Spartan Defense and Ground Game Lead the Way to 6-0 Win on Seniors’ Day versus UAA Rival Chicago
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University football team grinded out 201 yards on the ground and stopped a pair of late drives deep in its own territory to defeat University Athletic Association rival University of Chicago (Ill.), 6-0, on Seniors' Day at Case Field.
The Spartans (7-1 overall, 1-0 UAA) have won six in a row and now hit the road for a pair of crucial conference games starting with Washington University in St. Louis next Saturday, November 5 at 12:00 p.m. (CDT).
Chicago sees a three-game win streak snapped and falls to 5-3 and 0-1 in the UAA.
The Spartans stopped the Maroons on fourth-and-goal from the two with 4:42 remaining and on fourth-and-10 from the 14 with :50 left on the clock. Case's defense, ranked 17th in all of NCAA Division III against the run (90.6 yards per game), helped pad those stats holding the Maroons to just three yards rushing on 23 carries.
For the game, sophomore running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) rushed for a career-high 103 yards on 17 carries (6.1 ypc), while freshman RB Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) totaled 83 yards on 20 carries.
Defensively, senior tackle Dale English (Middleburg Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) recorded 10 tackles, including four for loss, with 1.5 sacks – moving just a half-sack shy of tying the school record. Senior linebacker Jacob Adams also posted 10 tackles with a half-sack and a blocked field goal.
After forcing Chicago three-and-out on the game's opening drive, the Spartans scored on their first possession as senior placekicker Daniel Vasil (Erie, Pa./McDowell) booted a 33-yard field goal to cap a five-play, 45-yard drive at the 10:45 mark. Riordan opened the drive with a season-best 45-yard rush.
Several possessions later, Case turned the ball over when linebacker Schuyler Montefalco intercepted a pass and returned it 51 yards for the apparent go-ahead touchdown. But, a taunting penalty negated the score and placed the ball at the Spartan 20.
After being pushed back with negative plays, the Maroons were able to convert a long fourth down and eventually attempted a 20-yard field goal, but Adams picked up his second career block to end the drive.
Case then marched 74 yards on 12 plays and scored three again as Vasil connected for a 29-yard field goal with 9:54 left before half.
Chicago threatened on its next possession, but saw the drive ended on fourth-and-one as English stuffed a rushing attempt by Maroon fullback Zak Ross-Nash.
Neither side generated much offense the rest of the half, and the Spartans led 6-0 at the break.
The third quarter was more of the same, despite a pair of field goal attempts for Case. However, the first was blocked by cornerback Emmett Carrier and the second was missed wide.
Chicago was led by wide receiver Dee Brizzolara with 103 receiving yards on five receptions. Linebacker Danny Polaneczky totaled a game-high 15 tackles.