2018 Case Western Reserve University Football
Game #7 – #22 CWRU (5-1, 4-1 PAC, 1-0 UAA) vs. Geneva College (2-4, 2-3 PAC)
Saturday, October 20, 2018 · 7:00 p.m. · Beaver Falls, Pa. (Reeves Field)
Complete Game Notes (.PDF): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/fball/2018-19/files/fb_GEN_game_notes18.pdf
Live Stats: https://athletics.geneva.edu/sidearmstats/football/summary
The Case Western Reserve University football team, ranked 22nd in Division III, will begin a stretch of back-to-back road games this Saturday, October 20th, when the Spartans travel to Reeves Field in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania to face the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes at 7:00 p.m.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
The Spartans will enter Saturday's game with a 5-1 overall record, including a 4-1 mark in Presidents' Athletic Conference games (good for second place in the league standings) and a 2-1 record in road games. CWRU is coming off a 37-7 win over Saint Vincent College at home last week, and has won 16 of its last 17 regular season games. Through their first six games of the season, the Spartans have averaged 43.0 points per game on 515.8 yards of offense (157.0 rushing and 358.8 passing yards), while allowing 19.7 points per game on 311.5 total yards (90.7 rushing and 220.8 passing).
Freshman quarterback Drew Saxton has completed 69.3% of his passes for 1,945 yards and 23 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Junior Sam Jenkins has been the team's leading rusher with 290 yards and two scores on the ground, while also catching five passes for 218 yards and two additional touchdowns. Sophomore running back Zach Hall has added 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns. At wide receiver, sophomore Colt Morgan leads the team with 52 receptions for 758 yards and 14 touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Justin Phan has collected 36 passes for 391 yards this year. Defensively, junior linebacker Isaac Withrow and sophomore safety Joshua Smith lead the team with 45 and 44 tackles, respectively, while junior safety and co-captain Patrick Crossey has 39 tackles and a team-high two interceptions and four pass breakups. Senior defensive end Cameron Brown has paced the squad with nine sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss, and four quarterback hurries in 2018. Freshman kicker Robertson Albrecht has accumulated 40 points, making all 34 of his 35 extra point attempts and both of his field goal tries.
CWRU is led by Head Coach Greg Debeljak, a 1988 graduate of John Carroll University, who in his 15th season at the team's helm. He currently holds a 107-44 career record, good for a .709 winning percentage, and has led the team to six UAA Championships, four NCAA playoff appearances, and its first PAC Championship in 2017. Debeljak was named the PAC Coach of the Year last season, while also securing the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year Award for the sixth time in 2017.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN TORNADOES
Geneva will enter the weekend with an overall record of 2-4, including a 1-1 mark in home games, and has gone 2-3 in Presidents' Athletic Conference games to sit in a two-way tie for seventh place in the conference. The Golden Tornadoes have lost three-straight games, but put a scare into 11th-ranked Washington & Jefferson on the road last week, losing 50-43 on a last minute touchdown. The team's triple-option offense has averaged 25.3 points per game this season on 326.8 yards (252.5 rushing and 74.3 passing), while the Golden Tornadoes have allowed 27.0 points per game on 349.0 yards (138.5 rushing and 210.5 passing).
Geneva's top producer on offense is senior running back Trewon Marshall, who leads all conference players with 154.3 rushing yards per game and is second in the PAC with 926 net rushing yards, to go along with eight touchdowns. Junior Luke Lloyd has seen the majority of time at quarterback for the Golden Tornadoes, completing 52.0% of his passes for 244 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior Harrison Kozlow is the team's leading receiver with 10 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns, including a season-long 74-yard touchdown catch against the Presidents last week. On defense, junior linebackers Tyler Cann and Torrin Sallis lead the team with 39 tackles apiece, while Cann has also led the team with five interceptions. Freshman defensive tackle Jacob Robertson leads the Golden Tornadoes with five sacks and six total tackles for a loss.
Geneva is led by longtime Head Coach Geno DeMarco, who is a 1984 graduate of the school, and is now in his 26th season at the team's helm. During his time with the Golden Tornadoes, he has notched a career record of 146-120, good for a .549 winning percentage.
The Spartans and the Golden Tornadoes have played five times previously, with the Spartans holding a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series, including a 2-1 mark in games played in Beaver Falls. Case Western Reserve has won all four games against Geneva since rejoining the Presidents' Athletic Conference as a football affiliate member in 2014, including victories in both games on the road during the recent stretch.
Last year in Beaver Falls, the Spartans rolled to a 45-7 win over Geneva, taking advantage of four turnovers by the Golden Tornadoes, and totaling 333 yards of offense, while holding their opponents to 236. Case Western Reserve rushed for four touchdowns in the game (two apiece for quarterback Rob Cuda and running back Jacob Burke) and Justin Phan added four catches, including a nine-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
IN THE POLLS
Despite the team's dominating victory on Saturday over Saint Vincent, the Spartans fell one spot in this week's D3football.com Top-25 to 22nd. Case Western Reserve climbed one rung in the AFCA Top-25, moving to 22nd-place in that poll as well.
With Saturday's win over Saint Vincent, the Spartans moved to 233-233-4 all-time, marking just the second time in the program's 48-year history that the team has registered an all-time record of .500 (the first being earlier in this season. Following the merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, the Spartans opened their inaugural season in 1970 with a loss to Allegheny, finishing the year with a 2-5-1 record, and would not reach a .500 all-time record for 48 years (and 464 games), until the team's win over Westminster earlier this year. With a win on Saturday, the Spartans would achieve an all-time winning record for the first time in program history.
Since becoming a football affiliate member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference in 2014, the Spartans have gone 28-9 in conference play, good for a .757 winning percentage. CWRU will enter today's game as winners of 19 of their last 21 league games.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Case Western Reserve is 31-3 in its last 34 night games dating back to the 2006 season, including a 13-0 record in night games over the last four seasons. Saturday's game will be the fifth of five night games this season for the Spartans, and their third night game this season on the road.
MORGAN'S RECORD-SETTING DAY
Colt Morgan notched the best single-game receiving effort in program history during last Saturday's win over Saint Vincent, matching a program record with 15 receptions, setting a new program record with 281 receiving yards, and catching three touchdown passes to give him a program single-season record 14 (breaking Bryan Erb's previous program-best mark of 13, set in 2015). Morgan's 281 receiving yards were the most by a receiver at any NCAA level (FBS, FCS, II or III) this season. He is currently second among Division III receivers in touchdowns, 10th in receptions per game (8.7) and 13th in receiving yards per game (126.3) this season.
The Spartans totaled eight sacks during their win over Saint Vincent, setting a new program record. Cameron Brown recorded 4.5 sacks, the most by a Division III player in a single game this season, while sophomore linebacker Brian Victor added three sacks in the game. For the season, CWRU is sixth among Division III teams and leads the PAC with 4.17 sacks per game. Brown ranks fifth among all Division III players with 1.5 sacks per game, and is 21st in Division III with 1.9 tackles for a loss per game this season.
Following their standout performances against the Bearcats last Saturday, both Colt Morgan and Cameron Brown were named to the D3football.com Team of the Week, and the PAC and UAA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. In addition, sophomore punter/ kick returner Chase Witte was named the UAA Special Teams Player of the Week, and Drew Saxton was named the PAC Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season.
CONVERTING THIRD DOWNS
The Spartans are third among all Division III teams this season with a 55.6% conversion rate on third downs this season, picking up first downs on 40 of their 72 attempts. CWRU converted four-of-nine (44.4%) of their third down attempts against Saint Vincent on Saturday.
RED ZONE PERFECTION
Case Western Reserve has scored on all 26 of its trips into the red zone this season, including a perfect three-for-three on red zone chances against the Bearcats on Saturday, and is one of just four teams across Division III this year to score on each of its red zone attempts. The Spartans have converted 24 touchdowns and two field goals on their 26 red zone trips in 2018, reaching the end zone 10 times via the run and 14 via the pass.
The Spartans are fifth among all Division III teams with 358.8 yards per game through the air. The passing game has been anchored by Drew Saxton, who is fifth among Division III players in passing touchdowns and efficiency (182.10), seventh in passing yards per game, and 10th in completion percentage. He is 43 yards away from the CWRU record for most passing yards in a season by a freshman (currently held by Nick Leskiewicz with 1,988 in 1994). Saxton has notched three-straight 300-yard passing games and four total this season, including a 414-yard game against Washington and Jefferson on October 6, the fifth 400 yard passing game in program history, the fourth-highest yardage total in a game all-time, and the second-best mark ever by a freshman (behind Leskiewicz's 431-yard effort against Denison in 1994). Saxton is on pace for 3,242 passing yards this season, which would be the third-highest total ever in program history, while his 23 passing touchdowns are already tied for the fifth-most ever by a Spartan player in a single season.