CLEVELAND, Ohio – Sophomore running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Preparatory) recorded 91 yards on the ground and another 83 through the air with two total touchdowns, but a last-minute score led Frostburg State University (Md.) to a 17-16 upset of Case Western Reserve University in the Spartans' 2012 home opener at Case Field.
The Spartans (2-1) drop their second-straight home opener, but still maintain a 50-7 overall record since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Bobcats improve to 2-1 with the victory.
Case led 16-10 until the final minute, but FSU quarterback Ken Emmons threw the game-winning score to running back Chuky Iweh with just 43 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Spartans blocked both a field goal and a punt in the game, but FSU racked up 396 yards of offense and held a decided advantage in time of possession, 36:05 to 23:55.
After the first possession of the game resulted in a Spartan punt, FSU took possession and marched 86 yards on 14 plays, scoring when Iweh leaped over the goal line pile for a one-yard touchdown run. Jonathan Adams hit the extra point at the 6:21 mark as the Bobcats converted three third downs on the drive and burned 6:21 off the game clock.
The Spartans came right back on the following possession and found the end zone when senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) connected with Sicre for a 15-yard TD on a screen pass. Freshman Won Kun Park (Daejon, South Korea/Kimball Union Academy, N.H.) hit the extra point with 2:20 left in the first quarter, capping a 10-play, 65-yard drive.
The game then went scoreless for the next period of play with the Spartans foiling an opportunity for FSU at the 4:55 mark of the second quarter when senior defensive end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt to end a 5:09 drive.
Several drives later, FSU broke through with an eight-play, 62-yard drive that culminated in a 17-yard field goal by Adams with 12 seconds left before halftime.
Early in the third quarter, the Spartans grabbed the momentum as Watson recorded another block on a Bobcat punt, giving Case possession at the visitor 29. The offense then put together an eight-play drive and found the end zone for a second time when Sicre rushed in from two yards out. The extra point was missed and the Spartans led 13-10 with 9:02 left in the period.
Both defenses tightened again and it wasn't until a Park field goal with 4:58 remaining did either team score. The freshman's third field goal of 2012 made the score 16-10 with just minutes remaining.
However, FSU took the following drive 81 yards on 10 plays and scored the deciding TD as Emmons scrambled and found Iweh for a six-yard scoring pass. Emmons keyed the drive with runs of 16 and 32 yards.
The Spartans final drive resulted in an interception as the Bobcat defense sealed the one-point upset.
Offensively, Sicre's 91 rushing yards came on 27 carries, while his 83 receiving yards came on three catches with a long of 54. Olson completed 10-of-21 for 136 yards.
Defensively, senior linebackers Kevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster) and Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) each recorded season highs with 16 and 13 tackles, respectively. Senior nose guard Michael Harris (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) posted 1.5 sacks, while senior outside linebacker Michael Fioramonti (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) recorded his first career interception.
Emmons led FSU with game-highs of 221 yards passing and 93 yards rushing. Running back Michael Fourth had 58 yards on the ground and caught six balls for 60 yards. On defense, end Aaron Gruber totaled 13 tackles and a sack, while linebacker Roman Pinkett recorded the clinching interception.
The Spartans hit the road for the third time in four weeks with a third night game at Ohio Wesleyan University next Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Selby Stadium in Delaware.