Spartans to Face Bethany in West Virginia on Saturday

Spartans to Face Bethany in West Virginia on Saturday

2016 Case Western Reserve University Football
Game #5: CWRU (4-0, 3-0 PAC, 1-0 UAA) at Bethany College (1-4, 0-3 PAC)
Saturday, October 8, 2016 · 2:00 p.m. ET · Bethany, W.Va. (Bison Stadium)

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To download the complete game notes, click here. 

The Case Western Reserve University football team will hit the road this week, as the Spartans (4-0, 3-0 PAC, 1-0 UAA) will try to keep their undefeated record intact when they travel to Bethany, West Virginia to play the Bethany College Bison (1-4, 0-3 PAC) on Saturday, October 8th at 2:00 p.m.

The Spartans have opened their 2016 season with four-straight wins, including a 53-28 win at home against Saint Vincent College last weekend, and are 2-0 in road games during the year.  CWRU has averaged 47.0 points per game this season, the second-most in the PAC and 11th in all of Division III, while the team's 13.0 points allowed per game lead the PAC and are 23rd in DIII.  The Spartans also lead the PAC and are 17th in Division III with 526.0 yards of total offense per game (270.8 rushing yards and 255.3 passing yards per game), and have paced the conference and are 29th in DIII with 272.3 yards allowed per game (54.0 rushing yards and 218.2 passing yards per game).  Case Western Reserve has a +7 turnover margin through its first four games.

Junior quarterback Rob Cuda has completed 60.7% of his passes for 969 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions, and is 16th in Division III in points responsible for per game (22.5).  Junior running back Jacob Burke has led the team in rushing with 417 yards and seven touchdowns, with Cuda adding another 319 yards and six touchdowns.  Senior receiver Brendan Lynch leads the team with 33 receptions, 496 yards and seven touchdowns this season, sophomore receiver Justin Phan has 16 receptions for 150 yards and a score, and sophomore receiver Hunter Tulloch has another seven receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown.

Junior linebacker Andrew Banathy collected a career-high 11 tackles last week and leads all Spartan players with 28 tackles this season, including 11 solo.  Junior linebacker Justin McMahon has another 24 tackles (13 solo) and junior linebacker Chanan Demery is third on the squad with 23 tackles, including a team-high 14 unassisted.  Banathy, junior linebacker Alex Habeeb and senior linebacker Zach Lyon are all tied for the team lead with 3.5 tackles for a loss, with Lyon pacing the squad with 2.5 sacks and Habeeb adding a pair.  Demery has a team-best four interceptions this season and is tied with freshman Patrick Crossey with two forced fumbles, and senior cornerback Nick Kwon has intercepted a pair of passes and leads the team with eight pass breakups.

After a season-opening win, Bethany has lost its last four games to drop to 1-4 overall, including an 0-3 record in the PAC and a 1-1 mark in home contests.  The Bison have been outscored by an average score of 35.6-21.0 this season, averaging 349.8 yards of offense per game (146.8 rushing and 203.0 passing) and allowing 391.4 yards per contest (196.2 rushing and 195.2 passing).  Bethany has a +6 turnover margin this year.

Junior Chase Kinemond has started all five games at quarterback, completing 58.9% of his passes for 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions, while running for 218 yards and four touchdowns.  Senior running back Jalen Holmes leads the team with 282 rushing yards and has run for a score, and freshman running back Raekwon Wright has rushed for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  The Bison's leading receiver is senior Tyler Ambush, who has caught 42 passes (for a PAC best 8.4 receptions per game) for 395 yards and two touchdowns, while three other players – senior Robert Seman (16 receptions, 135 yards), sophomore Jordan Hawthorn (15 reception, 107 yards) and Wright (11 receptions, 125 yards, 2 TDs) are over 100-yards receiving for the year.

Defensively, senior linebacker Donovan Hayden leads the team with 66 tackles and seven tackles for a loss, while freshman linebacker Stef'an Simmons and freshman defensive end Charles Blango are tied for the team lead with 3.0 sacks per game.  Sophomore safety Daulton Freeman is tied with CWRU's Chanan Demery for the conference lead with four interceptions this season.

The series between Bethany and CWRU dates back to 1970, with the Bison holding a 13-3 overall edge.  However, the Spartans have won three of the last four matchups between the squads.  This will be the third meeting between CWRU and Bethany since the Spartans' joined the PAC as an affiliate member in 2014, with the Bison topping the Spartans in Cleveland 25-14 in 2014, and CWRU claiming a 59-20 win in Bethany last year.

During last year's win, the Spartans matched a program record by scoring 28 points during the second quarter, en route to the 39-point victory.  Rob Cuda led the Spartans with 210 passing yards and three touchdowns, while running for another 88 yards.

Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who has a career record of 86-41 (.677) 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 73-24, earning Debeljak and his assistants the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award four times (2007-09, '11).

The Bison are led by Head Coach Bill Garvey, who is a 1997 graduate of Iona.  He has tallied a 16-20 record during his four seasons with the team.

The Spartans received 20 votes in the week 5 poll, the most the team has received all season, and the seventh-most among teams not ranked in the top-25.  Case Western Reserve also received 16 votes in the AFCA poll this week, ninth among squads outside the top-25.  The Spartans are the last remaining undefeated team in both the PAC and the UAA, and one of 36 remaining undefeated teams in Division III.

Case Western Reserve junior linebacker Chanan Demery was named the UAA Football Athlete of the Week for Defense for the second-straight week, after intercepting a pair of passes, forcing a fumble, and making four tackles (two solo) during the Spartans' win over Saint Vincent.  It marks the second-straight week that he has earned the honor.  Demery is tied for first in the PAC with four interceptions this season, and is third among all Division III players with 1.0 interceptions per game.

The Spartans have rushed for at least 198 yards in each of their first four games of the season, and have run for over 250 as a team in three of their four games, including a 349-yard effort against Saint Vincent College last Saturday, the most yards by a Spartan team in the last 10 years.  Case Western Reserve leads the PAC and is 17th in Division III with 270.8 rushing yards per game this season.


The Spartans have not allowed a rushing touchdown since the second quarter of the team's first game of the year, and have yielded just 71 or fewer yards in each of the team's four games this year, including just 26 yards on the ground to Saint Vincent last week.  CWRU has the top-ranked rushing defense in the PAC and the 11th-ranked rushing defense in Division III, allowing just 54.0 yards per game.

A week removed from setting career highs with 163 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Waynesburg, junior running back Jacob Burke set another career-high with 183 yards against Saint Vincent, including a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.  Burke is currently 17th in Division III and second in the PAC with seven rushing TDs, and 59th in Division III with 417 rushing yards.  In addition, his 7.45 yards per carry are 12th in Division III and lead all PAC runners.

CWRU senior receiver Brendan Lynch is in the middle of a breakout season for the Spartans, having already eclipsed his career single-season highs for touchdowns and yards.  Lynch ranks 45th in Division III in all-purpose yards, seventh in receiving touchdowns, 20th in receiving yards, and 14th in both receiving yards and receptions per game.

Sophomore wide receiver Hunter Tulloch turned in the best game of his career on Saturday, collecting three passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.  The touchdown came on a career-long 55-yard reception for Tulloch, who made a one-handed catch on the play.  He also reeled in a 52-yard reception in the game, and has caught seven passes for 199 yards this season.

Junior linebacker Andrew Banathy led the Spartans' defense last Saturday with 11 total tackles to match his season and career high.  He is averaging a career-high 7.0 tackles per game this year and is just two tackles shy of his single-season career high of 30, entering this season.