Football suffers heartbreaking defeat


Riley Simko, Staff Reporter

The Case Western Reserve University men’s football team lost to undefeated No. 12 Washington & Jefferson College on Saturday, Oct. 6. The final score was 44-36.

Despite the loss, the Spartans had an impressive outing. First-year quarterback Drew Saxton threw for a career-high 414 yards during the game, and second-year wide receiver Colt Morgan matched his own personal best and the CWRU record for most touchdown receptions in one game.  Morgan was named the University Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Week for his efforts during the Washington & Jefferson game.

Second-year linebacker Brian Victor and second-year safety Joshua Smith each recorded 10 tackles, tying for the team high. Second-year running back Kyle Turcovsky rushed for a career-high 59 yards.

The Spartans earned 523 yards this game, 414 in the air and 109 on the ground.

CWRU started out strong, driving against the Presidents for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. But the Presidents caught up within the first quarter, putting the score at 7-7.

The Spartans took the lead again in the second quarter, and the Saxton-Morgan duo connected on their second touchdown of the game. The Presidents pushed back for a touchdown, but the kick was blocked, putting them right on the Spartans’ heels at a score of 14-13. The Presidents took the lead heading into halftime with a field goal.

Washington & Jefferson continued to rally in the second half, scoring a quick touchdown in the first two minutes. The Spartans responded with yet another touchdown from Saxton to Morgan, bringing the score to 21-23.

The Presidents extended their lead through the rest of the third quarter, putting the score at 21-30.

The Spartans bounced back once again in the beginning of the final quarter and brought the score up to 28-30 with another Saxton-Morgan connection. This score earned Morgan his fourth touchdown of the game, tying his personal record of receiving touchdowns and the previous school record set in 2002.

In less than 15 seconds, Washington & Jefferson stormed the field for an impressive 75 yard pass, earning a touchdown in one swift play and bringing the score to 28-37.

The Spartans were unable to score off their next possession. Once more, the Presidents scored a touchdown within fifteen seconds on their first play via a 98 yard touchdown run.

In the final minutes of the game, fourth-year wide receiver Joey Spitalli got a two point conversion pass after Saxton threw his fifth touchdown of the day to wide receiver Luke DiFrancesco. The final score was 36-44 in favor of the Presidents.

This loss stopped the Spartans’ 14-game regular season win streak carried over from last season and dropped them down to No. 21 in the Division III rankings.

“If you look at their record, Washington & Jefferson just has a stronger defense,” Alexander Mullarkey, a third-year sports medicine student, said. “Both teams played hard and had outstanding defense, but the other team just edged ahead. Overall, their team’s just a bit more balanced.”

Next week the football team will be at home, playing against Saint Vincent College for the CWRU homecoming game at 1 p.m. on DiSanto Field. Saint Vincent College remains unranked among Division III teams, has a 1-4 record and has lost every away game so far this season.