On Saturday, Oct. 10, Case Western Reserve University and the Oberlin College Yeomen threw down a shootout with Spartans returning home with a victory. Led their senior wide receiver Zach Homyk, the Spartans escaped a close, yet high scoring battle against Oberlin with the final score of 48-36. Homyk racked up 10 receptions for a career-high 201 yards and caught two touchdowns to help the Spartans extend their regular season winning streak to 36 games.
After the game Homyk talked about his career day, “We were able to game plan well against their defense and throw the ball on their different coverage…they really didn’t show us anything we didn’t expect and that’s why I was so successful. Joey [Baum] also made good decisions and was able to put me in a position to make big game changing plays.”
The victory gives CWRU 26 straight wins over Oberlin. The Spartans improves to 5-0 overall while Oberlin falls to 2-3 overall on the season.
The game got off to a quick start with five consecutive touchdown drives as both teams combined for 35 points in the first quarter. Oberlin scored first off Drew Mixter’s 23-yard run up the middle to the endzone after an eight play, 65-yard scoring drive. CWRU answered right back with quick three-play, 61-yard drive that lasted a mere 43 seconds. The drive was capped by a touchdown run by sophomore fullback Trevor LeBarge. Homyk didn’t hesitate to begin his superb performance; catching two receptions for 60 yards, including a 45-yarder on the Spartan’s first play from scrimmage.
Not to be outdone, the Yeomen returned the favor with an 11-play, 62-yard drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Moses Richardson with 5:51 left in the first quarter. With the score at 14-7, CWRU took their next drive 30 yards on four plays thanks to a 51-yard kickoff return by junior wide receiver Bryan Metlesitz. Senior running back Billy Deitmen rushed past Oberlin defense and into the endzone for a five-yard touchdown. Kicker Sam Coffey would add on the point-after to tie the score at 14. Oberlin would strike again with 2:19 left in the first quarter by taking the following possession for 67 yards on four plays and scored on a 55-yard pass from quarterback Josh Mandel to running back Adam Lowther. Kicker Zach Richards added the PAT to make the score 21-14 at the end of the first.
The second quarter began with the first signs of defense from both teams, but the Spartans would continue their rampant pace as senior running back Derek Bush scored with a 3-yard touchdown run. Capping off this touchdown was a 13-play, 74-yard drive that included a 22-yard run by Bush and a 15-yard pass interference penalty committed by Oberlin against Homyk. With the score tied once again at 21, CWRU got their first lead of the game, 28-21, when Homyk received the first of his pair of touchdowns from quarterback Baum.
The Spartans were able to break the game open when sophomore linebacker Wade Self recoverd a Yeoman fumble on the ensuing kickoff. CWRU padded their lead when Baum found receiver Homyk for a 20-yard pass to the endzone and making the score 35 – 21 in the Spartan’s favor.
Unfazed, the Yeomen responded with a touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Mandel to wideout Adam Niec, but the extra point attempt fell short. The following Spartan possession end in three plays and then Yeoman took the final drive down the field for the half. After ten-plays and 44 yards later, placekicker Zach Richard launched a rocket of a shot for a 41-yard field goal as time ran out.
The scoring slowed down in the second half, but CWRU extended their lead early when Baum connected on a 16-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Bryce Coleman to finish a five-play, 52-yard drive with 10:49 left in the third quarter. Coffey would tack on three more points on the scoreboard with his 29-yard field goal and extending the lead to 45-30. Coffey’s field goal ended a 11-play, 65-yard drive with 3:23 left in the game.
Yeoman quarterback Mandel took matters into his own hands as he broke through the CWRU defense for a 59-yard touchdown run. Mandel’s score would shorten the Spartans lead to 48-36 with just 10:25 left in the game. The Oberlin scoring drive covered 80 yards in just five plays, thanks to Mandel’s run, but they failed to convert on a two-point conversation attempt. The Spartans defense then hunkered down, forcing two consecutive turnover on downs to end the game.
Baum completed 24-of-34 passed to record a career-high 363 yards and three touchdowns. He spoke about his performance, “As far as how I played, I think there is certainly a lot left to improve. I’m happy to get the win, but I still feel like I left some plays out on the field and have a ways to go to get to where we want to be.”
On defense, homecoming hero Jacob Adams recorded two sacks, junior Rich Doolin recorded two sacks and defensive tackle Dale English had nine tackles to go with a sack.
The Spartans will look to continue their terrific start when they visit Hiram College on Saturday, Oct. 16. When asked about the Spartans’ strategy going into the game, wide receiver Homyk stated, “We need to play against ourselves, rather than Hiram. We can’t underestimate any opponent, but more so than anything we just have to limit the mistakes we make on the field and we’ll keep the streak alive.”