Spartans Set to Host Frostburg St. in Home Opener on Saturday

The Spartans open the home portion of the 2012 schedule with a 2-0 record. (photo by Dave Nash)

Frostburg State Bobcats (1-1) at
Case Western Reserve Spartans (2-0)
Saturday, September 15, 2012 - 1:00 p.m.
Case Field - Cleveland, Ohio

(Ed Daugherty, play-by-play; Dan Whalen, color)


Download the complete Spartan Games Notes in .pdf format by clicking HERE.

The Case Western Reserve University football team opens the home portion of its 2012 schedule versus first-time opponent Frostburg State University (Md.) on Saturday, September 15 at Case Field. The Spartans (2-0) shutout Hiram College by a score of 35-0 last Saturday and improved to 50-6 since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Bobcats (1-1) fell at Waynesburg University (Pa.) by a score of 21-7.

The Spartans and Bobcats will meet for the first time on the gridiron. Case Western Reserve hasn't played a represenative of the Empire 8 since a 14-0 loss at home to Alfred University (N.Y.) in 2005. Frostburg State has only one meeting with a current UAA school–a loss to Carnegie Mellon.

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his ninth season in 2012 with a 63-23 (.733) record. Debeljak has led the Spartans to four UAA Championships in five years, including three-consecutive undefeated (10-0) regular seasons from 2007-09 with back-to-back-to-back NCAA Playoff berths. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Case Western Reserve has posted an outstanding overall record of 50-6, earning Debeljak and his staff the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award four times (2007-09, '11). In addition, Case has been ranked in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 in four of the past five seasons (2007-10).

Frostburg St. is coached by Tom Rogish, who is in his fourth season with an 11-30 overall record. Last season, Rogish led the Bobcats to the program's highest win total (four) since 2005. Prior to his arrival in Frostburg, Rogish spent two years on the defensive staff at Shepherd College (W. Va.).

Through two games in 2012, the Spartans average 30.5 points, 175 yards rushing, 245.5 yards passing and 420.5 total yards. Case opponents average 11.5 ppg, 40.5 yards rushing, 228.5 yards passing and 269 total yards per game. The Spartans have a -2 turnover ratio after leading the UAA at +12 last season.

Senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) completed 22-of-30 passes for a career-high 277 yards and three touchdowns as the Spartans shutout Hiram on the road, 35-0. Freshman fullback Adam Hochman (Austin, Texas / Anderson) caught a pair of scores, while sophomore wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) had six receptions for a career-high 132 yards. Senior defensive end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) scored his first career TD on a 38-yard blocked punt return.

Offensively, senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) has completed 32-of-48 passes (66.7%) for 473 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) has a team-high 209 yards rushing on 30 carries (7.0 ypc), while sophomore running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) has 130 yards on 27 carries (4.8 ypc) with one touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) has posted 10 receptions for 213 yards (21.3 ypc) and a TD. Senior wide receiver Brian Rice (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) has seven catches for 121 yards (17.3 ypc).

Defensively, senior outside linebacker Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) has recorded a team-high 18 tackles with a forced fumble. Senior linebacker Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) has 15 stops with a pass break-up and a blocked punt. Senior nose guard Michael Harris (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) has 13 tackles and a pair of sacks. Senior tackle Collin Desens (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Arlington) has 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks, while junior end Brandon Bryant (Rockville, Md./Rockville) has seven tackles with a team-high 4.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks. Junior safety Jordan Banky (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) has the team's lone interception, while senior linebacker Kevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster) has forced a pair of fumbles.

Through two games, the Bobcats average 31.5 points, 164.5 yards rushing, 262 yards passing and 426.5 total yards. Frostburg St. opponents average 37 ppg, 186 yards rushing, 339.5 yards passing and 525.5 total yards per game. The Bobcats have a +3 turnover ratio.

Offensively, sophomore QB Ken Emmons has completed 31-of-57 (54.4%) for 524 yards and four TDs. Emmons has also rushed 42 yards with a pair of scores. Junior RB Chuky Iweh has 191 yards rushing on 40 carries (4.8 ypc) with two TDs. Senior WR Anthony Young has 14 receptions for 213 (15.2 ypc) with three TDs. Sophomore WR Antonio Wood has six catches for 175 yards (29.2 ypc) with a score.

Defensively, senior DB Brendon Blanchette leads the team with 28 tackles, including 20 solo stops, with one TFL. Junior LB Joshua Pennington has 16 stops, including 11 solo, with a pass break-up. Sophomore DB Keith Smith has 14 tackles, an interception and a pass break-up, while DB Michael Taylor has 10 tackles and a 64-yard fumble recovery.

After two weeks of play, the Spartan defensive unit ranks 17th in the nation in rush defense (40.5 ypg) and is tied for 20th with eight sacks. Last season, the Spartans ranked seventh nationally in rush defense (75.7 ypg), 12th in scoring defense (12.9 ppg) and fourth in red zone efficiency (52%).

Sophomore Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley), the Spartans' top wide receiver, has set career-highs for receiving yards in each of the first two games this season. At Marietta in week one, Lapcevic caught four passes for 81 yards. At Hiram last Saturday, he eclipsed 100 yards for the first time and finished with 132 yards receiving.

Junior defensive end Brandon Bryant (Rockville, Md./Rockville) has already recorded career highs for tackles, TFL and sacks. Through two games, Bryant also leads the team with 4.5 TFL and is tied for tops on the squad with 2.5 sacks.

Several Spartans recorded their first collegiate touchdowns in last Saturday's win at Hiram. Freshman fullback Adam Hochman (Austin, Texas / Anderson) caught a pair of scores, while sophomore tight end George Darany (Northville, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) recorded his first TD on a reception in the second quarter. Senior defensive end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) also made his initial trip to the endzone on a 38-yard blocked punt return set up by a block from senior linebacker Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich).

Junior safety Jordan Banky (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) has the team's lone interception this season after his pick at Marietta in week one. Of his three career INTs, two have come in the fourth quarter of games, while the other occured in the third quarter. Each of the three INTs have come in a Spartan victory.

The number of wins for Case Western Reserve since the beginning of the 2007 season. The team is 50-6 overall during that span and 26-1 on the road. 

Case Western Reserve's record in home openers dating back to 2002. Seven of the wins have come during the Greg Debeljak era.

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