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UU Defense, Mendenhall Dominant Again in 62-10 Road Win

After saving the day in a 12-9 conference win at home last week, the Urbana University defense turned in a performance for the ages in Week 5 at West Virginia State University on Saturday. A young Blue Knight defense held the Yellow Jackets below zero offensive yards in the first half of a 62-10 rout on WVSU's Homecoming.

At halftime, the Yellow Jackets had -14 yards and no first downs after running 25 plays against a Royal Blue wall. Urbana's offense refused to be outdone by the dominant defense. The Blue Knights jumped out to a 48-0 first half lead after senior QB D.J. Mendenhall bounced back and threw two touchdown passes apiece to wide receivers Joe Webb, Marc Johnson and Alvin Busbee. His six touchdowns through the air are a school record for one half and just one shy of the single game record set by Frank Carrico in 1998.

The lead reached 55-0 after junior running back David Hill capped Urbana's opening drive in the third quarter with a four-yard TD plunge. It was Mendenhall's final drive of the day as the Blue Knights' first team took the rest of the day off.

The Yellow Jackets avoided the shutout thanks to a couple of long passes on their next drive. The home team also added a 45-yard field goal late.

Deontea Rudasill became the fourth Blue Knight to cross the goal line twice on Saturday when he scored on a two-yard run halfway through the third quarter. The reserve running back also scored on a blocked punt and return in the first quarter.

Urbana's offense finished with 637 total yards, including 432 in the first half. Mendenhall accounted for 340 yards, throwing for 297 and rushing for another 43. His 6 TD passes were a career-high and helped him tie Tusculum College's Bo Cordell for the active lead in career points responsible for in NCAA Division II. Senior Joe Webb racked up 196 total yards on the day. He caught 5 passes for 120 yards and rushed another 10 times for 76 yards. He tied Hill for the team lead in rushing yards. Ten different Blue Knight receivers caught passes, including first career catches for collegiate rookies Kelly Carter, Cedric Presley, Dan Krupko, and Eric Pelfrey.

Defensively, 23 different Blue Knights recorded a tackle, led by defensive lineman Kyle Ferguson's 8 stops, including 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage. Sophomore linebacker D'Gary Wallace made 7 tackles, including a two behind the line of scrimmage, and senior defensive back Jake Krupko was in on 5 stops, including one for a loss. Krupko also picked off a Yellow Jacket pass, giving him a catch on the same day that his freshman brother caught his first career pass as a UU wide receiver.

West Virginia State remains winless through its first five games this season. Meanwhile, Urbana (3-2, 3-1 MEC) returns home next Saturday to host MEC foe Concord University (4-1, 3-0 MEC). The Mountain Lions have appeared in the national rankings at times this season. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. but the tailgating and festivities will begin much earlier than that as it is Homecoming Weekend at Urbana University.

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