The Marietta College football team fell just short again Saturday, suffering a 13-7 setback to Capital two weeks after a 26-23 loss to Case Western in week one.
At 0-2 on the season, it doesn't get any easier for the Pioneers, as they host Mount Union, the top ranked Division III football team in the country, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Don Drumm Stadium.
After looking very sharp in week one, the Marietta offense sputtered against Capital, netting just 88 yards of offense and no points. The only Pioneer points came via a Louis DiPaolo interception return for a touchdown.
This in part due to Pioneer quarterback Tom Fulton getting injured. Freshman Thomas Hinkle was brought in at quarterback, which limited the Marietta offense.
Fulton appears to be ready for Saturday, which is big, because the Pios will need to be at full strength against a team like the Purple Raiders.
Mount Union gained over 600 total yards of offense against Muskingum last week.
Sophomore quarterback Kevin Burke accounted for six of the Raiders eight touchdowns as he threw four of them while going 12-of-17 passing for 258 yards then rushed for two others as he had four rushes for 17 yards.
The Marietta defense will certainly have its hands full.
"You just have to prepare for the overall talent," said Marietta head coach Jeff Filkovski. "They have guys who can run, as well as big guys who are very physical. You have to put guys in situations to be successful."
Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres will be going for a milestone in the game. Kehres currently has 319 coaching victories, and his next one will put above legendary coach Pop Warner on the all time list.
This will be the 51st meeting between the teams with Mount Union holding a 41-8-1 lead in the series.
The last Pioneer win was a 20-6 decision in 1977 in Marietta.
Filkovski realizes that against a team like Mount Union, mistake free football is necessary.
"The talent level is going to be higher," Filkovski said. "They're number one for a reason. We have to put a perfect play together every play. We have to play strong enough together to get a win."
Marietta has been competitive in both of its games this season, but now it looks to get over the hump and get that elusive first victory.
"It's all about making plays," Filkovski said. "We were right there in the first two."