Time of Poss.
The John Carroll defense put up numbers that were astounding, but the most important of them all was zero points as the Blue Streaks blanked Otterbein, 45-0, Saturday afternoon in their 2018 home opener at Don Shula Stadium.
The shutout was the first in a home opener by John Carroll since 2014, when the Blue and Gold defeated St. Vincent College, 44-0.
Among the eye-popping statistics to come from the game was ten sacks produced by JCU and a net rushing total of negative 49 yards for Otterbein.
John Carroll also allowed zero first downs rushing and forced two turnovers, one of which turned into a defensive touchdown.
Both teams stumbled on their first offensive drive, but John Carroll capitalized on an excellent punt return by Darrin Davis of 39 yards and an additional 15 yard personal foul call that spotted the ball at the Cardinals' 27 yard line. Four plays later, Anthony Moeglin found Danny Disbrow for a three-yard touchdown pass. The Matt Danko extra point was good for a 7-0 John Carroll lead.
Otterbein's best scoring chance occurred later in the opening quarter when the Cardinals drove to the JCU nine. But on third-and-seven, Tyshawn Jones intercepted a Steven Irwin pass to thwart the opportunity.
It was still 7-0 in the second quarter when John Carroll put together its best drive. The Blue Streaks marched 64 yards in 12 plays, capped by a Michael Canganelli 17-yard touchdown run that, with the Danko PAT, pushed the lead to 14-0.
A quick three and out by the JCU defense set up another scoring drive for John Carroll. This time, Jake Floriea took a pitch from Moeglin and tossed a deep strike to Davis for a touchdown covering 35 yards. Danko was again true with the point after, and the Blue Streaks moved out to a 21-0 advantage.
On the next Otterbein possession, Irwin was sacked by Ariel Jimenez, who caused a fumble that was scooped up by Ray Brown. With a caravan of defenders around him, Brown scored his first career touchdown with a 26 yard fumble return. Danko completed the first half scoring with his fourth PAT to give John Carroll a 28-0 lead at the half.
There was little offense to be had in the third quarter, as neither team managed to move the ball (31 yards combined total offense in the quarter). The only points were tallied by Danko, who converted a 38-yard field goal.
The Blue Streaks put the game away in the fourth quarter. Sam Kukura scored his 23rd career touchdown on a two-yard run and Devin Limerick scored his first career touchdown on a six-yard run to close out the game.
John Carroll gained 345 yards of offense while holding Otterbein to 122.
Davis had an all around great day for the Blue Streaks. He was the leading receiver (five catches for 77 yards and one touchdown) and returner (six punt returns for 112 yards), concluding the day with a team-best 184 all-purpose yards
Moeglin, who eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark for career passing yards early in the second quarter, finished the day 20-28 for 182 yards and a touchdown.
RJ Rosario led all players with nine tackles, while Jones, Jimenez, Adam Thompson, Jimmy Thomas, Chad Stalnaker, Michael Schmitt, Tyler Frederick, Trevor Morrison, Harrison Richardson and Cal Reynolds all contributed to the ten-sack total.