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The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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PAT Block Secures Gutwrenching Win at Homecoming

With the temperature hovering around 57 degrees and rain pouring down from the sky, Junior linebacker Jacob Adams helped heat up the game when he blocked the potential game-tying extra point in overtime. The Spartans walked away with a thrilling 24-23 victory at home over Allegheny College on Homecoming weekend. The victory pushed the CWRU’s overall record to 4-0 and the team has now won 35 consecutive regular season games. For Allegheny College, the loss caused them to fall to 2-2 on the season.

The Spartans wasted no time getting on the board. Led by senior quarterback Joey Baum, CWRU began a 15-play, 65-yard scoring drive that was capped off by when he found senior wide receiver Zach Homyk for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Senior kicker Sam Coffey would add on the extra point to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead. CWRU kept Allegheny Gators off the board for the first quarter with the score of 7-0.

However the Gators’ offense got going when kicker Ryan Zipf connected for a 29-yard field goal to cut the CWRU lead to 7-3. The Spartans would add some insurance near the end of the second quarter when quarterback Baum found senior wide receiver Shaun Nicely for a four-yard touchdown pass with 1:19 left in the first half. Once again kicker Coffey would tap in the extra point to give CWRU a 14-3 lead entering halftime.

The third quarter began with Allegheny threatening to cut into the CWRU lead, but senior Zach Homyk denied the Gators from putting up a 24-yard field goal attempt with 7:30 left in the third when he ran untouched around the line, blocking the kick. Allegheny, however, got a chance to redeem themselves two possessions later when Zipf hit a 36-yard field goal to finish up a six-play, 34-yard drive and shrink the Spartans’ lead to 14-6. In the fourth quarter, CWRU extended their lead to 17-6 when kicker Coffey connected for a 35-yard field goal with 11:06 left on the clock. This field goal capped off a six-play, 13-yard drive that was set up by an interception by senior defensive back James Wodicka.

The Spartans looked like they would put the game away, but things got complicated. The Gators forced a fumble from the CWRU offense when safety Sid Facaros returned it for a 76-yard touchdown to cut the score to 17-15. Allegheny added two more points when quarter T.J. Salopek found wideout David Strawser for completing the two-point conversion and tied game at 17-17. For the rest of the 1:46 left in the 4th quarter, neither side was able to mustard out any offense as the regulation ended in a 17-17 tie.

CWRU got the first possession as overtime began and found the endzone a few plays later. Quarterback Baum found wide receiver Nicely again for a six-yard touchdown pass and putting the Spartans up 23 to 17. Coffey would connect on the extra point attempt giving CWRU a 24-17 lead.

Unfazed, Allegheny answered right back with their own touchdown. After a pair of defensive pass interference penalties on the Spartans, the Gators quarterback T.J. Salopek found reciver Terry Hartford for a five-yard touchdown reception. With only a kick to tie up the game, kicker Ryan Zipf lined up for game tying possession; however the Spartans were able to break through the Allegheny defense and linebacker Adams sealed the win with his first career block.

For the Allegheny Gators, quarterback T.J. Salopek completed 23-of-38 passes and recorded 249 yards. Wide out David Strawser had seven receptions for 78 yards and running back Brian Tambulin also record seven receptions for 80 yards. On the defensive side, safety Sid Fascaros had a game-high 15 tackles and the fumble recovery that forced the overtime.

For the game, CWRU defense recorded a season-high six sacks along with two forced turnovers and a pair of blocked kicks. Defensively, linebacker Adams tallied 12 tackles and a forced fumble while senior linebacker Lucas Sasala also had 12 tackles and a sack. Finally sophomore defensive end Adam Watson recorded 10 tackles and two sacks for the game. On the offensive side, quarterback Joey Baum completed 31 of his 40 passes to record 285 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Zach Homyk had an equally amazing performance as he had a career-high 14 receptions to go with 130 yards and one touchdown. Homyk now averages 10.0 receptions per game, good enough for fifth in the nation.

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