Spartans Look for 2-0 Start in Rare Sunday Game at Oberlin

The Spartans look to improve to 2-0 this Sunday at Oberlin. (photo by Ryan Baker)
The Spartans look to improve to 2-0 this Sunday at Oberlin. (photo by Ryan Baker)

Case Western Reserve Spartans (1-0, 0-0 UAA) at
Oberlin Yeomen (0-0, 0-0 NCAC)

Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 1:00 p.m.
Savage Stadium - Oberlin

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



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

The Case Western Reserve University football team looks to move to 2-0 in a rare Sunday game at Oberlin College on September 15 at 1:00 p.m. at Savage Stadium in Oberlin. The Spartans opened with 37-16 victory at home versus Marietta College. Representatives of the North Coast Athletic Conference, Oberlin plays for the first time in 2013 after finishing with a 4-6 record last fall. 

Originally scheduled for Saturday, September 14, this week's game was pushed back a day in observance of Yom Kippur on the Oberlin campus.

The Spartans and Yeomen have met 36 times on the gridiron with Case Western Reserve holding a 31-5 lead in the all-time series. Case has won 28 straight versus Oberlin, including a 24-17 overtime victory last season at Savage Stadium. 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 enters his 10th season in 2013 with a 68-27 (.716) record. Debeljak has led the Spartans to four UAA Championships in six 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 55-10, 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 six seasons (2007-10).

Oberlin is coached by Jeff Ramsey, who is in his 15th season with a 39-101 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 sophomore quarterback Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) threw a three-yard touchdown pass to then freshman wide receiver Bryan Erb (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) in overtime as the Spartans closed out the 2012 non-conference schedule with a 24-17 win at Oberlin on a rainy and windy Saturday, October 20 at Savage Stadium. Beecher's first career touchdown pass capped the visitor's possession of the overtime period. Oberlin's chance to tie the game was then stopped short on fourth down when senior linebacker Kevin Nossem made the game-winning tackle following a Yeomen pass completion to the Spartan one-yard line. Senior linebacker Ryan Ferguson led a clutch Spartan defensive effort with a career-high 19 tackles and an interception. Oberlin was led by senior quarterback Josh Mandel, who completed 20-of-31 passes for 237 yards. Then junior running back Moses Richardon rushed for a game-high 103 yards, while senior wide receiver Robin Witjes caught nine passes for 111 yards.

In week one week of the season, the Spartans scored 37 points on 99 yards rushing, 246 yards passing and 345 total yards. Case allowed 16 points on 69 yards rushing, 151 yards passing and 220 total yards. The Spartans won the turnover battle in week one, 3-0. 

Offensively, junior quarterback Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) has completed 8-of-12 passes for 127 yards, while senior signal-caller Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) is 7-of-9 for 119 yards and a TD. Senior RB Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) has rushed for 51 yards on 14 carries (3.6 ypc) with two TDs. Junior running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) has 37 yards rushing on seven carries (5.3 ypc) with a score. Freshman wide receiver John Mangelluzi (Gates Mills, Ohio/Mayfield) has hauled in four receptions for 96 yards (24.0 ypc).

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Everett Dishong (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) has a team high-tying 12 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. Fellow sophomore LB Gavin Sandidge (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) also has 12 tackles, including a team-high two for loss, to go along with a forced fumble. The team's third starting sophomore LB, Aaron Weisberg (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) has eight tackles and a team-high four pass break-ups. Sophomore defensive end Tyler Hamilton (Wyandotte, Mich./Theodore Roosevelt) has the team's only sack and a forced fumble, while sophomore safety Scott Suren (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) and freshman corner Owen Williams (Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell) each have an interception.

Last season, the Yeomen averaged 21.2 points, 107.5 yards rushing, 226.5 yards passing and 334.0 total yards. Oberlin opponents averaged 19.8 ppg, 113.7 yards rushing, 200.9 yards passing and 314.6 total yards per game. The Yeomen had a +10 turnover ratio.

Offensively, sophomore QB Lucas Poggiali completed 74-of-129 passes for 815 yards, three TDs and six INTs. Senior RB Moses Richardson rushed for 620 yards on 154 carries (4.0 ypc) with five TDs. Sophomore RB Blake Buckhannon rushed for 159 yards on 48 attempts (3.3 ypc) with a score. Buckhannon also made 14 receptions for 131 yards. Senior WR Adam Niec caught 12 balls for 188 yards (15.7 ypc).

Defensively, senior LB Kyle Kessler posted 60 tackles with four pass break-ups and one fumble recovery. Senior DE Jake Danko recorded 53 stops, including 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Senior free safety Zach Kisley totaled 46 tackles with four interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Making their first collegiate starts, sophomore linebackers Everett Dishong (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls), Gavin Sandidge (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) and Aaron Weisberg (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) combined to total 32 tackles versus Marietta. Dishong and Sandidge posted 12 stops apiece, while Weisberg totaled eight tackles with a team-high four pass break-ups.

A number of Spartan career firsts occurred in Saturday's season-opening win versus Marietta. Sophomore wide receiver Ethan Albers (Ovideo, Fla./Hagerty) caught his first career pass, an eight-yard touchdown; junior WR Colin Macleod (Tacoma, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) and freshman WR John Mangelluzzi (Gates Mills, Ohio/Mayfield) each recorded their first career receptions and both posted longs of 42 yards; freshman kicker Nick Bavaro (Medina, Ohio/Medina) was 4-for-4 in extra point attempts with a 21-yard field goal in his debut; sophomore safety Scott Suren (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) and freshman corner Owen Williams (Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell) each grabbed their first career interceptions; and sophomore defensive end Tyler Hamilton (Wyandotte, Mich./Theodore Roosevelt) recorded his first career sack and forced fumble.

Senior defensive end Brandon Bryant (Rockville, Md./Rockville) and senior running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) were voted by their teammates to lead the squad this fall.

During its past 30 road games dating back to 2007, CWRU has compiled an overall record of 28-2.

The number of Spartans that earned their first collegiate start in week one versus Marietta.

The number of wins for Case Western Reserve since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Spartans are 55-10 overall during that span.