Spartans sting Yellowjackets in opener


The Case Western Reserve University football team took the field by storm on Sept. 1, beating the University of Rochester Yellowjackets 38-10.

The home game was attended by a massive amount of CWRU fans, and Residence Life and the Greek Life offices teamed up to kick off the game with a tailgate party for students.  

As they enter this season, the team is looking to “defend its Presidents’ Athletic Conference and University Athletic Association Championships, and make a second-straight appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs” and winning this game put them on the right path to do both, according to the CWRU Athletics website.

J’Niah Johnston, a second-year football fan watching from the student section, said, “I am extremely happy to be back here at CWRU, especially for the Saturday football games. The team is looking very good this year and Colt Morgan is making exceptional plays. I am truly looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Fellow second-year student Kate Schultheis agreed. “The Spartans are putting on quite the show for their first game. It’s good to be back and see them playing some good football,” she said.

The Yellowjackets scored first, putting the ball in the end zone early in the first quarter. Their lead did not last long, and the Spartans tied up the score with a few minutes remaining in the quarter. The two teams entered the second quarter at tied at 7, and the Spartans quickly scored two more touchdowns. Rochester made a field goal with a few minutes left in the first half, making the score 21-10, but it wasn’t enough, and the Spartans drove it home with another touchdown before halftime.

The Spartans played in a slight drizzle throughout the first half, locking up a score of 28-10 by halftime. As part of the first game festivities, third-year student Brian Holden was selected at random to do a halftime field goal kick. The kick went wide right but had great distance, and the crowd went wild.

Despite fierce efforts throughout the third quarter, neither team scored. The Spartans padded their lead with a field goal and another touchdown in the fourth quarter, reaching 38 points, while the Yellowjackets did not score.

In the last quarter, first-year student Ian Wilson, a member of the brass section in the CWRU Spartan Marching Band, provided perspective on his first college football game.

“It was fun. I enjoyed watching the team win,” he said. Looking around at the rest of the band lining the home stands and playing wildly for each Spartan score, he added with a laugh, “The band was pretty good.”

The Spartans wrapped up their first game of the season, winning 38-10 against the Yellowjackets.

CWRU sent first-year quarterback Drew Saxton out to start the game, and he did not disappoint. He threw for 234 yards and ran for a score. Third-year quarterback Ryan Coolidge also manned the offense, but he did most of his damage on the ground, running for 50 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw for a touchdown in the game.

Fourth-year wide receiver Justin Phan tore up the field, catching a whopping 14 passes for 116 yards, picking up where he left off last season when he led the team with 62 receptions and 773 receiving yards.

The Spartans were stifling on the defensive side of the ball, holding the Yellowjackets to a mere 40 rushing yards.

After the game, Reed Gurschenson, a third-year lineman, said, “We made a couple mistakes here and there. We played pretty physical, but we got the job done. That’s the most important part.”

With this week’s win, the football team moved up in the ranks from No. 23 to No. 22 in the Division III football standings, according to

Next week the team has a bye. They return to the field on Sept. 15 to play an away game against Grove City College.