yards and three TDs on 30-of-51 passing for Johns Hopkins (10-2). Mount Union also intercepted him three times, with Malik Britt making two interceptions and Jalen Griffin one.

Derrick Bradley led the Purple Raiders with 10 total tackles (nine solos), including a sack. Duke Hill made 2.5 sacks, as Mount Union recorded five sacks as a team and four other tackles for loss.

Mount Union defender Duke Hill reacts after sacking Johns Hopkins quarterback Ryan Stevens during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.
Mount Union defender Duke Hill reacts after sacking Johns Hopkins quarterback Ryan Stevens during second-round playoff action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, November 27, 2021.

Mount Union advances to the national quarterfinals to play No. 13 Muhlenberg (Pa.), which was a 14-0 winner over No. 7 Delaware Valley (Pa.) on Saturday. The location for this game, at noon next Saturday, will be announced Sunday.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Braxton Plunk, Wayne Ruby Jr. lead Mount Union football to playoff win

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