From Case Western Reserve University Athletics
For the first five games of the season, it was the Case Western Reserve University offense that garnered much of the spotlight. However, Saturday night belonged to the Spartans' defense, which held Geneva College scoreless through the first three quarters, en route to a 20-7 win in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
The win was the fifth-straight for Case Western Reserve, which improved to 5-1 overall on the season, while remaining tied atop the Presidents' Athletic Conference standings with #12/12 Thomas More College with a perfect 5-0 mark in league play. Geneva lost its third-consecutive game, dropping to 2-4 with a 1-3 record in conference games.
The Spartans defense held Geneva to 124 total yards in the game, including just 24 yards on the ground. Sophomore safety Cody Calhoun registered his first interception of the season, to go along with six tackles, while senior linebacker KJ Pederson added seven tackles, including two for a loss. Senior defensive lineman Justin Williams had two of the team's five sacks in the game.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Spartans took the lead with 6:57 left in the second quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Rob Cuda to senior receiver Bryan Erb, putting CWRU on top 7-0. It marked the fifth time in the last three games that the two players have hooked up for a score, and the seventh overall this season.
With just under a minute left to play in the first half, sophomore Ben Carniol converted a 36-yard field goal, extending the Spartans' lead to 10-0 after the first 30 minutes of play.
CWRU's offense went to work on the first drive of the second half, scoring on a 38-yard pass over the middle from Cuda to junior tight end Zech Medved with 11:29 left in the third quarter. Medved caught the ball and sprinted towards the goal line, dragging a number of Geneva defenders with him into the end zone for the score, pushing the advantage to 17-0 after Carniol's extra point.
Carniol added his second field goal of the game, this time a 27-yarder, late in the third quarter to give CWRU a 20-0 lead. In the fourth, following a fumble recovery, the Golden Tornados would get on the board with a three-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Channing to Jake Olenick, cutting the lead to 20-7 with 9:18 left to play.
Despite the late score by Geneva, two clock-eating drives for the Spartans, with a good defensive set in-between that forced the Golden Tornados to punt from their own end zone, would be enough to secure CWRU's fifth win in a row.
Medved finished the game with a team-high four receptions and 86 yards, including the third-quarter touchdown. Sophomore Anthony Canganelli added 67 rushing yards, while Cuda threw for 163 yards and the two TDs, and has now thrown for 18 scores without an interception in 2015.