From Case Western Reserve University Athletics
Senior quarterback Billy Beecher (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area) passed for a career-high 301 yards and accounted for three touchdowns as the Case Western Reserve University football team claimed the 29th Annual Academic Bowl by a score of 30-0 versus Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) in the 2014 season opener at DiSanto Field.
The game, the first for each school as affiliate members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference, counts toward both the PAC and University Athletic Association standings. The event was also tabbed as the 2014 PAC Kickoff Classic, and the Spartans donned their new Nike uniforms for the first time.
Beecher completed 24-of-37 passes with two touchdowns to junior wide receiver Ethan Albers (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty). The senior captain added another score on the ground.
For the game, CWRU held the Tartans to 184 yards of total offense while recording four sacks and a forced fumble. Junior linebackers Everett Dishong(Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) and KJ Pederson (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) each set car eer highs for tackles with 13 and 12, respectively. Four of Dishong's tackles went for a loss, and Pederson forced a fumble.
The visiting Tartans looked primed to score on their first possession of the game, but a promising 45-yard drive stalled deep in Spartan territory via a turnover on downs.
Case Western Reserve then took over at its own 25-yard line and marched 75 yards on 11 plays for the game's opening points. Beecher hit Albers for a nine-yard TD strike, and sophomore place kicker Nick Bavaro (Medina, Ohio/ Medina) added the extra point to make the score 7-0 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.
More than a quarter of scoreless play ensued before the Spartans added to their lead with 3:37 remaining the half. The Spartan drive—aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the defense—culminated in a six-yard touchdown by Beecher on a QB draw. Bavaro tacked on the extra point to extend the Spartan lead to 14-0.
Carnegie Mellon threatened to score at the end of the half, but a 19-yard field goal attempt by kicker Gabe Renna was blocked by Spartan junior linebacker Gavin Sandidge (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic). Freshman safety Cody Calhoun (Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) scooped up the loose ball and ran to the visitor 29-yard-line before he was dragged down to end the half.
On the Spartans' first possession of the second half, Beecher hit Albers and sophomore tight end Zech Medved (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) for passes of 22 and 23 yards, respectively, to set up Bavaro for a 33-yard field goal at the 10:07 mark.
Beecher and Albers hooked up for the second time, a seven-yarder, at 12:19 of the fourth quarter, and sophomore running Anthony Bianco (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) rushed in for his first career score with 7:24 left to play.
Carnegie Mellon was led by linebacker Eric Myers with eight tackles. Offensively, Chris Herrera made five receptions for 56 yards.