There was no jubilation after Mount Union defeated Baldwin Wallace 42-0 last Saturday, even though the Raiders clinched at least a tie for their 24th straight Ohio Athletic conference. They have an even higher goal.
Mount Union at John Carroll
1:30 p.m. Saturday at University Heights, Ohio
Records - Mount Union 9-0, 8-0 Ohio Athletic Conference; John Carroll 8-1, 7-1 OAC
Last meeting - Mount Union won 36-28 in an NCAA Division III quarterfinal in Alliance, Ohio.
Series - Mount Union leads series 30-2-2.
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The moment called for Gatorade containers to be emptied on to the head of coach Vince Kehres and players tossing helmets into the air in jubilation after Mount Union defeated Baldwin Wallace 42-0 last Saturday.
The Raiders clinched at least a tie for their 24th straight Ohio Athletic conference. It was their 102nd straight regular season victory dating to October 2005.
"Oh, no, we did not do any of that," sophomore defensive lineman Elijah Berry of Dublin Scioto said. "One of the first things Coach Kehres told us was that we were not in a celebration mode. This is what we strive for - what we expect to do every year. We want more."
The current regular-season winning streak ranks only second in team history. The longest was 110 games between 1994 and 2005.
Berry said there is only one goal, and that is a 12th Division III national championship.
Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch of Grove City, who played on Mount Union national championship teams in 1998, 2000 and '01, called the environment "a fantasy world."
"In my time at Mount Union we never - never - talked about having overlooked an opponent during a Sunday night meeting," Grinch said. "We always were ready to play. We never walked off the practice field saying we had a horrible day. That just doesn't happen anywhere else."
Berry knows what Grinch was saying.
"We acknowledge the fact that it's about us getting better every week," he said. "We can't control the competition, but we can prepare ourselves for the game. You have to come to work. If you don't work, it will show up. Then you will hear it from the coaches."
Kehres, who is in his third season, said it starts with juniors and seniors teaching freshmen what is expected and to pay attention to detail.
"It's about learning how to embrace the daily grind," he said. "Absolutely, it's about respecting the game. There is not a sense of entitlement here. No one is promised anything. It is difficult to play here, but everyone knows the expectations."
Winning every game, Kehres said, is the product of a bar set high.
"You don't win every game and it's a disappointing year," he said. "The players buy into that. I tell them that we're in a preparation mode and not a celebration mode. That is ingrained."
* * *Other Ohio games
Tulsa (5-4, 2-3) at Cincinnati (5-4, 2-3)
7:30 p.m. Saturday - CINCINNATI
The skinny -- Cincinnati fell out of the in the American Athletic Conference East a couple of weeks ago, and now it is running out of games to become bowl eligible. The Bearcats will lean on red-hot QB Gunner Kiel, who threw for 523 yards and four TDs vs. Houston last week.
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North Dakota St. (7-2, 5-1) at Youngstown St. (5-4, 3-3)
2 p.m. Saturday - YOUNGSTOWN
The skinny -- When the schedule came out, this looked to be a matchup with playoff implications against four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State. Now, it's about playing spoiler and a third straight victory for the Penguins.
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Tiffin (5-5, 4-5) at Ohio Dominican (7-3, 6-3)
12:30 p.m. Saturday - COLUMBUS
The skinny -- Ohio Dominican won't be making a third straight trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs, but it can close the season with a fourth straight victory.