Cuda & Hurd Notch Career-Highs in #18 CWRU’s 35-14 Win at Saint Vincent

Cuda & Hurd Notch Career-Highs in #18 CWRU’s 35-14 Win at Saint Vincent

Case Western Reserve University senior quarterback Rob Cuda threw for a career-high 357 yards and accounted for all five touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Zak Hurd accounted for a career-best 148 receiving yards on five catches, leading the 18th-ranked Spartans to a 35-14 win at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, Case Western Reserve improved to 4-0 overall, including a 3-0 mark in Presidents' Athletic Association games, while Saint Vincent dropped to 2-3 overall with a 1-2 conference record.

Cuda completed 19-of-30 passes to set a new personal single-game high in yardage, while throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another.  He recorded nine completions of at least 20 yards, including six of 30 yards or more during the game.  It was his second-straight 300-yard game, and the sixth of his career, as he broke the 6,000-yard mark for his career, moving into third place all-time in school history in the category.

Hurd led the team in both receptions and receiving yards on Saturday, with senior running back Aaron Aguilar catching five passes for 47 yards and a score, and junior wide receiver Justin Phan finishing the day with a pair of catches for 53 yards.  Senior running back Jacob Burke paced the rushing game with 77 yards on 20 carries on Saturday.

The Spartans' defense held Saint Vincent scoreless through the first three quarters of Saturday's game, and stopped the Bearcats on their first eight third-down conversion attempts, while keeping St. Vincent to a 7.7% (one-for-13) conversion rate on third down tries for the game.  Saint Vincent had managed just 119 yards of offense through the first three quarters, before finishing the game with 275 yards (just 44 of which were on the ground).  Senior linebacker Alex Habeeb tallied a team-leading seven tackles, while senior defensive end Dan Techman finished the day with five tackles including a pair of sacks and three total tackles for a loss.

The Spartans got on the board with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter, when Burke capped off a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown reception, marking the fourth time through as many games this season and 12th time in the team's last 13 games.  CWRU extended the lead on a six-yard pass from Cuda to Aguilar with 8:28 to play in the second, and then grabbed a 21-0 advantage following a 32-yard pass from Cuda to senior wide receiver Luke DiFrancesco with 6:28 left in the half.

Case Western Reserve maintained a 21-0 lead until earlier in the fourth quarter, as Cuda extended the lead with a four-yard run to complete a six-play, 46 yard drive with 14:12 to play.  Jhanard Dorsett put the Bearcats on the board with a one-yard run with 10:23 left, but the Spartans regained a 28-point advantage after Cuda's fourth pass of the game and fifth overall, this time a 38-yard strike to junior wide receiver Joey Spitalli with 8:06 to play.  Saint Vincent would edge closer with a late touchdown, but CWRU was able to recover an onside kick and run out the clock to secure the win.

With Saturday's win, the Spartans have now gone 13-1 in their last 14 games (dating back to last season).  The win also moved Head Coach Greg Debeljak within five of 100 victories for his career.

The Spartans will return home next weekend for their Homecoming game against Bethany College on Saturday, October 7 at DiSanto Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.