The Case Western Reserve University football team put together its second-straight lopsided win on Saturday, picking up a 41-6 win over Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania to improve to 2-1 overall and remain atop the Presidents' Athletic Conference with a 2-0 mark in conference play.
CWRU has now beaten its last two opponents by a combined score of 90-20, and has average 40.0 points per game through its first three games this season.
Sophomore Rob Cuda was impressive again at the quarterback position for the Spartans, going 20-for-31 with 250 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while running for another 91 yards and a touchdown, despite departing after three quarters with a large lead for the second-straight week. The Spartans totaled 508 yards of offense, including 182 on the ground and 326 through the air.
Defensively, the Spartans held the Tomcats to just 19 yards of offense in the second half, and 245 total yards. Senior Dayton Snyder finished with a team-best six tackles, including one for a loss, as the Spartans defense accumulated five sacks and two interceptions during the game.
A 29-yard pass and 15-yard run by Thiel quarterback Ryan Radke put the Tomcats on the attack early during the first drive of the game, but senior linebacker Gavin Sandidge, dropping back in coverage, picked off his first pass of the year to end the early threat.
CWRU could not score off the turnover, but on the ensuing drive, Thiel turned the ball over on downs following a fourth-down sack by senior Nate Nachazel. The Spartans would then drive 55 yards on eight plays, capped off by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Cuda to senior receiver Dan Cronin, giving CWRU the 7-0 lead. It was the first touchdown reception of Cronin's career.
The Tomcats responded with a touchdown of their own, scoring on a five-yard scramble by Radke with 11 seconds left in the first quarter, but a missed extra point kept the Spartans on top, 7-6, at the end of the first. It would prove to be the only score of the day allowed by the Case Western Reserve defense.
CWRU answered right back to start the second quarter, with Cuda converting a third-and-10 with a 37-yard pass to freshman receiver Justin Phan to highlight a nine-play, 68-yard drive. Sophomore Anthony Canganelli would punch the ball in on third-and-goal from the one-yard line, giving the Spartans a 14-6 lead after an extra point from sophomore Ben Carniol.
Thiel threatened again late in the first half, driving to the Spartans' five-yard line, but the CWRU defense held strong, forcing another turnover on downs with 2:14 left to play in the second quarter. With time expiring in the half, it appeared the Spartans would be content to take an eight-point advantage into the second half, but Cuda launched a 65-yard pass to sophomore Luke DiFrancesco as time expired for the touchdown, with Carniol's kick putting CWRU in front 21-6 heading into the break.
The Spartans extended their lead with 8:54 left in the third quarter, when Cuda converted a fourth-and-seven with a 40-yard touchdown pass down the sideline to sophomore running back Myles Anthony, giving CWRU a 28-6 advantage. Later in the quarter, a Thiel punt was blocked and recovered by CWRU senior linebacker KJ Pederson, who returned it for his first-career touchdown. Cuda added a 73-yard touchdown run late in the third to give the Spartans a 41-6 lead over the Tomcats after three periods.
Graduate student Tyler Schovanec took over at quarterback for the Spartans in the fourth quarter, going three-for-three for 76 yards, as the Spartans held on for the victory during the scoreless frame.
Cuda has now thrown for 825 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception through three games this season, while also leading the Spartans with 301 rushing yards.
Junior Brendan Lynch paced the squad with a team-best six receptions on Saturday, while senior Bryan Erb caught five passes of his own during the game.
Defensively, sophomore Jason Lockamy, Nachazel, sophomore Alex Habeeb, sophomore Pete LeMaster and junior Zach Lyon each had sacks for the Spartans. Sophomore Andrew Banathy and Sandidge each recorded five tackles, with Sandidge and senior cornerback Mike O'Donnell each picking off passes.
The Tomcats dropped to 1-3 overall with the loss, including a 0-2 mark in PAC games.
The Spartans will continue PAC play next weekend, when the team travels to Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia for a 2:00 p.m. matchup with the Bison on Saturday, October 3rd.