Case Western Reserve Spartans at Washington-St. Louis Bears
Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. (CDT)
Francis Field - St. Louis, Missouri
LIVE AUDIO: http://tv.case.edu/athletics
(Dave Wilson, play-by-play; Ed Daugherty, color)
Pregame show begins at 11:45 a.m. (CDT)
Download the complete Spartan Games Notes in .pdf format by clicking HERE.
Winners of six straight, the Case Western Reserve University football team continues its quest for a University Athletic Association title and NCAA Playoff berth versus rival Washington University (Mo.) on Saturday, November 5 at Francis Field in St. Louis. The Spartans are 7-1 overall and 1-0 in the UAA following a 6-0 shutout of the University of Chicago (Ill.). Washington-St. Louis is 5-3 and 1-0 in the UAA after its 14-7 victory at Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.).
The young gridiron history between the Spartans and Bears dates back only to 1985. Washington holds a 17-8 lead in the all-time series, including a 14-13 win in last season's matchup. Prior to the meeting in 2010, Case had won three straight in the series. Before the Spartan streak, the Bears won the previous 15 meetings from 1992-2006. The Spartans won the first three matchups from 1985-88, including a 17-10 win at home in the inaugural game of the series.
Case Western Reserve is coached by Greg Debeljak, who is in his eighth season in 2011 with a 59-23 (.720) record. Debeljak led the Spartans to three consecutive undefeated (10-0) regular seasons from 2007-09 with back-to-back-to-back NCAA postseason appearances and UAA titles. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Case Western Reserve has posted an outstanding overall record of 46-6, earning Debeljak and his staff the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award for three straight seasons (2007-09). In addition, Case has been ranked in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 in each of the past four seasons (2007-10).
Washington is coached by Larry Kindbom, who is in his 23rd season with the Bears in 2011 with an overall record of 142-86 (.640). Under Kindbom's leadership, the Bears have captured eight UAA Championships and appeared in the NCAA Division III playoffs in 1999. Entering the season, Kindbom was ranked 25th in Division III for career coaching victories.
Washington blocked a pair of field goals in the final four minutes to end Case's chances at a fourth-consecutive NCAA Playoff berth in a 14-13 victory on Saturday, November 6 at Case Field. Then Spartan junior fullback Trevor LaBarge, currently a senior with the Bears, rushed for a career-high 117 yards on 21 carries. Jim O'Brien rushed for a game-high 150 yards and two touchdowns for the Bears.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Through eight games, the Spartans average 22.9 points, 118.6 yards rushing, 181.5 yards passing and 300.1 total yards. Case opponents average 12.4 ppg, 79.6 yards rushing, 200.2 yards passing and 279.8 total yards per game. The Spartans have a +6 turnover margin after checking in at +11 last season.
Offensively, junior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) has completed 124-of-206 passes (60.2%) for 1,311 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Freshman running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Prep) has a team-high 470 yards on 118 carries (4.0 ypc) with four touchdowns. Sicre also has 22 receptions for 117 yards and a score. Sophomore running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) has 380 yards rushing on 84 carries (4.5 ypc). Senior wide receiver Bryan Metlesitz (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) has team-highs of 44 receptions and 488 yards (11.1 ypc) to go along with three touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) has 28 receptions for 336 yards (12.0 ypc).
Defensively, junior linebacker Ryan Ferguson (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) leads the team with 78 tackles to go along with 4.5 tackles for loss and both an interception and fumble recovery for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Jacob Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) is second with 77 tackles, including 8.5 for loss, and has two sacks, an interception return for a TD and a blocked field goal. Junior linebacker Kevin Nossem (Munster, Ind./Munster) has 52 tackles with four sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Senior defensive tackle Dale English (Middleburg Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) has 45 stops with UAA-bests of 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Junior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) has 37 stops with a team-high four interceptions, including two for touchdowns, and a forced fumble.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
Through eight games, Washington averages 21.0 points, 122.0 yards rushing, 190.1 yards passing and 312.1 total yards per game. Bear opponents average 17.0 points, 103.2 yards rushing, 215.4 yards passing and 318.6 total yards per game. The Bears have a -2 turnover ratio.
Offensively, junior QB Dan Burkett has completed 90-of-171 passes for 1,132 yards with 11 TDs and six INTs. Burkett has also rushed for 163 yards on 44 carries with a score. Junior RB Chris Castelluccio has rushed for 487 yards on 125 carries (3.9 ypc). Sophomore John Hagemann has 218 yards rushing on 55 carries with a TD. Junior fullback Trevor LaBarge has a team-high two rushing TDs. Senior WR Easton Knott leads the team with 24 receptions for 459 yards (19.1 ypc) and seven TDs. Senior WR Austin Morman has 246 yards on 17 catches. Senior tight end Phill Stoecker has 14 receptions for 128 yards and three TDs.
Defensively, senior LB Nick Hillard has a team-high 62 tackles, including 4.5 for loss, with a sack and two fumble recoveries. Senior LB Ed Ferguson has 48 tackles and a half-sack. Sophomore DB Scott O'Brien has 34 tackles, including 4.5 for loss, with a team-high three INTs and five pass break-ups. Sophomore DL Nelson Nwumeh has 31 tackles, with team-highs of 10 tackles for loss, four sacks and a blocked kick.
DEFENSE WINS GAMES
The Spartans currently lead the UAA in total defense (279.9 ypg), rush defense (79.6 ypg), scoring defense (12.4 ppg) and turnovers forced (21). Nationally, Case ranks 10th in rush defense and 15th in scoring defense.
AN "ENGLISH" LESSON
Three-time All-UAA senior defensive tackle Dale English (Middleburg Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) has led the team in sacks and tackles for loss in each of the past two seasons. Through eight games in 2011, English has 45 tackles, including UAA-bests of 13 TFL and 5.5 sacks, with 10 quarterback hurries, a pass break-up, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. English now has 30 career sacks -- one-half shy of tying the school record of 30.5 set by Brian Calderone (2005-08).
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Senior defensive tackle Dale English (Middleburg Heights, Ohio/Holy Name) and sophomore running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) were named the UAA Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively, for their roles in last week's 6-0 win versus Chicago. English, picking up his third career UAA Athlete of the Week honor, recorded 10 tackles, including four for loss, with 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries against the Maroons. Riordan rushed for a career-high 103 yards on 17 carries with a season-best 45-yarder in the win versus Chicago.
FEEL THE "CALA-BREEZE"
Junior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin), also the team's holder, has been an impact player for the Spartans this season. He has a 23-yard TD pass on a fake field goal, four interceptions with two returned for TDs, one punt return for a TD, and a forced fumble.
During its past 23 road games dating back to 2007, CWRU has compiled an overall record of 22-1. That runs includes a 17-0 victory at Washington-St. Louis during