Special teams key in JCU’s 71-7 victory over Capital

October 30th, 2014


Be it offense, defense or special teams, the John Carroll University football team dominated Capital University, defeating the Crusaders 71-7 at Don Shula Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 25


The beginning was a repeat of the previous week, as senior Aramis Greenwood returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown for the second consecutive game, giving the Blue Streaks a 7-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game.


Capital’s bad luck continued as its next possession yielded very little. On fourth down, the snap sailed over the Capital punter’s head, leading to a JCU recovery on the 8-yard line.


A touchdown pass from senior Mark Myers to sophomore Marshall Howell one play later on JCU’s first offensive possession of the game put the Blue Streaks up 14-0 just over two minutes into the game. It was  soon clear that it would be a long day for the Crusaders.


A blocked punt return touchdown by junior Andy Bryan and two rushing touchdowns by senior Tommy Michals stretched the lead to 35-0 by the time the first quarter finally came to a close.


Bryan stressed how taking time to practice blocked punts in practice is the key to the team’s high amount of blocks.


“The key for our team to block so many punts was because we were put in the right places at the right time,” said Bryan. “Our special teams coach [Frank Ross] puts in a crazy amount of time preparing us so we can block that many punts.”


The lone bright spot of the game for Capital came at the start of the second quarter, as the Crusaders utilized their triple-option attack exactly as they had planned, eating up almost five minutes of game clock and driving 69 yards in nine plays. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Brent Walton.


Unfortunately for the Crusaders, that momentum did not last. Just over two minutes later, Myers found Greenwood for his second touchdown of the day, as the receiver went untouched in route to a 45-yard touchdown catch.


The next drive for Capital resulted in a punt deep in its own territory, ricocheting off of Bryan’s  helmet and out the back of the end zone for a safety.


On the ensuing drive, the Blue Streaks needed just one play to score. Myers threw another bomb, this time to Howell, for a 52-yard touchdown.


At halftime, the score was 51-7 in favor of JCU. That would be the end of the day for nearly all of the first teamers for the Blue Streaks.


The Blue and Gold let their foot off the pedal for most of the second half. JCU only came away with two field goals off the boot of senior Kresimir Ivkovic, who tied the JCU record for most career field goals, in the third quarter.


“Tying the school field goal-record is an amazing feeling and it’s an honor and a privilege to be even part of that category,” said Ivkovic.


The fourth quarter saw a three different quarterbacks for JCU as senior Wes Keller, junior Jake Schaefer and junior Patrick Kramer all took snaps for the Blue Streaks.


Two more rushing touchdowns from junior Josh Dasch and freshman Arin Pruitt put the final nail in the coffin for the Crusaders, as JCU finished off Capital at a final score of 71-7.


The 71 points by JCU was the fifth most points ever put up by a JCU football team, but only the second-best output this season after the 80-0 dismantling of Marietta College last week.