Spartans slip in October cold


Andrew Hodowanec/Observer

Adam Hochman rushes for big gain against Thiel. However, the Spartans dropped their matchup against Bethany this week to fall to 2-2.

JP. O’Hagan, Sports Editor

The Spartans fell to Bethany College under the lights at DiSanto Field last Saturday.

Case Western dropped the match-up with the Bison by a score of 25-14, a disappointing loss after marching downfield to put seven on the board on the first possession of the game.

We at The Observer predicted a 24-21 win for the Bison and with the 25-14 final we are racking up another correct prediction as the Spartans were poised to score that extra touchdown late in the game before imploding following a botched punt return. This places the Observer’s record at 2-2 on the predicting the score and 3-1 on picking the winner.

The Spartans lost the opening toss, but the high winds made the Bison defer and Case received the opening kick off. The Spartans capitalized on a big return and marched down field with a six play, 48-yard drive that they capped with senior quarterback Billy Beecher connecting with sophomore wide receiver Brendan Lynch for a nine-yard touchdown pass.

Bethany responded five possessions later as they tied up the game with 3:28 left in the first quarter. The Spartans were unable to do anything on their next possession and the Bison capitalized adding another six points to the board nine plays later as time expired on the quarter. Bethany’s extra point attempt failed so the score sat at 13-7 throughout the second quarter as neither team made it into the end zone.

The second half started off slow as the two teams traded drives, unable to put themselves into scoring position. Unfortunately, it was a Spartan fumble that Bethany was able to recover, which put Bethany firmly in the driver’s seat from the 5:44 mark of the third quarter on. The Spartans were able to stop Bethany’s subsequent drive following the fumble, stopping the Bison at the 19 on a fourth and one attempt.

The Spartans were unable to get a first down however and punted away deep in their own territory. The Bethany offense marched the ball back 63 yards and into the end zone when their quarterback Vales, who was also a running threat to the Spartans, connected with running back Blinn for a 23-yard touchdown. The Bison missed the point after attempt and left the score at 19-7 at the end of the third quarter.

The Spartans refused to lay down and opened the fourth quarter scoring with a 94-yard drive. Beecher capped the drive with his second touchdown pass of the day to Lynch, pulling the Spartans with in five.

However, another Spartan fumble, this one off a punt, ruined the rally as the Bisons took advantage and scored another touchdown, again missing the extra point to put away the Spartans.

The Spartans managed only 41 yards on the ground and only 249 yards on the game. Bethany compiled an even 400 yards. Five Spartans had double-digit tackles with linebacker Everett Dishong bringing down 13 Bison, including two sacks.

Despite the loss, Beecher looked good when he was able to take time in the pocket and connected with 16 of his 33 attempts for 208 yards. Lynch’s two touchdowns were boosted with 80 yards and earned him the UAA Offensive player of the week honor.

The Spartans will be hard pressed to return to above 0.500 on the season as they head out on the road to take on Waynesburg University for the first time in school history.

The biggest threat for the Yellow Jackets will be their pairing of senior wide receivers Bernie Thompson and Andrew English. Thompson has hauled in an impressive 35 passes for 461 yards and four touchdowns on the season. English has added 303 yards on 27 catches, finding himself in the end zone another three times for Waynesburg.

To further help the Waynesburg receiver, they have an experienced signal caller, senior quarterback Carter Hill, throwing to them. Hill has completed 96 of his 181 pass attempts, throwing for 1,320 yards and 14 touchdowns, which also shows that the Yellow Jackets have more receiving threats than Thompson and English.

With all the offensive firepower that the Yellow Jackets have leaves the Spartans at an offensive disadvantage and with a defensive challenge. With all this in mind, we at The Observer are forced to predict a second straight loss for the Spartans in a 35-17 win for Waynesburg. Here is hoping The Observer’s prediction record and not the Spartans stand at 2-3 after Saturday’s match-up at Waynesburg. Kick-off will be at 1:30 p.m.