Spartans Close out Non-Conference Slate at Oberlin on Saturday

The Spartans look to move to 4-3 in their final game before UAA action begins. (photo by Lynne Browske)
The Spartans look to move to 4-3 in their final game before UAA action begins. (photo by Lynne Browske)

Case Western Reserve Spartans (3-3) at
Oberlin Yeomen (2-4)
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 1:00 p.m.
Savage Stadium - Oberlin, Ohio

(Dave Wilson, play-by-play; Ed Daugherty, color)



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

Following its bye week, the Case Western Reserve University football team looks to close the 2012 non-conference schedule out with a victory when it travels to Oberlin College for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, October 20 at Savage Stadium. The Spartans last played on Oct. 6 and defeated The College of Wooster at home in the final annual installment of the Baird Brothers' Trophy Game. The Yeomen snapped a four-game losing streak with a 30-6 victory at home versus Denison University.

The Spartans and Yeomen have met 35 times on the gridiron with Case Western Reserve holding a 30-5 lead in the all-time series. Case has won 27 straight versus Oberlin, including a 47-21 victory last season at Case Field. The last Oberlin win came at home by a score of 17-6 during the 1982 campaign. The first-ever meeting between the two sides resulted in a 27-21 Case win at home in 1972. 

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his ninth season in 2012 with a 64-26 (.711) 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 51-9, 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).

Oberlin is coached by Jeff Ramsey, who is in his 14th season with a 37-99 record. Ramsey ranks third on the Yeomen all-time wins list and his teams have set 136 school records during his tenure. Prior to his time at Oberlin, Ramsey served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Division I-AA Sonoma State University (Calif.).

Then junior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) intercepted a career-high and school record-tying three passes, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and Case Western Reserve scored 37 points in the first half en route to a 47-21 victory versus Oberlin on October 8 in Cleveland. Oberlin QB Josh Mandel threw a pair of second-half TDs, a three-yarder to Cory Kidd with 7:51 left in the third quarter and a 17-yarder to Robin Wijtes with 1:42 remaining in the game.

Through six games, the Spartans average 22.0 points, 150.5 yards rushing, 215.0 yards passing and 365.5 total yards. Case opponents average 16.5 ppg, 78.8 yards rushing, 217.8 yards passing and 296.6 total yards per game. The Spartans have a -10 turnover ratio after leading the UAA at +12 last season.

The Spartans built a 17-0 first-quarter lead and held off a late comeback attempt to defeat Wooster, 31-28, in the final annual installment of the Baird Brothers' Trophy Game on Saturday, October 6 at Case Field. Senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) completed 12-of-26 passes for 224 yards and tied a career high with three touchdowns through the air. Defensively, senior end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) tied for the game high with 13 tackles and recorded the team's lone sack.

Offensively, senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) has completed 99-of-164 passes (60.4%) for 1,249 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sophomore signal caller Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) has rushed for 79 yards on 14 carries, while completing one pass for 18 yards. Sophomore running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) has a team-high 424 yards rushing on 107 carries (4.0 ypc) with two touchdowns. Sicre also has 17 receptions for 241 yards and two scores. Sophomore RB Ricky Hanzlik (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) has rushed for 161 yards on 34 carries (4.7 ypc) with one TD. Sophomore wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) has posted a team-high 27 receptions for 398 yards (14.7 ypc) and two TDs. Senior wide receiver Brian Rice (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) has 24 catches for 338 yards (14.1 ypc) with one TD. 

Defensively, senior outside linebacker Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) has recorded a UAA-high 62 tackles with a forced fumble and four pass break-ups. Senior linebacker Kevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster) has 57 tackles, a team-high two forced fumbles, and one pass break-up. Senior linebacker Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) has 55 stops with a pass break-up and a blocked punt. Senior nose guard Michael Harris (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) has 35 tackles and is tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks. Senior tackle Collin Desens (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Arlington) has 34 tackles and three sacks, while junior end Brandon Bryant (Rockville, Md./Rockville) has 17 tackles with a team-high 6.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks. Senior cornerback Cary Dieter (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) leads the team with five break-ups.

Through six games, the Yeomen average 17.5 points, 116.8 yards rushing, 175.8 yards passing and 292.6 total yards. Oberlin opponents average 18.5 ppg, 102.2 yards rushing, 203.8 yards passing and 306.0 total yards per game. The Yeomen have a +6 turnover ratio.

Offensively, senior QB Josh Mandel has completed 34-of-67 passes for 495 yards with four TDs and two INTs. Freshman QB Lucas Poggiali has completed 55-of-99 passes for 560 yards with one TD and five INTs. Poggiali also has 112 yards rushing with a score. Junior RB Moses Richardson is the team's featured back with 386 yards rushing on 91 carries (4.2 ypc) with three TDs. Senior WR Robin Witjes has team-highs of 38 receptions, 547 yards and three receiving scores. Fellow senior wide out Dan Weintraub has 22 catches for 207 yards and a pair of TDs.

Defensively, senior LB Dane Stritt has a team-high 52 tackles, including two for loss, with a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles. Senior lineman Clay Eaton has 24 tackles with team-highs of 13 TFL, 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles to go along with a pair of fumble recoveries. Junior lineman Jake Dakno has 29 stops and is second to Eaton with 6.5 TFL and four sacks. Senior DB David Kalgren leads the squad with four INTs and five break-ups, while junior DB Zachary Kisley has three INTs and four PBUs. 

Five Case Western Reserve youngsters made a significant impact during the win versus Wooster two weeks ago. Sophomore RB Ricky Hanzlik (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and sophomore QB Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) each posted career highs for carries and yards. Hanzlik totaled 77 yards on 18 touches, while Beecher ran 12 times for 73 yards. Freshman RB Ezra Kim (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) rushed for a three-yard TD on his first career carry, while freshman WR Bryan Erb (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) caught a 22-yard TD and completed a 23-yard pass on a reverse. Freshman DT Justin Williams (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) posted  a career-high seven tackles with a quarterback hurry.

The Spartans are tied for 15th in the nation in rush defense, allowing just 78.8 yards per game. The team finished last season with the seventh-best rush defense at 75.7 ypg.

Saturday's contest with Oberlin will mark the final game of the UAA-NCAC scheduling agreement. The teams do however play next season at Oberlin in week two.

During its past 28 road games dating back to 2007, CWRU has compiled an overall record of 26-2.

The number of wins for Case Western Reserve since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Spartans are 51-9 overall and 26-2 on the road during that span.