WHAT: Capital Crusaders (2-5, 2-4 OAC) at Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets (5-2, 5-1 OAC)
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 31 | 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: George Finney Stadium (Berea, Ohio)
SCOUTING THE YELLOW JACKETS
The Yellow Jackets have won their last four games but mainly against teams in the bottom half of the OAC standings. Their most impressive win came last week on the road against Otterbein when the Yellow Jackets trounced the Cardinals, 55-21. Both teams went blow for blow, but the balanced BW offense outlasted Otterbein, with aid by their 71 percent third down conversion rate. The BW defense also recorded four quarterback sacks and four tackles for loss.
Senior quarterback Tyler Moeglin is the workhorse for the offense, and has completed 113 of 164 passing attempts for a grand total of 1,327 yards while posting a 9:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He is also the team's leading rusher after putting up 563 yards on 111 carries. He also has nine rushing touchdowns. From the backfield, senior Issac Reed III supplements the run game, averaging 5.7 yards per touch (68-389-5). Moeglin, when passing, has two 20-plus catch receivers in juniors Bryon Cook (27-400-5) and Trevor George (20-197-1).
Outside linebacker Sam Groff is BW's top tackler (50) and averages 8.3 per game. Watch for junior defensive end Andy Schultz who gets into the backfield often, as seen by his team-leading 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore cornerback Howard Dover leads the Yellow Jackets pass defense with nine passes broken up of the defenses' 27. Baldwin Wallace has the third-ranked defense in the OAC by points per game (20.7) and total yards allowed per game. (352.0)
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HISTORY WITH BALDWIN WALLACE
The all-time series heavily favors Baldwin Wallace, 34-12, and the Yellow Jackets have won each of the last three games against the Crusaders by double digits. Capital's last win over BW came in 2011 when the Crusaders edged the Yellow Jackets, 14-11.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET ...
... the Yellow Jackets took a commanding 28-0 lead after the first half. Three of Baldwin Wallace's four touchdowns were scored on plays of 25 yards or greater. Capital played them closed in the second half, but at game's end found themselves on the wrong end of 48-14 decision. In that game, Capital turned the ball over four times, but also caused four turnovers, as well. Brent Walton led the way with 133 yards rushing on 24 touches.
LAST TIME OUT
Capital was held to its lowest offensive output for the season, totalling just 170 yards of total offense, 111 rush yards, and zero points against the then-No. 18 John Carroll Blue Streaks. The JCU defense stifled one of the nation's best rushing attacks, which itsself was shorthanded due to injury with absences from junior Brent Walton and sophomore Isaiah Lyle. Jonny Eaton led the Crusaders with a 47 yards on a career high 18 carries. Zak Sheridan totaled 88 yards, 50 through the air. John Carroll totaled over 600 yards of total offense and defeated the Crusaders, 48-0.
KEY INJURIES ALTER CAP LINEUP VS. BW
The following players have been ruled out for this Saturday's game at Baldwin Wallace:
RB Brent Walton (toe - questionable)
RB Isaiah Lyle (probable)
SB Cory Heeter (shoulder - out for season)
WALTON TIES CAP ALL-TIME RUSHING RECORD
Just starting his third season as the Crusaders' B-back, junior Brent Walton is quickly approaching Capital career rushing records. Last week against Otterbein, he tallied 23 yards on the ground to share the title of being Capital's all-time leading rusher. He shares that record with Rayshaun Gales (2000-02) at 2,287 yards. Walton was forced to leave the Otterbein game due to injury and has missed the last two weeks of action. He is questionable to return against the Yellow Jackets.
Walton is also creeping up on another single-season mark for rushing touchdowns. The junior currently has nine on the year after posting three in each of his first three games this season. The single-season record holder is Al White, who in 1959 found the endzone 14 times.
NEXT MAN UP IN THE BACKFIELD
Following the injury to Brent Walton, sophomore B-back Isaiah Lyle was one of a few players to answer the call to fill the void. Lyle, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, had seven carries for 37 yards (both then-career highs) and averaged 5.7 yards per rush with his long coming in at 11 yards versus Otterbein. He bested both of those marks last week versus Ohio Northern when he rattled off 95 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Lyle was recruited as a slot back but made the transition to B-back during the spring of 2015 because of his bulk and power running style.
Freshman Jonny Eaton has also contributed on the ground. Last week against #18 JCU he ran a career-high 18 times for 47 yards. His career high for yardage is 53 yards on 10 carries which he accomplished the previous week at Ohio Northern.
Lyle was out last week due to injury but is probable for a return against Baldwin Wallace. Walton is listed as questionable after missed the last two games and most of the Otterbein game three weeks ago.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS BALL!
The Crusaders have just THREE turnovers through six games. Last year, they committed two through a pair of games and eight in their first four games. To date, the Crusaders have an even (0) turnover margin. There are only three teams in Division III that have surrendered zero interceptions this season: Cap, Mount Union and Guilford. Capital is currently second in the country in turnovers lost (3).
NEW TRIO HELPS THE 'O' FLOW
Another key injury has opened up opportunities for Capital's slot backs. Junior Nick Waters and senior Wally Brewer also made huge impacts despite the team's loss to Otterbein (10/10). Both players scored twice and set new career highs in multiple categories. Waters rushed 11 times (career-high) for 95 yards and two scores while Brewer hit paydirt twice (career-high), rushes four times for 68 yards (career-high) and had a long of 58 yards.
Jake Breakey set new career highs in rushes (13), yards (90) and rushing TDs (2) in the Crusaders' loss to Ohio Northern (10/17).
In three games between Oct. 3-17, that trio collected 524 yards on 56 carries and has accounted for seven touchdowns.