Spartans Set to Host Geneva for Homecoming

The Spartans will look to continue the program's Homecoming success of the past seven seasons. (photo by Ric Kruszynski)
The Spartans will look to continue the program's Homecoming success of the past seven seasons. (photo by Ric Kruszynski)

Geneva Golden Tornadoes (1-4, 0-3 PAC)
Case Western Reserve Spartans (2-3, 2-3 PAC)
Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 1:30 p.m.
Homecoming - DiSanto Field - Cleveland

(Dave Wilson, play-by-play; Brendan Gulick, color analyst)


Download the complete CWRU game notes in .pdf format by clicking HERE.

The Case Western Reserve University football team hosts Geneva College for Homecoming on Saturday, October 18 at 1:30 p.m. at DiSanto Field. The Spartans are 2-3 both overall and in the Presidents' Athletic Conference after a 35-15 loss at Waynesburg University (Pa.). The Golden Tornadoes are 1-4 overall (0-3 PAC) following a 42-3 home loss to Thomas More College (Ky.).

Saturday's gridiron meeting will be the first between Case Western Reserve and Geneva since 1977. The schools met for two consecutive seasons in 1976 and 1977 with each claiming a shutout victory. Geneva won the last meeting, 7-0, in Cleveland.

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his 11th season in 2014 with a 74-34 (.685) record. Debeljak has led the Spartans to four UAA Championships in the last seven years with three consecutive undefeated (10-0) regular seasons and NCAA Playoff berths from 2007-09. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Case Western Reserve has posted an outstanding overall record of 61-17, earning Debeljak and his assistants the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award four times (2007-09, '11). In addition, CWRU has been ranked in the AFCA Top 25 in four of the past seven seasons (2007-10).

Geneva is coached by Geno DeMarco in his 22nd season with an overall record of 134-91. Prior to the program's transition to NCAA Division III, DeMarco led Geneva to four NAIA Playoff appearances and five National Christian College Athletic Association Victory Bowl wins. Ranked first all-time in Geneva history in wins, DeMarco began his career at Geneva as a player in the early 1980's. He was recently named as one of Geneva's top 100 players from 1976-2000.

Through five games, the Spartans have averaged 20.4 points, 114.8 yards rushing, 223.2 yards passing and 338.0 total yards per game. CWRU opponents have averaged 19.8 points, 123.0 yards rushing, 211.8 yards passing and 334.8 total yards per game. The Spartans have been on the negative side of the turnover battle with a -7 ratio.

Offensively, senior quarterback Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) has completed 99-of-165 passes (60.0%) for 1,020 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Beecher has also rushed for 90 yards and a TD. Sophomore running back Anthony Bianco (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) has rushed for 162 yards on 46 carries (3.5 ypc) with one TD, while junior fullback Adam Hochman (Austin, Texas/Anderson) has 114 yards rushing on 19 carries (6.0 ypc) with a team-best three total touchdowns (two rushing/one receiving). Sophomore wide receiver Brendan Lynch (Sarver, Pa./Freeport Area) has a team-high 22 receptions for 215 yards (9.8 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Luke DiFrancesco (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) has 17 receptions for 182 yards (10.7 ypc) with one TD, while senior tight end George Darany (Northville, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) has 12 receptions for 176 yards (14.7 ypc) and one TD. Junior WR Ethan Albers (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty) has hauled in 11 catches for 146 yards (13.3 ypc) and two scores.

Defensively, junior linebacker KJ Pederson (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) leads the team with 46 tackles, including two sacks, to go along with a forced fumble and two pass break-ups. Junior linebacker Everett Dishong (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) has 29 tackles, including team bests of 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks, with five pass break-ups. Junior safety Jordan Esteban (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Preparatory) has 19 tackles, one interception with a 72-yard return and five break-ups.

Through five games, the Golden Tornadoes have averaged 24.6 points, 74.8 yards rushing, 247.6 yards passing and 322.4 total yards per game. Geneva opponents have averaged 26.4 points, 139.2 yards rushing, 194.6 yards passing and 333.8 total yards per game. The Golden Tornadoes have maintained a -3 turnover ratio.

Offensively, freshman QB Aaron Channing has completed 109-of-159 passes (68.6%) for 1,059 yards with 10 TDs and two INTs. Junior RB Dylan Jones has rushed for 227 yards on 53 carries (4.3 ypc) with one TD. Senior WR Josh Guiser has a team-best 35 receptions for 363 yards (10.4 ypc) and a team-best five TDs. Junior WR Lemuel Fuller has 29 receptions and 363 yards (12.5 ypc) with two TDs.

Sophomore LB Jimmy Quinlan has a team-high 39 tackles, including 2.5 for loss.  Junior DB Thomas Benyo ranks second on the team with 35 tackles. Sophomore DL Brenden Heckman has 24 tackles, including four for loss and a team-best two sacks. Freshman DB Nate Cannon has 20 tackles with a team-best four INT.

Case Western Reserve has won five of its last seven Homecoming games dating back to 2007.

CWRU has posted a winning record at home in eight of the last nine seasons. With two victories this season, the program is 35-15 all-time at DiSanto Field. Formerly Case Field, the facility opened in 2005.

Junior linebacker Everett Dishong (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls), who has played less than three full games because of injury, ranks amongst the leaders in Division III in sacks per game (1.67) and tackles for loss per game (2.8). In just 12 career games, Dishong has 104 tackles, 20.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks and 12 pass break-ups.

Sophomore kicker Nick Bavaro (Medina, Ohio/Medina) connected for a career-long 40-yard field goal against Waynesburg. The 40-yarder was the longest by a CWRU kicker since Dan Vasil hit a 43-yarder at Washington University in St. Louis on November 5, 2011.

Three CWRU freshmen saw their first extended playing time in the game at Waynesburg. Quarterback Connor Simpson (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Windward) went 3-for-3 with 49 yards passing and a TD. Fellow signal-caller Rob Cuda (Bartlett, Ill./South Elgin) was 3-for-6 for 37 yards. Running back Anthony Canganelli (Mayfield Village, Ohio/Mayfield) rushed for a team season-high 82 yards on 18 carries.

The number of wins for Case Western Reserve since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Spartans are 61-17 overall during that span.

The number of wins in CWRU in program history. After the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University federation of 1967, the first CWRU football team was fielded during the fall of 1970. Thirty percent of the program's wins have come in the last seven-plus seasons.