Wilmington College will travel to Alliance to face No. 2 Mount Union in Ohio Athletic Conference action 7 p.m. Saturday.
Wilmington (0-1 OAC, 0-2 overall) opened conference play with a 26-12 loss at Capital on Sept. 17. The Quakers rallied from a 26-0 halftime deficit to make things interesting down the stretch.
"We could have easily laid down in the second half, but I think the team just about had enough and came together," Wilmington head coach Ken Minor said. "I was very pleased with what we took from the second half. We just need to try to approach the Mount Union game the way we approached the second half against Capital."
Mount Union (1-0, 2-0) steamrolled John Carroll, 58-7, last week. The Purple Raiders amassed 631 total yards, 254 of which were provided by the legs of junior running back Jeremy Murray.
"I told our team Monday that the way you get better is to go against the best competition," Minor said. "This is the best chance we're going to have to get better for the rest of the year. Mount Union has 16 starters back from last year's team, which went to the national championship game. That pretty much tells you what kind of team they have this year."
Brandon Arehart (Wilmington) passed for career-high 314 yards against Capital. The sophomore's primary target was Kyle Blakeman (Wilmington), who established career highs across the board with 10 receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
"Brandon and Kyle have been together since high school, and they were definitely on the same page last week. We needed that at that time, and I know it gave them both a lot of confidence," Minor said.
While Murray was streaking past John Carroll's defenders, the quiet consistency of the Raiders' attack was and is quarterback Neal Seaman.
"Seaman is probably the most efficient quarterback we will see this year. He is very experienced and precise. He reads his keys very well and knows when and where to throw the ball," Minor said.
Wilmington's defense pitched a shutout at Capital in the second half, led in part by the play of freshman safety Devon Burton (Waynesville). Burton finished with nine tackles — two for loss — and an interception.
"Devon had a great game, especially when you consider that he moved from the linebacker position a week ago," Minor said. "The way he performed was way beyond our expectations."
Mount Union's defense limited John Carroll to 155 total yards and forced four turnovers.
"Their defensive line puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback, which gives their linebackers a chance to hang back. Their defensive backfield is very quick, and they just don't make mistakes," Minor said.