Spartans struggle away from Cleveland

Football falls in second straight road match-up

JP. O’Hagan, Sports Editor

The Case Western Spartans have fallen on the road again, this time against UAA rival Washington University in St. Louis.

The Spartans fall to 3-5 on the season following their 28-17 loss to the host Bears. The final score was however also extremely close to the 24-17 scoreline that we at the Observer predicted last week and will be counted as another win.

Spartan wide receiver Bryan Erb turned in a fantastic game with 10 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown but it was not enough as the Bears walked away with the win at home. The Spartans were plagued by four turnovers on the game with two of them leading directly to 14 points for Washington.

Beecher was again under center for the Spartans and finished with 24 completions on 44 pass attempts and 257 yards with two touchdowns. Freshman running back Anthony Canganelli comprised the brunt of the Spartan ground game with 73 yards on 12 carries. On the defensive side of the ball junior linebacker Gavin Sandidge posted a game high 12 tackles with one sack.

The first team to make it on the board was the Bears as they marched down field for an 11 play 48 yard drive which they capped with a 42 yard field goal with 8:03 left in the first quarter. The Spartans responded with a field goal of their own following a 17 play drive for 70 yards. The 25 yard kick for the Spartans rounded out the scoring from either team in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter the Bears reclaimed the lead on a 12 yard touchdown pass and they hit the point after attempt for a 10-3 lead. The Spartans responded with 61 yards but then fumbled away their scoring chance at the opposing 20 and were unable to score the rest of the half.

The Bears added on another field goal on the opening possession of the second half to jump up to a 13-3 lead. The Spartans responded with another big drive, but again saw their efforts disappear as they turned the ball over deep in the opposition’s territory.

The Spartans were able to recover and held Washington to a punt and finally Beecher found Erb to cap a seven play drive for the first Spartan touchdown on the day. Beecher’s pass was a strong 11 yard pass and the Spartans converted the point after attempt to find themselves within three with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.

Two more turnovers led to the next two Washington scores with a two-point conversion to jump to a 28-10 lead. The Spartans attempted to fight its way back and managed to get on the board one final time as Beecher connected with Ethan Albers with 6:57 left on the clock for a 20 yard touchdown pass to bring the game to its 28-17 final.

The Spartans will go back on the road this weekend to face off against new PAC rival Thomas More. This will be the first time the Case squad will take on the Saints.

The Saints have been huge producers of offense this season with the team averaging 42.6 points and 531.3 total yards per game. These numbers make them the fourth best offense in the country at the Division III level. The Saints are led by junior QB Jensen Gebhardt who has completed 134 of 230 pass attempts on the season and has connected for 2,057 yards. This has led to 15 touchdowns on the season. Gebhardt’s top target is junior wide receiveR with 43 receptions for 835 yards and nine touchdowns. Senior RB Domonique Hayden leads the PAC with 1,251 yards on 183 carries and 21 touchdowns.

The Spartans will be hard pressed to top Thomas More this week as our algorithm here at the Observer is predicting a whopping 60 points for the Saints. Surprisingly this astronomical sum is not outside the realm of possibility for Thomas More with their football team having put up more than 60 points twice this season. With this in mind we have adjusted our prediction, though still expect another hard loss for the Spartans. The Observer expects a 49-21 loss to the offensive powerhouse, although we of course are rooting for a Spartan upset.