Football defense shines in historic win

September 20th, 2007

It has been quite a while since the John Carroll University defense has given up a touchdown.

You have to go back to last season, and JCU’s 31-14 loss to Mount Union to find the last team to score a touchdown on the Blue Streaks.

Both JCU and Heidelberg played a sloppy game which both teams totaled 17 penalties for 175 yards.

The 21-6 win marked the Blue Streaks’ third in a row dating back to last season and was the fourth game in the last five where they did not allow a touchdown.

More importantly, the win moved coach Regis Scafe into sole possession of third place on the list of all-time wins for a JCU football coach with 60. He was previously tied with Herb Eisele.

Junior quarterback Mark Petruziello found senior tight end Chuck Sroka on a 45 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

The defense continued their dominant ways as they blocked a Heidelberg field goal attempt late in the first quarter.

While JCU’s offense was potent in the first quarter and it looked like they were setting up for a route, things would not be so rosy for JCU for the remainder of the first half.

Heidelberg defensive end and last week’s OAC defensive player of the week, Matt Grieves, blocked a JCU field goal attempt and JCU’s next two possessions would end in fumbles.

Each of their tailbacks, junior Tyler Gingrich and freshman Rai Stover, lost a fumble. The latter fumble led to a Heidelberg field goal that cut the score to 7-3.

JCU would miss out another scoring opportunity as Heidelberg penalties pushed JCU into the red zone, but senior Josiah Kedzior’s field goal attempt clanged off the crossbar.

The Blue Streaks were able to put the struggles of the first half aside and find the end-zone twice in their first three drives of the second half.

Stover hauled in a Petruziello pass for a 17-yard score, and five minutes later Petruziello called his own number on an 11-yard touchdown run.

The defense continued to clamp down, holding Heidelberg to just one more field goal the rest of the way. Junior defensive end Ken Bevington was disruptive again, notching 16 tackles, five for a loss and three sacks.

Petruziello’s final numbers were also gaudy. He completed 19 of 30 passes for 246 yards and three total touchdowns.

JCU looks to extend their unbeaten streak to four games and improve their 2007 record to 3-0 as they travel to play Ohio Northern this Saturday. It will be a tall task for JCU this week as ONU beat up on the Blue Streaks last year 23-9.