Spartans O-Line Named to D3football.com Team of the Week; Cuda & Cannon Earn UAA Honors

Spartans O-Line Named to D3football.com Team of the Week; Cuda & Cannon Earn UAA Honors

The Case Western Reserve University offensive line was selected to the D3football.com Team of the Week, while junior quarterback Rob Cuda and junior cornerback Adrian Cannon were named the University Athletic Association Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, following the 24th-ranked Spartans 56-38 win over Washington University (Mo.) on Saturday.

The Spartans' starting offensive line of junior left tackle Ryan Merlau, junior left guard Ryan DeMarinis, junior center Gage Blair, senior right guard Dante Capicchioni and sophomore right tackle Steven Bachie, helped the Spartans gain 707 total yards against Washington, just 59 yards shy of the program record set against Denison in 2002.  The group also helped CWRU run for 435 yards, two short of the program record set against Washington in 1986, and yielded just one sack in the game.  In addition, the 56 points put up by the Spartans' offense were the most by the team this season.

The offensive line has helped the Spartans average 521.1 yards per game (10th in DIII), including 244.6 passing yards and 276.5 rushing yards (11th in DIII), while scoring 43.1 points per game (14th in DIII) this season.  This was the first time that a CWRU offensive line has been named to the D3football.com Team of the Week, since the organization started presenting the weekly honor in 1999.  CWRU players have now been recognized on the D3football.com Team of the Week four times this season, more than any other season in program history.

Cuda completed 20-of-30 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns, while carrying the ball 23 times for a career-high 191 yards, surpassing his previous career-high of 145 rushing yards set against Saint Vincent College last season.  He connected with running back Jacob Burke for and wide receiver Brendan Lynch for touchdown passes of 15- and six-yards in the first quarter, and then added a 22-yard touchdown pass to Lynch early in the third quarter, en route to the victory.

For the season, Cuda has completed 62.5% of his passes for 1,885 yards and 16 touchdowns, while adding 752 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground and ranks 19th in Division III with 329.6 yards of total offense per game.  This was the second time this season and the fifth time over his career that Cuda has been selected as the UAA Athlete of the Week.

Cannon recorded eight tackles, an interception and three pass breakups during Saturday's game.  The interception, his third of the year, came in the first quarter of the game and led to a go-ahead touchdown for the Spartans.  The eight tackles were a career-high for Cannon, as were the three breakups.

Cannon has 33 tackles this season (33 solo) and has broken up six passes this season to go along with his three interceptions, matching or exceeding career-highs in each category.  This was the second career UAA Athlete of the Week honor for Cannon, who earned the honor following his game against Washington last season.

With Saturday's win, the Spartans improved to 8-0 overall and clinched at least a share of the 2016 University Athletic Association Championship with a 2-0 mark in league play.  It was the sixth UAA Championship in the program's history, and the team's first since 2011.

The Spartans will now turn their attention towards a key Presidents' Athletic Conference matchup, as Case Western Reserve will head to New Wilmington, Pennsylvania to face the Westminster College Titans at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 5th at 1:00 p.m.

2016 CWRU Football Weekly Honors:

D3football.com Team of the Week
September 6thJustin Phan (Returner)
September 20thBrendan Lynch (Wide Receiver)
October 25thCameron Brown (Defensive End)
November 1stRyan Merlau, Ryan DeMarinis, Gage Blair, Dante Capicchioni, Steven Bachie (Offensive Line)

UAA Athlete of the Week
September 6thJustin Phan (Special Teams)
September 19thBrendan Lynch (Offense)
September 27thJacob Burke (Offense), Chanan Demery (Defense)
October 3rdChanan Demery (Defense)
October 10thCameron Brown (Defense), Justin Phan (Special Teams)
October 17thRob Cuda (Offense)
October 24thCameron Brown (Defense)
October 31stRob Cuda (Offense), Adrian Cannon (Defense)

PAC Player of the Week
October 24thCameron Brown (Defense)

PAC Rookie of the Week
September 19thPatrick Crossey
October 10thCameron Brown