September 1, 2012

Spartans Run Wild, Score 26 Unanswered in Season-Opening Win at Marietta

More news about: Case Western Reserve

MARIETTA, Ohio – Junior running back Kenny Riordan (Spring Grove, Ill./Richmond-Burton) rushed for a career-high 155 yards on just 19 carries, and the Case Western Reserve University football team erased an early 10-point deficit with 26 unanswered points en route to a 26-23 victory in the 2012 season opener at Marietta College on Saturday evening at Don Drumm Stadium.

The Spartans (1-0) have now won 11-consecutive season-openers and 25 of the last 26 road games dating back to 2007. After allowing 10 points in the first 8:41 of play, Case's defense shut the Pioneers out for nearly three quarters and totaled six sacks with an interception. For the game, the Spartans outgained the Pioneers, 219 to minus three, on the ground.

Marietta took the opening drive 73 yards on just five plays and found the endzone when quarterback Tom Fulton hooked up with wide receiver Kirby Harris for a 47-yard touchdown pass. Conor Durina hit the extra point, and the Pioneers led 7-0 at 13:03 of the first quarter.

The ensuing kickoff resulted in a Spartan fumble, and Marietta grabbed possession at the 27 yard line. Five plays later, the Spartan defense made a key stand and held the Pioneers at the seven. Durina then attempted a 24-yard field goal but missed right.

The Spartans' first offensive series then resulted in a three-and-out, and a 43-yard punt return gave the Pioneers possession at the visitor 22. After a quick Marietta first down, Case's defense followed with another goal line stand, and the Pioneers settled for a 20-yard field goal by Durina with 6:19 remaining in the first quarter.

After nearly a quarter of scoreless play, the Spartans grabbed the momentum when sophomore running back Manny Sicre (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit Preparatory) made an impact play on special teams with a blocked field goal on a 37-yard attempt with 12:24 left in the first half.

Two possessions later, the Spartans drove 28 yards on eight plays and got on the board when freshman kicker Won Kun Park (Daejon, South Korea/Kimball Union Academy, N.H.) hit a 26-yard field goal at the 4:53 mark.

The defense followed by forcing Marietta out on downs, and the offense took over with a six-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Sicre. Kun Park's PAT tied the score at 10 with 51 seconds remaining in the half.

In the second half, the Spartans took the opening possession and marched 84 yards on eight plays with senior quarterback Erik Olson (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) finding sophomore wide out Sean Lapcevic (Presto, Pa./Chartiers Valley) for an eight-yard TD pass at the 11:16 mark. A missed PAT left the score at 16-10.

The next Pioneer drive fizzled out, and Case's offense kept its rhythm going with a six-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a five-yard TD run by Olson. Kun Park hit the PAT and the Spartans led 23-10 with 5:47 left in the third quarter.

Kun Park then added his second field goal, a 33-yarder, to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive with 12:15 left to play to make the score 26-10.

Marietta got back in the game with two late scores as Fulton hooked up twice with WR Linard Williams for a seven-yard TD pass at 6:25 and an eight-yard strike at 4:35. The first score was followed by a failed two-point conversion, and the second was coupled with an extra point by Durina to bring the score to 26-23.

However, the Spartan running game churned out important first downs on the final drive to preserve the three-point victory.

For the game, Olson completed 10-of-18 passes for 196 yards and a score. Lapcevic recorded four receptions for 81 yards, and senior wide out Brian Rice (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) caught three balls for a career-high 72 yards. In addition to Riordan's career-high total, Sicre rushed for 85 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, senior linebacker Wade Self (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./St. Francis) and senior nose guard Michael Harris (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) recorded nine tackles each. Junior end Brandon Bryant (Rockville, Md./Rockville) and Harris each set career bests with 2.5 and two sacks, respectively.

For Marietta, Fulton completed 21-of-37 for 333 yards and three TDs. Tannon Roberts had six receptions for a game-high 142 yards, while Harris finished with six catches for 109. Linebacker Jake Hammer led all tacklers with 15 stops.

The Spartans return to action next Saturday, September 8 at Hiram College at 7:00 p.m. at Charles A. Henry Field.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
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8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
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7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
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7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
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12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
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1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
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2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
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7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
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7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
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8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
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8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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