Spartan football falls in the first round of NCAAs, ending a strong season

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Spartan football falls in the first round of NCAAs, ending a strong season

Wide-reciever Colt Morgan powers the ball up the field.

Wide-reciever Colt Morgan powers the ball up the field.

Wide-reciever Colt Morgan powers the ball up the field.

Wide-reciever Colt Morgan powers the ball up the field.

Shreya Ramani, Staff Reporter

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On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Case Western Reserve University Spartan football team traveled to Schenectady, New York to face off against Union College in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. The 25th-ranked Spartans went in with a 9-1 record against the 13th-ranked Dutchmen (10-0). Unfortunately, the Spartans could not hold their ground as they fell to Union 21-24. 

Third-year wide receiver Colt Morgan stood out once again in the game, finishing with the team’s only two touchdown receptions and fourteen receptions in total. Second-year quarterback Drew Saxton completed 64.9 percent of his passes; third-year running back Zach Hall rushed 63 yards. Third-year linebacker Skyler Wadas was also another standout, leading with eight tackles and an interception. 

The game began with CWRU making some big plays as a part of a 60-yard drive, but, ultimately, they were unable to score anything, as they missed their chance at a field goal. CWRU would not score in the first quarter. Union College also did not score in the first quarter. As the second quarter commenced, the Spartans immediately gained traction with an 80-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown thrown by Saxton to Morgan. Saxton then proceeded to score the second touchdown of the game, finding Morgan and driving the ball into the end zone to put the Spartans up 14-0. Union then scored a field goal to somewhat bridge the deficit, but the Spartans fired right back with just twenty-two seconds left in the quarter to score their third touchdown. Donald Day III was responsible for this score. 

The second half commenced with positive feelings, with CWRU in the lead 21-3. However, the Spartans were unable to keep the momentum going, as Union College ended up scoring three more touchdowns in the second half. The Spartans had two more chances to score but unfortunately were unable to convert, and Union College eventually edged out the Spartans 24-21. 

Because of the performances from Colt Morgan and Skyler Wadas throughout the game and season, Morgan was named the University Athletic Association Offensive Athlete of the Week for Football and Wadas was named the Defensive Athlete of the Week. Colt Morgan completed the season with 89 receptions, which was one behind the all-time record, and caught 15 touchdowns, which is the second-most in program history. Wadas had equally impressive feats, ending his season ranked fourth among the team in total tackles (64). 

Despite the Spartans’ loss, this season was one of CWRU football’s most successful. They ended their season with a 9-2 record and won their conference. They also made their fifth postseason appearance at the NCAAs, and many of their players received numerous accolades.