Spartan Streak versus Oberlin Ends in a 19-2 Loss

Oberlin held the Spartans without an offensive point. (photo by Ryan Baker)
Oberlin held the Spartans without an offensive point. (photo by Ryan Baker)

OBERLIN, Ohio – For the first time in 29 meetings since 1982, the Case Western Reserve University football team lost to Oberlin College. On Sunday afternoon, the Yeomen used a stout defensive effort to defeat the Spartans, 19-2, at Savage Stadium.

The Spartans (1-1) had defeated Oberlin (1-0) 28 times in a row dating back to a 17-6 Yeomen victory in 1982. With no future meetings currently scheduled between the two, Case holds a 31-6 lead in the all-time series.

For the game, Case was held to just 195 yards of total offense (only 16 rushing) and committed two turnovers. The squad's only points came courtesy of the special teams led by sophomore wide receiver Ethan Albers (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty) with three blocked kicks.

Oberlin opened the game with a lengthy 50-yard drive that reached the Spartan 27, but the defense was able to force a 43-yard field goal attempt that missed wide right at the 8:26 mark. A quick three-and-out followed for the Spartan offense, and the Yeomen took the ensuing drive 62 yards on 10 plays and found the end zone on a nine-yard pass from Lucas Poggiali to wide out Adam Niec. Erickson Andrews hit the extra point to make the score 7-0 at 1:35 of the first quarter.

Overall in the opening period, Oberlin maintained a 12:08 to 2:52 advantage in time of possession.

The Spartans' final possession of the first spilled over into the second and reached the Oberlin four after 11 plays and 61 yards, but a Yeomen defensive stand near the goal line led to a field goal try from 21 yards out that missed right with 7:55 left in the half.

Both teams then took turns with short drives before Oberlin reached Spartan territory again only to see sophomore cornerback Jordan Esteban (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Preparatory) record his first career interception at the 20 on a throw down the sideline. The Spartans took possession with less than a minute left and saw Yeomen corner Gabe Edwards return the favor with an INT in his red zone with 22 seconds left on the clock.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Spartan offense seemed to find a spark when junior quarterback Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) hit junior tight end George Darany (Northville, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) for a 36-yard pass down the sideline to the Oberlin 23. The gain was a career-best for Darany, but Oberlin's defense once again stood up and forced the Spartans out on downs at the 20 with 11:57 left in the quarter.

Several drives later, Oberlin looked to be on track to add to its lead with a 10-play, 43-yard drive that set the hosts up with a first and goal at the six. The Spartan defense answered the call though and forced a 27-yard field goal that was blocked by Albers at the 2:30 mark.

Another unsuccessful drive for the Spartans at the end of the quarter set Oberlin up with solid field position at its own 45. The hosts then marched 55 yards on nine plays and scored on an eight-yard bootleg run by Poggiali. Case's special teams came through again as the extra point was blocked by Albers and picked up for a 98-yard two-point return.

The Spartans' next two drives fizzled out around midfield, and Oberlin put the game away with a five-play, 40-yard drive that ended in a seven-yard TD run by Blake Buckhannon. Another Albers block on the PAT left the score at 19-2 with 2:29 left to play.

Oberlin nearly doubled the Spartans in time of possession with a 39:16 to 20:44 advantage.

Poggiali led the Yeomen offense with an efficient 11-for-17, 100-yard passing performance. The home defense registered five sacks – two of which came from tackle CJ Ihler.

Esteban and sophomore linebacker Everett Dishong (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) led the Spartans with 10 tackles apiece, and Dishond recorded a career-best two sacks. Freshman wide out John Mangelluzzi (Gates Mills, Ohio/Mayfield) led Case on offense with five catches for 39 yards.

The Spartans are back in action next Saturday, September 21 at Frostburg State University (Md.) at 1:00 p.m.