The season for the John Carroll University football team ended Saturday when they traveled to Westerville, Ohio and lost to Otterbein College, 24-22.
In a year that saw a half-dozen games come down to the final minute, this game would follow the trend.
JCU scored on its opening drive giving the Blue Streaks an early lead. However, a missed extra point came back to haunt them.
Both teams exchanged leads throughout the game as the fourth quarter began with the game’s outcome once again in question.
With three minutes left in its season and an eight point deficit on the scoreboard, JCU needed one more scoring drive to get to overtime.
Senior quarterback Jeff Javorek proceeded to lead the offense 77-yards on 11 plays. Javorek, who completed six passes on the final drive, drew JCU within two points when he connected with fellow senior Scottie Williams on a six-yard touchdown pass.
The missed extra point from the first quarter proved to be costly as an incomplete pass on a two-point conversion essentially ended the game and the season for the Blue Streaks.
“It was heartbreaking,” senior running back Teree Harris said. “To go through another game like that to finish the year was tough.”
John Carroll outgained a high-powered Cardinals offense, which had been averaging nearly 400 yards a game, 374-286 in the contest.
Conversely, JCU racked up 112 yards on seven penalties.
“We made mistakes and penalties that killed us,” senior Chris Esparza said. “It seemed like every time we had a huge play it was scratched by a penalty.”
This game, as well as the other heartbreaking losses this seasons, certainly had an impact on team morale.
“With the high number of missed opportunities, and upset plays it was hard to remain composed,” Harris said. “But you have to focus on the good parts in order to get better.”
John Carroll finished the season with a 3-7 overall and 3-6 in Ohio Athletic Conference competition.
The seven losses are the most since the 1986 team finished 2-7; also the last year the Blue Streaks had a losing record.
“When I look back on this season, I’ll try to remember the good parts,” Esparza said. “There’s no point in dwelling on the negative aspects cause I can’t change them now anyways.”
The Blue Streaks were 1-5 this season in their six games that were decided by eight points or less. JCU lost their last two games by a combined five points.