Spartans Close Out 2012 Season with Academic Bowl/Billy Deitmen Memorial Game versus Carnegie Mellon

The Spartans rank 12th in the nation in rush defense. (photo by Dave Nash)
The Spartans rank 12th in the nation in rush defense. (photo by Dave Nash)

Carnegie Mellon Tartans (6-3, 1-1 UAA) at
Case Western Reserve Spartans (5-4, 1-1 UAA)

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 2:00 p.m.
Academic Bowl - Billy Deitmen Memorial Game
Case Field - Cleveland

(Ed Daugherty, play-by-play; Brendan Gulick, color)


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

The Case Western Reserve University football team closes out the 2012 campaign versus University Athletic Association-rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) in the 27th Annual Academic Bowl and the Billy Deitmen Memorial Game on Saturday, November 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Case Field in Cleveland. The Spartans (5-4, 1-1 UAA) lost by a score of 10-7 versus Washington University-St. Louis last Saturday and will need a win coupled with a Bears loss to gain a share of the UAA Championship. Carnegie Mellon (6-3, 1-1 UAA) defeated the University of Chicago, 31-14 at home, to keep its hopes alive for a shared title.

The Case Western Reserve versus Carnegie Mellon game has been designated as the Billy Deitmen Memorial Game with all proceeds going to benefit an endowment in celebration of former Spartan captain Billy Deitmen '11, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 23 on October 18. 

The Spartans and Tartans have met annually since 1970, but the matchup wasn't designated as the "Academic Bowl" until 1986. Carnegie Mellon owns a 26-15 lead in the all-time series, but Case Western Reserve has won the last five meetings, including a 38-24 triumph in Pittsburgh last season. CMU owns the longest win streak in the series, having won seven-straight from 1975 to 1981. The Spartans won the first-ever meeting between the two by a score of 21-0 at home in 1970.

Since 1986, Case Western Reserve and Carnegie Mellon have met on the gridiron in the annual Academic Bowl. The game recognizes not only a football rivalry, but an academic rivalry between two of the nation's elite research and scholastic institutions. The winning team each season is presented with a trophy that bears the results of each Academic Bowl matchup.

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his ninth season in 2012 with a 66-27 (.709) 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 53-10, 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).

Carnegie Mellon is coached by Rich Lackner, a 1979 graduate of CMU. Now in his 27th season, Lackner has compiled an overall record of 181-88-2 with eight UAA Titles. He also has been tabbed UAA Coach of the Year on five separate occasions and was named the South Region Coach of the Year in 2006.

Then sophomore running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) rushed for 108 yards with two touchdowns as Case Western Reserve defeated Carnegie Mellon in the 26th Annual Academic Bowl on November 12, 2011 at Gesling Stadium. The Spartans' eighth-straight victory in 2011 clinched a fourth UAA Championship in five seasons.

Through nine games, the Spartans average 21.2 points, 136.3 yards rushing, 184.1 yards passing and 320.4 total yards. Case opponents average 15.7 ppg, 82.1 yards rushing, 222.3 yards passing and 304.4 total yards per game. The Spartans have a -10 turnover ratio after leading the UAA at +12 last season.

The Spartans were held to a season-low 184 yards of total offense, while Washington-St. Louis scored 10 points in a span of 2:08 in the third quarter to beat Case Western Reserve, 10-7, on Saturday, November 3 at Case Field.

Offensively, senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) has completed 123-of-221 passes (55.7%) for 1,512 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Sophomore signal caller Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) has completed 16-of-28 passes (57.1%) for 122 yards with two TDs. Beecher has also rushed for 179 yards on 44 carries (4.1 ypc). Sophomore running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) has a team-high 618 yards rushing on 165 carries (3.7 ypc) with four touchdowns. Sicre also has 25 receptions for 313 yards and two scores. Sophomore RB Ricky Hanzlik (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) has rushed for 224 yards on 45 carries (5.0 ypc) with one TD. Sophomore wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) has a team-high 35 receptions and has 461 yards (13.5 ypc) and three TDs. Senior wide receiver Brian Rice (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) has 26 catches for 358 yards (13.8 ypc) with one TD.  Freshman WR Bryan Erb (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) has 22 receptions for 235 yards (10.6 ypc) and leads the team with four receiving scores.

Defensively, senior outside linebacker Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) has recorded a UAA-high 100 tackles with a forced fumble, an interception and six pass break-ups. Senior linebacker Kevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster) has 80 tackles, a team-high two forced fumbles, and a blocked field goal attempt. Senior linebacker Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) has 79 stops with two pass break-ups and a blocked punt. Senior end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) has 53 tackles, including a team-high nine TFL, with team-bests of 5.5 sacks and four blocked kicks. Senior nose guard Michael Harris (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) has 48 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Senior tackle Collin Desens (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Arlington) has 45 tackles with seven TFL and four sacks. Senior cornerback Cary Dieter (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) has an interception and is tied with senior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) with eight break-ups.

Through nine games, the Tartans average 30.6 points, 193.4 yards rushing, 204.8  yards passing and 398.2 total yards. Carnegie Mellon opponents average 23.3 ppg, 163.0 yards rushing, 220.2 yards passing and 383.2 total yards per game. The Tartans have a +7 turnover ratio. 

Junior QB Rob Kalkstein has completed 110-of-167 passes (65.9%) for 1,787 yards with 13 TDs and four INTs. Senior RB Patrick Blanks has rushed for a team-high 661 yards on 114 carries (5.8 ypc) with 10 TDs. Blanks also has 228 yards receiving on 18 receptions (12.7 ypc) with two scores. Junior fullback Zachary Erra-Hernandez has rushed for 274 yards on 58 carries (4.7 ypc) with six TDs. Junior RB Michael Trentalange has rushed for 250 yards on 46 carries (5.4 ypc) with two TDs. Senior FB Jared Delello has 213 yards rushing on 41 carries (5.2 ypc) with two scores. Junior WR Tim Kikta leads the team with 737 yards receiving on 35 catches (21.1 ypc) and five TDs.

Defensively, junior inside linebacker Akwasi Brefo leads the team with 85 tackles, including a UAA-high 12 for loss, with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Junior safety Jack Butler has 63 tackles with two INTs, four pass break-ups and two forced fumbles. Senior CB Liam McGrath leads the UAA with six interceptions to go along with eight break-ups.

The Spartans picked up a pair of blocks versus Washington-St. Louis with one on a punt by senior defensive end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and the other on a field goal by senior linebacker Kevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster). The team has a combined eight blocks this season (3 field goals/3 punts/2 extra points), while Watson leads the team with a combined four (1 field goal/2 punt/1 extra point).

Senior wide receiver Vinny Bell (Parma Heights, Ohio/Valley Forge), who was a two-time All-American forward for the Spartan soccer team in 2010 and 2011, caught his first career TD versus Washington-St. Louis last Saturday. Two weeks ago at Chicago, Bell recorded a career-high four receptions for 63 yards.

The Spartans rank 12th in Division III in rush defense, allowing just 82 yards per game. The team finished last season with the nation's seventh-best rush defense (75.7 ypg) and has only allowed one 100-yard rusher in the last 20 games.  

The number of wins for Case Western Reserve since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Spartans are 53-10 overall and 28-2 on the road during that span.