On a beautiful Saturday, Oct. 10 afternoon at Don Shula Stadium, the No. 21 ranked John Carroll University football team rebounded after suffering its first loss at home in the regular season since 2012. With doubts and worries surrounding the squad after they were upset by Ohio Northern University on Oct. 3, JCU utilized their second home game as a statement to let everyone know they are not to be counted out. The Blue Streaks opened and closed the game with touchdowns, defeating Wilmington College, 62-14, in dominating fashion.
Within seconds of the opening kickoff, junior Marshall Howell could be seen racing down the sideline and taking the return 91 yards to the promised land.
Following Howell’s first return score of the season and a quick three and out by the Quakers, senior QB Jake Schaefer led his troops down the field with precision. With passes of 28 and 29 yards on the drive and with the latter resulting in a touchdown, the Blue Streaks found themselves owning a 14-0 lead within the first five minutes of the game.
All signs pointed to the Blue Streaks beginning to stack up drives and surmounting a big lead. However, to the surprise of many, another special teams touchdown was scored, except this time it was in favor of Wilmington. The Quakers returned the ensuing kickoff to shrink the JCU lead to 14-7.
The defenses for both teams tightened up after the early flurry of scores, with the next touchdown not coming until 11:38 in the second quarter, when sophomore Ro Golphin ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run.
Golphin’s touchdown opened up the flood gates for the JCU offense. Howell continued to get involved in the contest and hauled in two consecutive touchdowns before the end of the half, giving the Blue Streaks a comfortable 34-7 lead after two quarters.
After the half, with JCU leading and controlling the game, head coach Tom Arth decided to get players who haven’t had very much in-game experience more involved in the contest. The Blue Streaks went on to score four more touchdowns before the clock hit all zeroes, as senior Jonathan Brick, junior Brian Kornowski and freshman Danny Disbrow placed their mark on the game, all scoring their first touchdowns of the season in the second half.
JCU sealed the win at 62-14, their largest point total of the new campaign, and improved their record to 4-1.
It was a signature game for Schaefer as he threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns with one interception on the day. For Schaefer, and the team, this was a huge win going forward.
“Responding the way we did was very encouraging for our team as a whole,” said Schaefer. “We know what our team identity is, and what are goals are. The loss to ONU has really brought a new competitive edge out of a lot of people, and we are excited to build on that moving forward into the second half of our regular season.”
Golphin had a breakout game as well, after obtaining the majority of the work in the backfield with sophomore Arin Pruitt inactive. Golphin posted 107 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries on the afternoon.
Senior Jordan D’Orazio and Howell led the receiving arsenal with seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown and six grabs for 82 yards and two touchdowns, respectively.
JCU ends its two game stint at home as they head to Marietta, Ohio on the Saturday, Oct. 17 to take on the 1-4 Pioneers.