Nov. 4, 1989 – that’s right, it has been almost 22 years since the Blue Streaks have defeated the 10-time NCAA Division III National Champion and OAC rival No. 2 Mount Union Purple Raiders. Thanks to Saturday night’s drubbing, that streak will extend at least 12 months longer. After a competiti XZve first half on the gridiron, the wheels fell off for head coach Regis Scafe and company as Mount Union prevailed, 58-7.
Mount Union (2-0, 1-0 OAC) dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. Jeremy Murray racked up 206 yards rushing, finishing with a career high 254 yards on the ground with three scores. Collectively, the Purple Raiders totaled 383 rushing yards, while John Carroll (0-2, 0-1 OAC) finished with 65.
The Blue Streaks’ lone bright spot came with only seconds remaining in the first quarter. Junior running back Sean Kuenzig, who made his first career start, capped off a seven-play, 71-yard drive with a three-yard run. It was the first touchdown of his collegiate career.
“It was an exciting play for me,” said Kuenzig of the score after the game. “I’ve been waiting for that moment for a few years now. The O-line held their blocks really well and I was able to punch it in.”
Unfortunately, that was really the only highlight of the game for John Carroll. Mount Union eventually amassed 631 yards of total offense, while John Carroll could only manage 155 yards. Wide receiver Lane Robilotto attained 129 all-purpose yards for the Streaks.
John Carroll was without its biggest offensive weapon, DaQuan Grobsmith, against the Purple Raiders for the second straight year. The junior running back is a critical part of the offensive success, both running and receiving the football. Kuenzig split time with Casey Vogl, another junior running back.
“Casey runs with a bad attitude, which we love,” said special teams and offensive line coach Tom Zagorski. “He has been hindered by a knee injury and really hasn’t seen the field much until tonight, but we like the way he’s progressed in practice and he has certainly earned his chance to show us what he’s got on Saturdays.”
The JCU offensive line certainly takes pride in keeping their signal-caller on his feet, something they have proven very good at over the last few years. While senior Devin O’Brien and junior Mike Locke were both pressured throughout the night, neither was taken down for a sack in the loss. The offensive line has led the conference each of the last two years in sacks allowed.
Sophomore cornerback Ryan Winchell made a career-high 16 tackles, while fellow defensive back Kyle Monaco eclipsed the double-digit mark for the first time in his career as well (10 stops). Sophomore linebacker Matt Feeney picked off his first career pass in the second quarter, forcing the only turnover of the night for the Blue and Gold defense.
“Ryan Winchell is a competitor and is going to keep getting better,” said Scafe after the game. “He made a lot of tackles and played hard. I think he’s going to be a really, really good player for us.”
John Carroll will travel to Marietta next Saturday for a 6 p.m. showdown with the Pioneers. The Blue Streaks leads the all-time series 22-0-1.