No. 23/19 Spartans Hit the Road to Face Saint Vincent

No. 23/19 Spartans Hit the Road to Face Saint Vincent

2019 Case Western Reserve University Football
Game #6 – #23/19 CWRU (5-0, 4-0 PAC) vs. Saint Vincent College (1-4, 1-3 PAC)
Saturday, October 19, 2019 · 1:00 PM · Latrobe, Pa. (Chuck Noll Field)

Complete game notes (.PDF format): https://athletics.case.edu/sports/fball/2019-20/files/fb_SVC_game_notes19.pdf
Live stats: http://sidearmstats.com/stvincent/football/xlive.htm
Video: https://team1sports.com/stvincent/

The #23/19 Case Western Reserve University football team (5-0, 4-0 PAC) will bring its undefeated record to Chuck Noll Field in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 19th, where the Spartans will face off against the Saint Vincent College Bearcats in a Presidents' Athletic Conference matchup.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

TALE OF THE TAPE
 

CWRU

 

Saint Vincent

AVG

PAC

NCAA

 

NCAA

PAC

AVG

36.4

2nd

36th

Scoring Offense

163rd

7th

21.4

11.6

1st

14th

Scoring Defense

237th

10th

44.6

153.2

5th

109th

Rushing Offense

135th

7th

131.2

53.2

1st

8th

Rushing Defense

149th

6th

157.2

260.2

2nd

51st

Passing Offense

180th

6th

164.2

205.4

8th

113th

Passing Defense

128th

9th

211.4

413.4

2nd

57th

Total Offense

194th

8th

295.4

258.6

2nd

21st

Total Defense

144th

7th

368.6

16.27

9th

192nd

KO Return Average

141st

6th

18.17

10.83

4th

62nd

Punt Return Average

190th

9th

4.88

32.94

4th

86th

Punting Average

203rd

8th

28.46

0.485

1st

26th

3rd Down Conversion

143rd

7th

0.354

36.60

1st

20th

Penalty Yards/ Game

167th

9th

67.40

5.20

1st

2nd

Sacks/ Game

78th

4th

2.40

32:03

2nd

51st

Time of Possession

82nd

3rd

31:03

 

SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Case Western Reserve stands at 5-0 overall on the season and 4-0 in PAC games, including 2-0 record on the road.  The Spartans defeated Washington and Jefferson 35-19 last Saturday at DiSanto Field, as the CWRU defense tallied eight sacks and held the Presidents to just 43 rushing yards on 31 carries, sophomore quarterback Drew Saxton threw touchdown passes for four different receivers, and junior running back Zach Hall ran for a season-high 159 yards.

Saxton has completed 63.6% of his passes this year for 1,301 yards and 12 touchdowns with just three interceptions.  Junior wide receiver Colt Morgan leads the team with 33 catches for 482 yards and seven touchdowns, senior wide receiver Mario Robaina has 26 grabs for 267 yards and a touchdown, and junior wide receiver Chase Witte has caught seven passes for 186 yards and two TDs.  Hall leads the rushing attack with 377 yards and a pair of scores, with sophomore running back Donald Day III added 245 yards on 57 carries with four touchdowns.

Senior safety Patrick Crossey leads the team with 38 tackles, followed by senior linebacker Isaac Withrow with 36.  Senior defensive end Cameron Brown has 8.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles to pace the team in each category, and junior linebacker Joshua Smith has added 7.5 tackles and 10.5 tackles for a loss.  Senior cornerback Luke Bedell has three of the Spartans' seven interceptions this year.

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 115-45 career record with the squad, good for a .719 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 BEARCATS
Saint Vincent will enter Saturday's game with a 1-4 overall record, including a 1-3 mark in the conference and a 0-3 ledger in home games.  After dropping their first four games of the year, the Bearcats claimed a 41-18 win at Thiel last Saturday.  Junior quarterback Lorenzo Cota threw for 163 yards and a touchdown and added a pair of rushing TDs against Thiel, and sophomore running back Mike Stasko ran for 126 yards and a score.

Freshman Brady Walker is the team's leading passer this year, completing 53.4% of his passes for 599 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions.  Senior Sam Nowicki has caught 21 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown.  On the ground, Stasko has carried the ball 88 times for 353 yards and five touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Ben Davis leads the team with 31 tackles and has one of the two Bearcat interceptions in 2019.  Junior linebacker Cam Norris has 30 tackles, including a team-best 2.5 sacks.  Senior defensive lineman Cody Henry has registered a team-leading six tackles for a loss, including two sacks, and has forced a fumble.

Saint Vincent is under the leadership of first-year head coach Aaron Smetanka.  A 2012 alumnus of the Saint Vincent program, where he was an All-PAC First Team quarterback, Smetanka took the helm at his alma mater this year, after serving as the head coach at Greensburg Central Catholic High School the previous two seasons.

LAST MEETING/ MATCHUP HISTORY
In 2018, the Spartans topped the Bearcats 37-7 during their Homecoming game at DiSanto Field.  Case Western Reserve outgained Saint Vincent 515 to 263 in the game, and were shutting out the Bearcats until they scored a touchdown with just 15 seconds remaining in the game.  It proved to be a record-setting day for the Spartans, as Colt Morgan set a new program-best mark with 281 receiving yards on 15 receptions (including three touchdowns) and Cameron Brown broke the program record with 4.5 sacks in the game.  Drew Saxton threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns in the game, and junior linebacker Brian Victor added three sacks and eight tackles.

Case Western Reserve holds a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to the 2007 season, and has scored at least 35 points in each of the five victories.  The Spartans are 4-1 against the Bearcats since rejoining the PAC, and have won four-straight contests against Saint Vincent.  CWRU is 1-1 all-time in games played in Latrobe.

IN THE POLLS
Following their win last Saturday, the Spartans rose two spots to 23rd in the latest D3football.com Top-25.  Case Western Reserve also climbed two places in the American Football Coaches Association poll, where they are now ranked 19th overall.  Both rankings are the highest the Spartans have been this season.

PUSH FOR THE PAC TITLE
Saturday's win over Washington and Jefferson allowed the Spartans to maintain a one-game lead in the loss column over Carnegie Mellon in the race for the PAC Championship and the automatic bid associated with it.  CWRU also has a two-game lead in the loss column over Geneva (who the Spartans will host on October 26) and a two-game advantage in the loss column along with a head-to-head win over Grove City, Washington and Jefferson, and Westminster.  The Spartans and the Tartans will face off in the annual Academic Bowl in the final game of the season on November 16.

The Spartans are aiming for their first outright PAC Championship since rejoining the conference as a football affiliate member prior to the start of the 2014 season, after splitting the title with Washington and Jefferson in 2017.

WINNING WAYS
Case Western Reserve is one of just 23 remaining undefeated NCAA Division III teams in 2019.  The Spartans are the only remaining undefeated team in the PAC.

WEEKLY HONORS
Joshua Smith
was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week after recording three sacks against Washington and Jefferson, becoming just the third linebacker in program history to garner the honor.  He was also named the UAA Defensive Player of the Week.  Drew Saxton was selected as both the PAC and UAA Offensive Player of the Week, after throwing for four touchdowns in the win.  The weekly honors were the first of Smith's career, while Saxton has now been named the PAC Player of the Week three times, and the UAA Athlete of the Week on five occasions.

SACK ATTACK
The Spartans are second among Division III teams this season with 5.2 sacks per game.  CWRU has totaled 24 sacks over its last three games (10 against Thiel, six against Westminster and eight against Washington & Jefferson).  Individually, Joshua Smith leads all Division III players with 1.88 sacks per game, and Cameron Brown is second with 1.80 sacks per contest.  In addition, Brown is now just half-a-sack shy of matching the program's career record of 33.0 sacks, currently held by Dale English (2008-11).  Other sack leaders for the Spartans this season include junior defensive end Dylan Zegers (4.0) and senior defensive tackle Andrew Lease (3.5).

RUSHING DEFENSE

The CWRU rushing defense has been among the best in Division III this season.  The Spartans are allowing just 53.2 yards per game on the ground, the eighth-fewest among NCAA Division III teams, and the best mark in the PAC this season.

"HALL" OF FAME
Zach Hall
recorded the first 100-yard rushing game of his career last Saturday, running for 159 yards in the team's win over Washington & Jefferson.  It was the first 100-yard rushing effort by a Spartan since former CWRU running back Aaron Aguilar ran for 136 yards against Illinois Wesleyan in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs on November 18, 2017, and the most rushing yards in a game by a Spartan player since Jacob Burke rushed for 164 yards against Carnegie Mellon on November 11, 2017.  It was the 36th time in the team's history that a player has ran for 150 or more yards in a game.

LONG PLAYS
The Spartans recorded their two longest plays of the season against Washington and Jefferson on Saturday – a 65-yard run by Hall on the opening drive of the game and a 60-yard touchdown pass from Saxton to Chase Witte on the first play of the fourth quarter.

AIRING IT OUT
Drew Saxton
has thrown for 4,334 yards over the first 15 games of his collegiate career, including eight games of 300 or more passing yards.  He is currently ranked seventh in program history in passing yards, and is 95 yards away from passing Erik Olson (2011-13) for sixth place in school history, and 108 yards short of Fred DiSanto (1981-84) for fifth place.  Saxton's 46 touchdown passes are the fourth-most by a Spartan (13 behind Eli Grant for third) and he is the program's all-time leader with a 158.1 efficiency rating.

ON THE RECEIVING END
Colt Morgan
has caught 26 touchdowns over his career, and is currently one behind former Spartan Zach Homyk for third in program history, and five behind the program record of 31, currently held by both David Kallevig (2001-04) and Shaun Nicely (2007-10).  His 117 career receptions rank him 10th in program history, and his 1,611 receiving yards put him just 43 away from cracking the top-10 in the team's record book.

CROSSEY RISES ON CAREER LIST
Patrick Crossey
is the team's active leader with 240 career tackles.  The total ranks him 15th overall in program history, and he is 18 tackles shy of Mike Collins' 14th-place mark.  It is the most tackles notched by a Spartan player over a career since Jeff Brown (2006-09) ended his career with 298.