CLEVELAND, Ohio – Freshman running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) scored a pair of touchdowns and the Case Western Reserve University defense forced three turnovers en route to a 34-7 victory versus visiting Hiram College on Homecoming Saturday at Case Field.
The Spartans, winners of four straight, improve to 5-1 overall heading into the annual Baird Brothers Trophy Game at The College of Wooster next Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 p.m. at John P. Papp Stadium in Wooster. Hiram falls to 1-6.
Senior wide receiver Bryan Metlesitz (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) totaled eight receptions for 71 yards with a touchdown and had kick returns of 74 and 59 yards. Junior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) completed 17-of-27 passes for 142 yards and two scores.
Defensively, junior end Adam Watson (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) recorded seven tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Junior safety Dan Calabrese (Concord, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral) also totaled seven tackles and threw his first career pass – a 23-yard TD on a fake field goal. The Spartans, the nation's 20th-ranked rush defense, held Hiram to 38 yards rushing on 23 carries.
The Spartans got on the board early at the 12:22 mark of the first quarter as Calabrese, also the team's holder, took the field goal snap and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior linebacker Jacob Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton). The play capped a five-play, 30-yard drive that was set up by a 59-yard kickoff return from Metlesitz. Senior Daniel Vasil (Erie, Pa./McDowell) hit the extra point to make the score 7-0.
Hiram evened the score at 7:56 of the quarter when quarterback Brandon Hanna rushed into the endzone from three yards. Greg Klisuric added the PAT to cap a five-play, 68-yard drive.
Case's next possession was set up once again by a long Metlesitz return – this time a 74-yarder that put the Spartans at the Hiram 17 yardline. Four plays later, Vasil booted a 34-yard field goal to make the score 10-7 with 7:25 left in the quarter.
The Spartans added to their advantage at 6:41 in the second quarter when Sicre took an option pitch on fourth-and-goal from the one and reached "pay dirt." Vasil's PAT capped an 11-play, 39-yard drive and made the score 17-7.
Sicre struck again on the next Spartan possession when he took a swing pass from Olson and bolted 15 yards down the sideline for a leaping score. Another Vasil PAT made the score 24-7 with 2:25 left in the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Case marched 45 yards on five plays and scored again when Olson hit Metlesitz on a two-yard fade route with 3:50 left in the period. Vasil's fourth PAT made the score 31-7. Vasil hit another field goal, a 34-yarder, on the very next possession at the 2:13 mark after the Spartans gained possession when Watson recovered a fumble on the kickoff.
Following next Saturday's game at Wooster, the Spartans return home for their final home game of the season and the 2011 University Athletic Association opener versus the University of Chicago (Ill.) on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 12:00 p.m.