TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — With apologies to Claude Rains, it was a case of the usual suspects leading the way for Mount Union in a 66-14 season-opening victory Saturday night at Rose-Hulman Institute.
Senior quarterback D’Angelo Fulford passed for 288 yards and six touchdowns, Justin Hill had 148 yards receiving and four TDs, and Josh Petruccelli had 149 yards rushing and a score as the Purple Raiders opened a season with a victory for the 32nd consecutive time.
Hill, who caught five passes in a little more than two quarters, tied a career high with the four TDs in his eighth career 100-yard game.
Fulford was 16-of-22 passing for 288 yards, and also connected with Edwin Reed and Derrick Harvey on scoring plays.
Running back Matt Garcia also scored twice on the ground for Mount Union.
Defensively, senior Andrew Roesh had five tackles, including four stops for loss, and senior linebacker Trey Williams had four tackles, three of them behind the line of scrimmage.
For all the good things, though, it was a season opener and the Purple Raiders made enough mistakes to keep coach Vince Kehres and his staff occupied for the next weeks, before the home opener Sept. 21 against Baldwin Wallace.
Fulford dropped the ball attempting to pass. Rose-Hulman’s two touchdowns were long plays. Engineers quarterback Andre Dion completed only 2-of-17 passes, but one was a perfect 60-yard strike to Noah Thomas. And backup running back Shane Welshans broke through for a 68-yard TD run.
Take away those two plays, though, and Rose-Hulman managed just 119 total yards on 50 plays from scrimmage.
Mount Union scored the first two times it had the ball and used less than a minute in each possession. Fulford found Hill from 15 yards two plays after the opening kickoff — Petruccelli rumbled for 46 yards on the initial play — to make it 7-0. Then, after an Engineers punt, Petruccelli ripped off a 57-yard run to set up the Raiders at the R-H 2-yard line, from where the junior punched it in — with just 3:47 elapsed — to make it 14-0.
The game was Petruccelli’s 13th with 100 yards rushing.
The victory was Mount Union’s 799 all-time. The Purple Raiders can become the 16th team in college football history, regardless of division, to reach 800 wins in the home opener.