The Blue Streaks sent their seniors off in emphatic fashion with a resounding 66-13 win over Otterbein University to earn a 9-0 record on Saturday, Nov. 8. Now, they are getting ready for a top-10 showdown against rival the University of Mount Union.
Even more impressively, JCU has outscored its opponents 348-34 over the past five games, breaking the record for most points scored in a season in school history.
One senior who put together a big day was Tommy Michals. Michals had 15 carries for a career high 208 yards, along with three touchdowns. The big day for Michals propelled him over the 1,000-yard milestone for the season.
Michals spoke about how big the game was for himself and the team as a whole.
“I thought it was great to go out like that at Don Shula Stadium on senior day,” said Michals. “I think it will help out greatly going into the Mount game having are offense clicking and rolling like we are.”
Coach Tom Arth also commented on his running back’s historic day.
“It was awesome. It was great to see. I had no idea that he was there [at 200 yards]. Tommy is an unbelievable player. He’s a great leader in our program.”
Arth continued, “He works so hard. He deserves it. The preparation he puts in is incredible. You could see it and he earns every yard that he gets.”
Another senior star who came up big in the win was quarterback Mark Myers. Like he has done all season Myers carved up the opposing secondary to the tune of 282 yards passing and four touchdowns.
His favorite target of the day was sophomore Marshall Howell, who scorched the secondary for seven catches for 135 yards and an 11-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
Once again, it was not only the offense that played strongly, but the defense showed up big once again. This defense has only let up 67 points through nine games this year and has three shutouts. Otterbein saw how good this defense was first-hand, as the Cardinals only gained 25 yards rushing and 156 yards passing.
Not only did the defense stop Otterbein, but JCU also took the ball away five times. Those five included three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. One of the fumbles was even returned 34 yards for a JCU touchdown by sophomore Reese Armstrong after being forced by senior Jimmy King.
Just like Michals went out in style, fellow senior Brody Zangaro had a day to remember, hauling in two interceptions. Arth spoke highly of his senior defensive back after the game.
“It was great for Brody. Again, another senior captain. He is everything to our football program. I’m so happy for him, the way that he played today and that whole group [the defense].”
Other seniors who made their mark in the win includes Kresimir Ivkovic, who set the JCU record for most field goals made in a career with his 36th, and Pat Gawryszewski, who came up with a fumble recovery on Otterbein’s final possession.
This game sets the table for the highly anticipated rematch of last year’s classic between Mount Union and JCU, as both are 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the OAC. Once again, the game will decide the OAC Championship.