/seasons/2016/contrib/201610098ign07

Bearcats take early lead, fall to Case Western in battle of unbeatens

More news about: St. Vincent

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Oct. 1) – Despite holding an early 14-0 lead, the Saint Vincent football team dropped a 53-28 decision to Case Western Reserve in a matchup of unbeaten teams at DiSanto Field.
 
Things started well for the Bearcats offense, as reigning PAC Offensive Player of the Week Derek Stewart found DJ Oceant-Kelly for a 70-yard passing touchdown on the opening drive of the game. Sam Elliott added the PAT to give SVC a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the contest.
 
Shortly thereafter, Saint Vincent took advantage of a short field, as Stewart connected with Damon Black Jr. for a 23-yard scoring strike. Elliott would take on the PAT to make it 14-0 SVC with 6:47 left in the opening quarter of play.
 
On the ensuing drive, Case marched 76 yards on 11 plays to get on the board with a passing touchdown from Rob Cuda, cutting the Bearcats lead to 14-7 with 2:44 left in the first.
 
Case would score on its next two possessions as well, connecting on a 21-yard field goal by Ben Carniol and then adding a 55 yard touchdown pass by Cuda, taking a 17-14 lead with 10:38 left in the first half.
 
The Bearcats battled down a fourth and goal pass from Case and it looked as though the Bearcats would go into halftime trailing by just a field goal. However, CWRU forced a Bearcats' fumble and marched 37 yards over six plays, which was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Cuda on a quarterback sneak. The run pushed the halftime deficit to 24-14 for Saint Vincent.
 
Midway through the third quarter, Jean Cherilus made a big play for the defense, intercepting a pass in CWRU territory and returning it 21 yards to the Spartans 24-yard line. Two plays later, Stewart added his third passing touchdown, connecting with Dalton Dietrich for a seven-yard touchdown to bring SVC back within a field goal at 24-21 after the Elliot PAT.
 
That was as close as SVC could get though, Cuda added a 13-yard TD pass and then a 3-yard rushing touchdown run, to give CWRU some breathing room at 38-21 early in the fourth quarter.
 
Less than a minute later, Stewart found Dietrich down the middle of the field for a 57-yard touchdown pass, bringing the Bearcats back within 10 points (38-28) with 12:52 to play.
 
Case put the game away from there, scoring the next 15 points, including a pair of touchdown runs and a safety when SVC snapped the ball through the back of the end zone on a punt. Those scores gave Case a 53-28 advantage.

The ground game was a big story, as Case out-gained SVC 349-26 in terms of rushing yards. The Bearcats were bottled up on the ground, averaging just 1.0 per carry in the contest. The teams combined for seven turnovers, with SVC committing four. Case totaled 640 yards of offense, while SVC had 348 total yards.
 
Stewart again led the offense, completing 20-of-43 passes for 322 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Dietrich hauled in five passes for a team-best 94 yards and a touchdown. Oceant-Kelly totaled 82 yards receiving and a score, while Black Jr. added 77 receiving yards and a TD.
 
Senior linebacker Matt Jenkins tallied a game-high 14 tackles, while Cameron Mack added 11 stops. Darrell Burrell added an interception to go along with Cherilus.
 
Cuda completed 19-of-37 passes for 291 yards and three touchdown passes for Case, while adding 99 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. Jacob Burke rushed 27 times for 183 yards and a touchdown.
 
The loss drops SVC to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in PAC play. The victory moves CWRU to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in league play.
 
Saint Vincent faces another tough matchup when it travels to Westminster College on Saturday, October 8. The Titans enter with a 3-1 overall mark and 1-1 league record. Kickoff at Harold Burry Stadium is slated for 1 p.m. 

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Others receiving votes: Trine 73; UW-La Crosse 71; Wartburg 61; Wesley 59; Washington U. 58; Montclair State 49; Alfred 48; Ithaca 42; UW-Oshkosh 40; Central 29; Case Western Reserve 25; Baldwin Wallace 20; Salisbury 15; Trinity (Texas) 10; Hope 10; Redlands 6; Marietta 3; Trinity (Conn.) 3, MIT 2.

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