Case Western Reserve University overcame an early two touchdown deficit to blow past Saint Vincent College behind 349 rushing yards on Saturday night, as the Spartans topped the Bearcats 53-28 at DiSanto Field in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Spartans remained tied for first in first place in the Presidents' Athletic Conference standings with a 3-0 conference record and a 4-0 overall mark. The loss was the first of the season for Saint Vincent, which dropped to 4-1 overall and to 2-1 in the PAC.
Junior quarterback Rob Cuda paced the Spartans with a 19-for-37 performance, throwing for three touchdowns and 291 yards, while running for 99 yards and another score. Just a week removed from a 163-yard effort on the ground, junior running back Jacob Burke set another career-high with 183 yards on the ground, including a 61-yard scoring run. Sophomore wide receiver Hunter Tulloch caught three passes for 136 yards and scored his first career touchdown on a 55-yard catch in the second quarter, and senior Brendan Lynch caught a pair of touchdowns among his nine catches for 96 yards.
Defensively, the Spartans held the Bearcats to just 26 rushing yards, and forced three interceptions, including a pair from junior linebacker Chanan Demery, who has a team-high four interceptions during the year. Junior linebacker Andrew Banathy notched 11 tackles in the game to lead CWRU, and senior cornerback Nick Kwon finished the game with seven tackles, an interception and four pass breakups.
Saint Vincent got off to a quick start in the game, scoring on the first drive of the game on a 70-yard pass from quarterback Derek Stewart to receiver DJ Oceant-Kelly, and again on a 23-yard pass from Stewart to Damon Black, to take a 14-0 lead with 6:47 remaining in the first quarter. However, the Spartans would respond with 24 unanswered points to close out the first half, starting with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Cuda to Lynch with 2:44 remaining in the quarter, and a 21-yard field goal by Ben Carniol with 11:46 left in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14-10.
With 10:38 left in the first half, Tulloch would make a one-handed grab on a pass down the sideline, taking it 55 yards into the end zone to give the Spartans their first lead of the game. A Cuda three-yard touchdown run would extend the lead to 24-14 heading into the half.
The Bearcats would strike first in the second half, scoring on a seven-yard pass from Stewart to Dalton Dietrich, but Lynch would secure a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cuda with 6:33 remaining in the third to push the lead to 31-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Spartans and the Bearcats traded touchdowns with Cuda rushing for a three-yard score and Saint Vincent scoring on a 57-yard pass from Stewart to Dietrich. However, the Spartans locked down the win with a 61-yard run by Burke, a safety and a 10-yard rushing touchdown by junior Jeffrie Brown Jr.
The 349 rushing yards by the Spartans were the most by the team in a game in the last 10 years, as was Burke's individual effort of 183 yards. Burke now has 417 rushing yards and seven touchdowns through four games this season.
The Spartans will be on the road next weekend, when they travel to Bethany, West Virginia to face the Bethany College Bison on Saturday, October 8th at 2:00 p.m.