Yeomen Fall to the Spartans in Overtime
Box Score l Game Highlights on THE RUSH
Oberlin, Ohio – The Oberlin College football team put forth a valiant effort, but in the end the visiting Case Western Reserve Spartans were able to escape town with a 24-17 overtime victory against the Yeomen on Saturday afternoon at Savage Stadium.
Oberlin was trailing 17-10 with 10:35 left to play when fifth-year senior quarterback Josh Mandel orchestrated a 10-play, 72-yard drive that ended with him connecting on a nine-yard touchdown to Dan Weitraub. (Watch) The point after by Alex Wagman was good to tie the game at 17 with 5:37 left to play. The stalwart of the game-tying drive was Moses Richardson as he rushed for 47 of his 103 yards during drive.
Both teams had a chance to win it in regulation with the Spartans going three-and-out twice and the Yeomen turning it over once. However, thanks to the stiff Oberlin defense, Mandel and company had one last chance, taking over at their own 34-yardline with 1:36 left in the fourth quarter. Two completions to rookie Blake Buckhannon for a total of 22 yards combined with an 11-yard run by Buckhannon and a 15-yard catch by Robin Witjes had the Yeomen in business down to the Spartans' 20. Following a botched play that resulted in a two-yard loss, the Yeomen set Wagman out to try a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to go, but unfortunately his attempt sailed wide left.
Case Western won the overtime toss and elected to start on offense. After one first down, the Spartans had a fourth-and-two and instead of trying a field goal they elected to go for it from the Yeomen-6. It proved to the right decision as quarterback Billy Beecher ran a naked bootleg for three yards down to the three to setup a first-and-goal. Two plays later he found Bryan Erb for a TD.
The Yeomen had their chance to rebuttal. A pass interference call on their first play gave them a first-and-goal from the Case-10, but two runs for no gain and an incomplete pass left them with a fourth-and-touchdown play to keep the game alive. On the play, Mandel was able to find Witjes on a drag route across the middle, but before he could turn up the field the Spartans' Kevin Nossem wrapped him up just outside of the one-yardline to end the game.
Mandel finished the game having completed 20-of-31 passes for 237 yards to go along with one TD, one interception and one fumble. Buckhannon had a career-high 97 all-purpose yards with 38 rushing and 59 receiving, while Witjes was the team's top pass catcher with 111 yards on nine receptions.
The Yeomen got off to a slow start offensively as they spotted the Spartans 10 first-quarter points. However, they would come to life in the second quarter as Richardson capped a 6-play, 67-yard drive with a two-yard TD run with 12:07 left in the half (Watch). Wagman would tack on a 42-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the frame to make it 10-10 at the break.
After a scoreless third quarter by both teams, the Spartans would return to the endzone on their first drive of the fourth. They had a fourth-and-one play from the Yeomen-30 and instead of electing to try a QB sneak or some form of a running play – the Spartans went up top as Erik Olson connected with Sean Lapcevic for a 30-yard TD.
The Yeomen answered on the ensuing possession on Wientraub's nine-yard touchdown, which ultimately forced the overtime period.
The Oberlin defense was led by Matt Richard as he had 11 total tackles on the day. Matt Misorski recorded the team's lone sack in the game (Watch). Ryan Ferguson guided the Case defense with 19 tackles.
With the loss Oberlin fell to 2-5 on the year, while Case improved to 4-3.
The Yeomen return to NCAC play next Saturday at Hiram College. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.