Spartans Return Home to Host Trinity on Saturday

Senior QB Erik Olson is the reigning UAA Offensive Player of the Week. (photo by Lynne Browske)
Senior QB Erik Olson is the reigning UAA Offensive Player of the Week. (photo by Lynne Browske)

Trinity Tigers (4-3, 0-1 SCAC) at
Case Western Reserve Spartans (2-3, 0-0 UAA)

Saturday, October 26 , 2013 - 12:00 p.m.
DiSanto Field - Cleveland

(Dave Wilson, play-by-play; Ryan Breon, color)


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

The Case Western Reserve University football team will play at home for the first time in nearly a month when it entertains Trinity University (Texas) at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at DiSanto Field. The Spartans will look to even their record at 3-3 following a 38-31 West Coast win at the University of Puget Sound (Wash.). Representatives of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Tigers shut out Southwestern University (Texas) by a score of 30-0 their last time out. 

Saturday's meeting will mark the first on the gridiron for Case Western Reserve and Trinity. The Tigers are the third-consecutive first-time opponent for Case Western Reserve.

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his 10th season in 2013 with a 69-30 (.696) 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 56-13, 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 AFCA Top 25 in four of the past six seasons (2007-10).

Trinity is coached by Steve Mohr in his 24th season with a 185-72 (.720) overall record. A graduate of Denison University, Mohr ranks third in career victories amongst active Division III coaches, and he has been named national coach of the year three times. Under Mohr's tutelage, the Tigers have 12 NCAA Playoff berths with three trips to the national semifinals and an appearance in the 2002 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

Through five games, the Spartans have averaged 22.0 points, 115.8 yards rushing, 171.2 yards passing and 287.0 total yards per game. Case opponents have averaged 29.4 points, 155.0 yards rushing, 228.8 yards passing and 377.8 total yards per game. The Spartans have an even turnover ratio.

Offensively, senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) has completed 55-of-85 passes (64.7%) for 534 yards and four touchdowns. Junior quarterback Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) is 24-of-49 (48.9.%) for 322 yards and four interceptions. Beecher has also rushed for 76 yards and three TDs. Senior RB Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) has rushed for a team-high 226 yards on 58 carries (3.9 ypc) with a team-best four TDs. Junior RB Ricky Hanzlik (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) is second on the squad with 200 yards rushing on 43 carries (4.7 ypc) with two scores. Freshman wide receiver John Mangelluzzi (Gates Mills, Ohio/Mayfield) has hauled in team bests of 20 receptions and 241 yards (12.1 ypc) with a TD.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Gavin Sandidge (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) leads the team with 47 tackles, including a team-high eight for loss, to go along with a forced fumble. Fellow sophomore linebacker Everett Dishong (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) has 44 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and a team-best 3.5 sacks. The Spartans' third starting sophomore LB, Aaron Weisberg (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), has 41 tackles and is tied for the team lead with four pass break-ups. Freshman cornerback Nick Kwon (Kaneohe, Hawaii/Mid-Pacific Institute) leads the team with two interceptions and is tied with Weisberg with four pass break-ups.

Through seven games, the Tigers have averaged 29.3 points, 125.1 yards rushing, 259.6 yards passing and 384.7 total yards per game. Trinity opponents have averaged 22.3 points, 196.1 yards rushing, 179.1 yards passing and 375.2 total yards per game. The Tigers have a +6 turnover ratio.

Offensively, sophomore QB Stephen Smith has completed 70-of-130 passes (53.8%) for 1,130 yards, 12 TDs and four INTs. Sophomore RB Travis Williams has rushed for a team-high 335 yards on 87 attempts (3.9 ypc) with three TDs. Senior RB Desmond King is next with 189 yards on 42 carries (4.5 ypc). Junior WR Matthew Kennemer leads the team with 27 catches for 536 yards (19.9 ypc) with three TDs. Sophomore WR Cody Sandman is second with 22 catches for 387 yards (17.6 ypc) and a team high-tying five TDs. Sophomore tight end Sam Harford also has five TDs on nine catches for 248 yards (27.6 ypc).

Defensively, junior LB Connor Yorloff has a team-high 68 tackles. Junior DB J.P. Sanchez has 48 tackles with a sack and an interception. Junior lineman Tomy Boboy has 32 tackles, including a team-high 12 for loss, and ranks second with three sacks. Senior lineman Bradley Drenon also has 32 stops, including 7.5 for loss and a team-best 3.5 sacks. Three Tigers have two interceptions, including senior DB Von'Darrick Jones, who also has a team-high five break-ups.

Senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) completed a career-high 27 passes in 34 attempts (.794) at Puget Sound. With his two passing scores in the game, Olson now has four TDs and zero INTs in 85 throws this season. His performance at Puget Sound netted UAA Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Junior wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) totaled 150 return yards at Puget Sound to go along with 49 receiving yards and a score. Lapcevic's 61 punt return yards were a career high and included a long of 45 that set up a touchdown drive. For his efforts, Lapcevic was named UAA Special Teams Player of the Week.

Saturday's win at Puget Sound marked the second time this season and third time in his career that senior running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) rushed for two touchdowns in a game.

Trinity will be Case Western Reserve's first football opponent from the state of Texas and first opponent from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference although several past opponents did at one time play in the SCAC. Fellow UAA institution, Washington University-St. Louis, was an early member (1962-72) of the College Athletic Conference, which was renamed the SCAC in 1991.

The Spartans' 294 yards rushing at Frostburg State in week three were the most for the program since October 27, 2001 when the team totaled 317 in a 43-29 win at home versus Denison University. The school record for team yards rushing in a game is 437, set versus Washington University-St. Louis in 1986.

Senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park), who doubles as the team's punter, tied a school record with a 77-yard punt at Frostburg State in week three. Former Spartan Chuck Tall also booted a 77-yard punt in 1991 versus Carnegie Mellon.

The game versus Trinity will be the 100th for Greg Debeljak as the head coach of the Spartans.

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 56-13 overall during that span.