CWRU Football to Face Waynesburg on Saturday

CWRU Football to Face Waynesburg on Saturday

2016 Case Western Reserve University Football
Game #3: CWRU (2-0, 1-0 PAC, 1-0 UAA) at Waynesburg (0-3, 0-1 PAC)
Saturday, September 24, 2016 · 1:30 p.m. ET · Waynesburg, Pa. (John F. Wiley Stadium)

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To download the complete game notes, click here.

The Case Western Reserve University Spartans (2-0, 1-0 PAC, 1-0 UAA) will be looking for their third-straight win to open the 2016 season, when the team travels to Waynesburg University (0-3, 0-1 PAC) for a 1:30 p.m. meeting with the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, September 24th at John F. Wiley Stadium in Waynesburg, Pa.

The Spartans will enter Saturday's game with a 2-0 record, including a 1-0 ledger in road games, following a 55-0 win at Grove City on Saturday night.  Through two games this season, the Spartans have averaged 50.0 points on 523.5 yards of offense per game (224.0 rushing and 299.5 passing), while the defense has yielded just 8.5 points per game on 219.0 yards (66.5 rushing and 152.5 passing).  CWRU has a +2 turnover ratio this season.

Junior quarterback Rob Cuda has completed 65.1% of his passes this year for 554 yards, throwing for six touchdowns and just two interceptions.  Cuda is also the team's leading rusher with 137 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, while junior Myles Anthony has added 76 yards on the ground, and junior Jacob Burke has run for 71 yards and two touchdowns. The team's leading receiver is senior Brendan Lynch, who has caught 16 passes for 298 yards and five touchdowns, with sophomore Justin Phan adding 10 receptions for 111 yards and a score.

Junior linebacker Andrew Banathy leads the team with 14 tackles this season, while senior linebacker Zach Lyon has a squad best 3.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks.  Senior cornerback Nick Kwon and freshman Patrick Crossey have each broken up three passes, and junior linebacker Chanan Demery, senior defensive lineman Tyler Doty and junior safety Daniel Fabiniak each have an interception this year.

Waynesburg comes into Saturday's game with an 0-3 mark this season, including an 0-1 record in home contests, and is coming off a 35-23 loss at Carnegie Mellon to open their 2016 PAC schedule last weekend.  Through three games this year, the Yellow Jackets have averaged 15.3 points per game on 270.0 yards of offense per contest (74.7 rushing and 195.3 passing), while the defense has surrendered 26.7 points per contest on 337.0 yards (163.3 rushing and 173.7 passing).  The Yellow Jackets have a -1 turnover ratio in 2016.

Quarterback Jake Dougherty has seen the majority of the snaps at quarterback, completing 52.9% of his passes for 565 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.  Chad Walker has led the rushing attack with 93 yards, with Ben Ciero running for 63 and Whitney White 57.  The team's leading receivers include Mitch Kendra (14 receptions for 247 yards and a TD) and Kevin Barnes (13 receptions for 161 yards and a TD).

Waynesburg's leading tackler is nose tackle Zach Machuga, who has registered 22 tackles this year, including 5.5 for a loss.  Defensive tackle Brad Grinnen has added 20 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss and a team-leading four sacks and two forced fumbles, while defensive end Aniellio DeStefano has a team-leading 6.5 tackles for a loss (including 2.5 sacks) and two fumbles recovered.  Cornerback Justin Willkow has the team's only interception so far this season.

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who has a career record of 84-41 (.672) during his 13 seasons with the team.  Debeljak has led the Spartans to four UAA Championships in the last nine 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 70-24, earning Debeljak and his assistants the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award four times (2007-09, '11).

Waynesburg is under the leadership of Head Coach Rick Shepas, who has gone 67-50 (.573) during his 12 years at the helm of the program.  He is a 1987 graduate of Youngstown State University.

Saturday's game will be the third meeting all-time between the two programs, each of which has taken place in the last three seasons.  Last year in Cleveland, the Spartans topped the Yellow Jackets 45-14, as CWRU jumped out to a 35-0 lead just before halftime, en route to the win.  Rob Cuda completed 25-of-28 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, while running for 63 yards and three more scores in the game, while the Spartans' defense held Waynesburg to just 201 total yards in the game.  In 2014, CWRU suffered a 35-15 loss at Waynesburg in the first-ever game played between the two teams.

The Spartans continued to receive votes this week in the national rankings.  After receiving 18 votes in the preseason poll and 15 votes following their week one win, CWRU received 16 votes each of the past two weeks in the organization's top-25.  In addition, the Spartans received 17 votes in the American Football Coaches Association poll this week.

CWRU senior Brendan Lynch matched the program record for receiving yards in a game during the team's win over Grove City, catching nine passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns.  The yardage tied the school record set by former Spartan Dave Wooley against Chicago in 1997.  Following the performance, Lynch was named to the Team of the Week, becoming the second Spartan this season (returner Justin Phan during week one), the second Spartan receiver ever, and the 11th member of the program all-time to receive Team of the Week recognition.  In addition, he was selected as the University Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Week.

CWRU freshman safety Patrick Crossey was named the Presidents' Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week following the Grove City victory, becoming the first Spartan to earn the honor, which was introduced starting this season.  Crossey made the first start of his collegiate career on Saturday, leading the team with six tackles (including one for a loss) while forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass.

The Spartans' 55-0 win over Grove City last Saturday marked the second-largest margin of victory in a game in the program's history.  The 55-point margin was second only to a 58-point margin of victory during a 78-12 win over Oberlin College during the 1998 season.

CWRU's defense has allowed just 17 points through its first two games of the season, and has not allowed their opponent to score during the last six quarters, spanning 90 minutes and 36 seconds of game time.  The Spartans' shutout over Grove City was the team's first since opening the 2014 campaign with a 30-0 win over Carnegie Mellon, and the team's first road shutout since a 35-0 win at Hiram College during week two of the 2012 season.