In writing this column a few hours after the John Carroll vs. Mount Union football game, I’m still full of anger, frustration, disbelief—the list goes on.
And keep in mind, I am just one of the radio broadcasters for WJCU, so I can only imagine how the team feels after this loss.
I did, however, learn quite a bit about this team from its resiliency on Saturday.
First and foremost, senior Tommy Michals is the best running back in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Michals not only scored two of JCU’s three touchdowns, but also, for his first score, dashed 57 yards to keep JCU in the game in one of its most critical moments.
Prior to Saturday, the longest play the Purple Raiders gave up this year was 24 yards. Michals has something to be proud of based solely on this stat.
He has something that doesn’t show up in a box score. He has the heart of a lion, and the miraculous ability to will his team to make a comeback. When a play was needed, Michals made one, willing his body to gain extra yardage. Intangibles are what truly make a great athlete. Michals has all of those intangibles –– and then some.
Behind his energy, many other Blue Streaks, particularly upperclassmen, played with a great sense of urgency and passion.
David Porter has been phenomenal in his junior season, and with added defensive pressure from other players such as Choe Samba, Frank Pines, Chris Rizzo, Kevin Cope, Jimmy King, Marty Gibbons and Brody Zangaro, the Mount offense struggled for the first time all year, scoring a season-low 31 points.
Even though the upperclassmen played a huge role, one sophomore also had an impressive day. Cornerback Michael Hollins held his own against one of the most consistent receivers in the league in Sherman Wilkinson. Hollins still managed to record a season-high seven tackles.
The offensive line is a group that rarely gets the recognition it deserves. However, these men did their job and helped to give the playmakers the opportunities to make big plays.
Jack Corrigan, Dante West, Alex Manos, Anthony Latina and Dominic DiTirro deserve to have their names in the paper after every contest –– particularly after this OAC title game.
And finally, let me talk about Wes Keller. Blue Streak fans are used to seeing Keller as a signal-caller. But like a true leader, he stepped into a different role when he needed to kick a series of key extra points and a field goal.
The effort was there. The sacrifice was there. This is still one of the best teams in the country.
And, I couldn’t be prouder to be a Blue Streak.