Spartan football braves the cold in final home game

J.P. O'Hagan, Staff Reporter

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A frigid and wet Saturday could not undermine Case Western football team’s senior day. In a strong win against the University of Chicago, the team goal of becoming UAA Champions came one step closer.

Following a ceremony in which the team’s 19 seniors were honored, the Spartans took advantage of the nasty Cleveland weather and overcame their first obstacle to becoming UAA Champions with an impressive 16-3 win over the visiting University of Chicago Maroons.

Case was unable to do anything on the game’s opening possession and punted it away to Chicago. Chicago marched downfield and scored on a 21-yard field goal with 10:46 left in the first quarter. However, it would be Chicago’s only score of the game as the Spartans stepped up and had a commanding win with a little help from the weather. Just a few possessions after the Chicago field goal, the University of Chicago went to punt and the weather struck. The snap went high and slipped out of the hands of the Chicago punter. The Spartans’ special teams rushed for the loose ball, but were beat to it by the Chicago kicker. As he attempted to clear the ball to safety, the Case defenders swatted the ball down and recovered it to get great field possession deep in the Chicago half. The Spartans punched the ball into the end zone on an eight-yard pass from quarterback Erik Olson to George Darany, after just three plays.

The Spartans didn’t look back after that, going on to score twice more: a 22-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the first half and a nine yard pass from Olson to Manny Sicre. The Spartans were led offensively by Olson and the entire Spartan backfield. Olson’s two touchdown passes and multiple 20-yard rushing performances from the backfield carried the team to a comfortable win. However, it was the special teams and defense that went past playing excellent games, shutting down the Chicago offense and providing sparks when needed. The defense recorded three interceptions and special teams returned the Chicago kicks for an impressive 80 yards.

The last home game for the Spartans was also their first against UAA opponents. They will look to finish the season strong with two wins against Washington University in St. Louis and archenemy Carnegie Mellon, both while on the road. The team has one goal in mind, UAA champions, and a continuation of the stellar play last weekend may lead them to their goal. Case will face the next challenge when they play Washington University at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.