Crusaders Host Quakers on Senior Day at Bernlohr

Capital's 2013 football senior class. (Photo by USA Foto).
Capital's 2013 football senior class. (Photo by USA Foto).


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The Capital University football team caps off its 2013 campaign this Saturday as it hosts Wilmington in an Ohio Athletic Conference match-up set for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Senior Day at Bernlohr Stadium.


Capital holds a significant, 17-4, advantage over Wilmington in the all-time series between the two, as their first meeting came back in 1923 as the Quakers defeated the Crusaders, 13-0.


Last season, the Crusaders extended their 11-game win streak against the Quakers to 12 games, when Capital defeated Wilmington, 40-21, in the 2012 regular season finale.


The Crusaders enter Saturday's match-up having not lost to the Quakers since 2000, when they fell, 34-27.


Prior to Saturday's contest, the Crusaders' 19 seniors will each be recognized for their achievements over the last four years. In addition, fans attending Saturday's game can receive free admission with a donation of a lightly-used or new toy to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee's drive for Toys for Tots, an organization that has donated millions of toys over the last 60-plus years to needy children all over the United States.


Last Saturday, Capital (2-7 overall, 2-6 OAC) needed overtime to slip past Muskingum, 27-24, after the Crusaders trailed 24-7 midway through the second quarter.


From the third quarter on, the Crusaders defense managed to shutout the Muskies for the remainder of the game, scoring a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter to even the score.


Then in overtime, Capital's defensive end Gene Rucker (Marion, Ohio) recovered a fumble on the second play from scrimmage, setting up the Crusaders for their first overtime possession.


Junior Joey Riley (Twinsburg, Ohio) eventually kicked a 20-yard field goal that knocked just inside the right upright, skimming off the post and through, sending the Crusaders' sideline onto the field in celebration of the team's first home win this season.


"I think everybody is extremely excited, and we should be," Capital coach Craig Candeto said. "Any time you can win a football game, it's a good feeling. I was really proud of our guys with the way they handled adversity in the first half and well into the second. They kept fighting and kept believing and got it done."


Freshman b-back Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio) led the Crusaders' rushing attack with 22 carries for 100 yards and the game-tying touchdown. Sophomore slot back Bo Hardy (Galloway, Ohio) rushed for 67 yards and a score to go along with 46 receiving yards. Freshman quarterback Chase Longwell (Hilliard, Ohio) tallied 21 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown.


Junior linebacker TJ Langermeier (West Jefferson, Ohio) registered seven tackles and recovered a fumble. Senior defensive back Domenic Hebebrand (Hinckley, Ohio) totaled seven tackles, while junior defensive back Anthony Cicione (Akron, Ohio) recorded five tackles and forced a fumble. Capital held Muskingum to just 89 total yards in the second half.


"We made some adjustments on defense, but I think it just came down to our guys doing their assignments a little better," Candeto said. "I think our defensive line, in the second half, solidified that wall (at the line of scrimmage) so their running backs had to bounce it outside and have our linebackers make the play."


Wilmington (0-9 overall, 0-8 OAC) continues its quest for its first win of the season, as the team fell last Saturday, 52-10, at Ohio Northern. The Quakers got down 17-0 midway through the second quarter, before they connected on a 27-yard field goal by freshman Grant Brown.


From that point forward, the Quakers surrendered 35 unanswered points before scoring a late fourth quarter touchdown, while shutting out the Polar Bears in the final frame.


Senior Brandon Arehart led the Quakers in passing with 177 yards and one interception, while backup freshman quarterback Austin Jarbo went 4-for-6 with 29 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Zach Cooper led the team in receptions with five, tallying 36 yards and the lone touchdown of the game, while the OAC's leading receiver, sophomore Jeremy Duncan, was held to four catches for 41 yards.


Defensively, the Quakers were led by senior Aaron Day, who recorded a career-high 18 tackles with one for a loss. Sophomore Tarrell Starckey, the OAC leading tackler, filled up the stat sheet with 16 tackles, two for a loss, one sack and a forced fumble.


Wilmington is led offensively by their starting quarterback Arehart, who has thrown for 2202 total yards, good for second-best in the OAC at 244.7 yards per game, while recording 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions en route to a 47.6 percent completion rate in 2013.


Freshman running back Zak Kruer leads the team in rushing this season, having totaled 412 yards on 123 carries on the ground, good for 45.8 yards per game, while sophomore Zach Cumby has also tallied a respectable 183 yards on 56 carries.


The Quakers' leading receiver, Duncan, tops the OAC stat leaders in yards per game (110.2), having totaled 922 yards receiving on a 17.1 yards per catch mark, while tallying six touchdowns so far this season.


Senior wide receiver Kyle Akers follows with 386 yards receiving, including a 15.4 yards per catch average, with four touchdowns in 2013.


Five additional receivers have recorded at least 135 yards receiving this season for the Quakers.


On defense, Wilmington is led by Starckey, who also leads the OAC in tackles per game (13), while also leading the team with 117 total tackles, 11 of them for a loss.


Day follows with 70 total tackles, with ten resulting in a loss, while freshman linebacker Tim Lee has become a playmaker on the defensive end, forcing and recovering two fumbles this season.


Wilmington is currently last in the OAC in points per game (13.7), while placing seventh in the conference in yards per game (315).


"Wilmington does a lot of things schematically on offense, defense and special teams that we'll have to be ready for," Candeto said. "I think their coaches mix it up a lot to keep guys guessing.


"We're going to have to go back to the basics and execute our fundamentals. We were just talking on offense about our rules and keys, and the same things apply to defense and special teams. We need to execute our assignments no matter what they throw at us.


Both Capital and Wilmington are playing for different season win totals, as Capital seeks its third win of the season, passing last season's mark of two wins, while the Quakers seek their first win since 2009.