No. 25 CWRU to Host W&J for Homecoming with PAC Lead at Stake

No. 25 CWRU to Host W&J for Homecoming with PAC Lead at Stake

2019 Case Western Reserve University Football
Game #5 – #25 CWRU (4-0, 3-0 PAC) vs. Washington & Jefferson College (4-1, 3-1 PAC)
Saturday, October 12, 2019 · 1:30 PM · Cleveland, Ohio (DiSanto Field)

Complete game notes (.PDF format): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/fball/2019-20/files/fb_WJC_game_notes19.pdf
Live stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/fball/2019-20/boxscores/20191012_o3q9.xml
Video: https://case.edu/livestream/athletics/
Jon Schwartz (play-by-play) & Andrew Rossman (color commentary)

The Case Western Reserve University football team, ranked 25th in Division III, will put its undefeated record to the test during its Homecoming Game on Saturday, October 12th, when it looks to remain in the lead in the Presidents' Athletic Conference race as the Spartans welcome preseason conference favorite Washington and Jefferson College to DiSanto Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

HOMECOMING EVENTS ON SATURDAY
Prior to their official induction later on Saturday evening, Case Western Reserve will be honoring the six new inductees into the Spartan Club Hall of Fame – Nobby Lewandowski, Tom Spear, Kevin Bigart, Elaine Hillenmeyer Tronic, Melissa Scopilliti and Angie Zeuch – during halftime of the football game.  In addition, the Homecoming Court royalty and winners of various Homecoming-related events will be announced during the halftime break.

At the break between the first and second quarters, Case Western Reserve will be recognizing its winners of the 2019 University Award for Athletic Excellence – the 2001 softball team and the 2001-02 women's basketball team.  The 2001 softball team was the first women's varsity team sport at CWRU to qualify for the NCAA Championships, going 31-10 overall and winning a pair of postseason games, while the 2001-02 women's basketball team followed less than a year later, going 20-7 overall and making the only NCAA Tournament appearance in the team's history.

CWRU will also be honoring James C. Wyant, Ph.D., a 1965 graduate of the Case Institute of Technology, following the conclusion of the third quarter.  Wyant, an ardent supporter of CWRU Athletics and a 2016 inductee into the Spartan Club Hall of Fame, will be concluding his term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

TALE OF THE TAPE

 

CWRU

 

W&J

AVG

PAC

NCAA

 

NCAA

PAC

AVG

36.8

3rd

37th

Scoring Offense

30th

2nd

39.0

9.8

1st

7th

Scoring Defense

31st

3rd

14.0

138.8

5th

125th

Rushing Offense

145th

6th

124.2

55.8

2nd

13th

Rushing Defense

16th

3rd

62.2

248.0

2nd

70th

Passing Offense

43rd

1st

273.8

193.5

6th

89th

Passing Defense

55th

3rd

171.8

386.8

3rd

83rd

Total Offense

69th

2nd

398.0

249.3

3rd

24th

Total Defense

15th

2nd

234.0

18.33

8th

139th

KO Return Average

3rd

1st

30.17

10.83

4th

65th

Punt Return Average

10th

1st

19.50

34.31

4th

68th

Punting Average

53rd

2nd

34.88

0.519

1st

11th

3rd Down Conversion

212th

9th

0.263

38.75

1st

27th

Penalty Yards/ Game

178th

10th

69.00

4.5

2nd

6th

Sacks/ Game

2nd

1st

5.2

32:15

2nd

45th

Time of Possession

88th

3rd

30:53


SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Case Western Reserve will enter Saturday's game with a 4-0 overall record, including a 3-0 mark in the PAC, good for sole possession of first place in the conference.  The Spartans are coming off a 21-13 win over Westminster College at DiSanto Field last Saturday, as the squad improved to 2-0 at home this season.  In the victory, sophomore quarterback Drew Saxton completed 25-of-39 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown, including seven passes for 103 yards and a score to junior wide receiver Colt Morgan.  Sophomore running back Donald Day III added 63 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game.  The Spartans' defense registered six sacks in the game (the first six allowed by Westminster all season) including 2.5 by senior defensive end Cameron Brown, and junior linebacker Travis Johnston led the team with 11 tackles (seven solo), a forced fumble, an interception and two pass breakups.

Saxton has completed 61.7% of his passes for 992 yards and eight touchdowns this season with three interceptions.  Morgan leads the team with 29 catches for 420 yards and six touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Mario Robaina has added 21 catches for 200 yards during the campaign.  Junior running back Zach Hall leads the Spartans with 218 rushing yards with two touchdowns, and Day has scored a team-high four rushing touchdowns and carried the ball for 196 yards.

The Spartans' leading tackler this season is senior linebacker Isaac Withrow with 35, including four for a loss, while junior linebacker Brian Victor has added 27 tackles and three forced fumbles.  Brown leads CWRU with 6.5 sacks this year, 9.5 tackles for a loss, and two quarterback hurries, while also forcing three fumbles.  Senior cornerback Luke Bedell has three of the team's six interceptions in 2019.

The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Greg Debeljak, who is in his 16th season with the team.  He ranks as the winningest coach in the program's history, tallying a 114-45 career record with the squad, good for a .717 winning percentage.  The 1988 graduate of John Carroll University has helped lead the Spartans to six UAA Championships, four NCAA playoff appearances and the 2017 PAC Championship.  Debeljak was named the PAC Coach of the Year in 2017.

SCOUTING THE PRESIDENTS
Washington and Jefferson currently stands at 4-1 overall, including a 3-1 mark in PAC games and a 2-1 record in road contests, and received votes in the most recent D3football.com and AFCA polls.  After suffering a loss to Carnegie Mellon in their third game of the season, the Presidents have responded with back-to-back wins, including a 69-21 victory at home against Bethany last Saturday.  In the game, senior quarterback Jacob Adams threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns, including nine passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns to junior wide receiver Josh Burns.  Junior running back EJ Thompson added 98 yard on the ground, and senior running back Jordan West ran for 78 yards with three touchdowns.

Adams has completed 59.9% of his passes this season for 1,128 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.  Burns has been his leading receiver with 23 catches for 433 yards and five touchdowns, while junior wide receiver Payton Skalos has caught 22 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns.  Thompson has rushed for 279 yards and a score, and West has added 213 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Junior linebacker Sean Doran leads the team with 28 tackles this year, including 3.0 sacks, and senior nose tackle Mike Williams has 27 tackles and a team-high 5.5 sacks.  Sophomore linebacker Mitch DeZort has added 7.5 tackles for a loss to lead the Presidents, including 4.5 sacks.  Junior safety Max Garda has paced Washington & Jefferson with four interceptions for the campaign, and sophomore cornerback Joey Koroly has notched three.

The Presidents are under the leadership of Mike Sirianni who is now in his 17th season with the team.  The 1994 Mount Union graduate holds an overall record of 152-34.

LAST MEETING/ SERIES HISTORY
Last year, Case Western Reserve suffered a 44-36 setback to Washington and Jefferson in Washington, Pennsylvania.  Drew Saxton completed 29-of-44 passes for 414 yards (the second-most ever by a freshman in a game and the fourth-most by any player in CWRU history) with five touchdowns, including 13 passes for 190 yards and four touchdowns to Colt Morgan.  Junior linebackers Joshua Smith and Brian Victor each had a team-high 10 tackles in the game.

Washington & Jefferson leads the all-time series with Case Western Reserve 11-8, with the slate of games dating back to the first year of the federation of CWRU in 1970.  Including in the overall record is a 3-6 edge for the Presidents in games played in Cleveland, and a 1-2 advantage for Washington and Jefferson since the Spartans rejoined the PAC as a football affiliate member in 2014.  The Spartans defeated the Presidents 35-28 in 2015, the last game played between the two teams at DiSanto Field.

PAC OUTLOOK
The Spartans are the lone undefeated team in the PAC, both overall and in conference games.  CWRU currently holds a one-game lead in the loss column over Carnegie Mellon, Washington & Jefferson, Westminster and Geneva, which are all 3-1 in league play.

IN THE POLLS
The Spartans entered the D3football.com Top-25 for the first time this season, checking in at 25th overall in the weekly poll, after receiving votes in each of the previous five editions of the organization's rankings.  It marks the fifth-consecutive season that the Spartans have appeared in the D3football.com Top-25 at some point during the year.  CWRU also moved up four spots in this week's AFCA Top-25, and is now ranked 21st in the poll.

HOMECOMING SUCCESS
In recent years, homecoming has been a boost for the Spartans on the field, with the team winning the game in 10 of the last 12 years, including each of the last five years.  The majority of the Spartans' recent wins on homecoming have been one-sided, with nine of the 10 victories over the last 12 years being decided by at least two touchdowns.  These wins include a 63-14 win over Hiram on October 24, 2009 – marking the second-most points scored in a game in CWRU history – and a 37-7 win over Bethany last season.  The one close homecoming victory for CWRU in the last decade was a thrilling 24-23 win over Allegheny in 2010 that was decided by a blocked kick in overtime by former Spartan Jacob Adams. The overtime victory extended the Spartans' stretch of consecutive regular season wins to 35, a streak that eventually reached 38 games, the longest in the program's history.

WEEKLY HONORS
Two members of the Spartan defense were recognized for their play during the team's win against Westminster last Saturday.  Cameron Brown was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week, marking the fourth time over his career he has won the award, more than any other player in program history.  Travis Johnston was named both the PAC and the UAA Defensive Player of the Week, garnering the honor for the first time during his career.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Spartans will enter Saturday's game with a 2-0 record in home games this season, and are 19-3 at DiSanto Field over their last 22 home games, dating back to the start of the 2015 season.  Case Western Reserve holds a 55-20 record all-time at DiSanto Field (good for a .733 winning percentage), and need one more home win this season to secure their seventh-consecutive winning season on their home turf.

SACK RECORD WITHIN BROWN'S REACH
Cameron Brown
will enter Saturday's game just 2.5 sacks shy of the program's career record of 33, currently held by former Spartan Dale English (2008-11).  He has been on a tear as of late, registering 6.0 sacks over the last two games, and his 1.75 sacks per game lead all NCAA Division III players.  As a team, the Spartans are sixth in Division III and second in the PAC with 4.5 sacks per game (including 16 sacks in their last two games).

DYNAMIC DUO
Drew Saxton
and Colt Morgan have formed one of the most prolific quarterback-receiver combinations in Division III over the last two seasons.  Saxton currently leads the PAC in completion percentage and passing yards per game, while Morgan is atop the conference in receptions per game and receiving touchdowns, and is second in receiving yards per contest.  Saxton recorded the seventh 300-yard passing game of his career last Saturday against Westminster, while Morgan tallied his seventh-career 100-yard receiving game and his third through four games this season.