Spartans fall to rival Carnegie Mellon in overtime


Riley Simko, Staff Reporter

The Case Western Reserve University football team lost the 33rd Annual Academic Bowl to Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, Nov. 10 on DiSanto Field. The Spartans battled into overtime but unfortunately lost by a slim 23-29 margin.

The game was also the Spartans’ Senior Night. This year the team is graduating 11 players: Steven Bachie, Chaz Brown, Tyler Bushman, Luke DiFrancesco, Ian Henderson, Jason Lockamy, Justin Phan, Joey Spitalli, David Traganza, Hunter Tulloch and JP Wassmann. The players were honored before kickoff, and many had their faces on large cutouts for fans to cheer with throughout the game.

First-year kicker Robertson Albrecht began the game with a 21-yard field goal, putting the Spartans ahead at 3-0. The Spartans forced a three and out on Carnegie Mellon’s second drive of the night, allowing Albrecht to get another field goal kick. With almost half of the first quarter left, the Spartans led 6-0.

Third-year cornerback Kevin Chrissis returned a Carnegie Mellon pass for a 43-yard touchdown run, putting the score at 13-0.

The Tartans scored a fast touchdown and kicked a field goal, tightening the Spartans’ lead to 13-10 by the end of the half.

First-year quarterback Drew Saxton threw his first touchdown of the night early in the second half, putting the score at 20-10. This touchdown tied the program record for touchdowns in one regular season for a quarterback. Second-year wide receiver Colt Morgan scored the touchdown, adding to his record of most receiving touchdowns in a season as well.

Carnegie Mellon managed to hang on tight, scoring another touchdown to bring the score to 20-16 before the end of the third quarter.

The Tartans pulled ahead in the fourth quarter, scoring another touchdown and taking the lead for the first time in the game, 20-23.

Saxton threw to fourth-year wide receiver Luke DiFrancesco to give Albrecht the chance to kick for his third successful field goal of the game. The 23-23 tie sent the game into overtime for the second year in a row.

CWRU had possession to start the overtime bout, but lost it via an interception. The Tartans used their first possession for a game-winning touchdown drive. Carnegie Mellon took home the Academic Bowl title, 23-29.

Over the course of the game, defense resisted hard drives from the Tartans, but Carnegie Mellon prevailed. Despite the loss, several players achieved career or season highs, like third-year safety Patrick Crossey, who achieved a season high with 16 tackles in the game.

The Spartans finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and managed second in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference with a 7-2 conference record.