Crusaders Downed at John Carroll

Linebacker Wesley Meadows. (Jeff Mills photo).
Linebacker Wesley Meadows. (Jeff Mills photo).


UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The Capital University football team fell behind early Saturday and was unable to find a rhythm on either side of the ball in a 54-0 setback at No. 24 John Carroll in an Ohio Athletic Conference contest at Don Shula Stadium.


The Crusaders (1-3 overall, 1-2 OAC) were outgained 449 yards to 185 yards, and were held to a total of eight first downs.


The Blue Streaks (4-0, 3-0), who lead the nation in scoring defense, tallied 37 first-half points and didn't look back.


Freshman quarterback Chase Longwell (Hilliard, Ohio) led the offense with 14 carries for 79 yards, while sophomore b-back Bo Hardy (Galloway, Ohio) added 59 yards on 19 carries. Capital completed just one pass in the game.


Junior linebacker Wesley Meadows (Athens, Ohio) led the defense with 14 tackles, while senior defensive back Domenic Hebebrand (Hinckley, Ohio) totaled 11 stops.


After sophomore defensive back Anthony Cicione (Akron, Ohio) picked off John Carroll's Mark Myers to thwart the Blue Streaks' opening drive deep in Capital territory, the Crusaders were forced to punt. Junior punter Joey Riley (Twinsburg, Ohio) was tackled in the end zone for a safety to give JCU a 2-0 advantage.


On the first play of the ensuing drive, John Carroll scored on a 57-yard catch-and-run, starting a stretch of five unanswered Blue Streak touchdowns.


The Crusaders' final offensive drive of the first half proved to be their best in the period as Longwell's 40-yard run put the team in JCU territory. Runs by Longwell, Hardy and Coleman gave Capital a first down at the Blue Streaks' 11-yard line.


A trio of short rushing gains made it fourth-and-1 inside the John Carroll 5-yard line, and Longwell was stopped on an inside run with 38 seconds on the clock.


The Crusaders continued their offensive momentum to start the second half, moving into Blue Streaks territory for the second straight drive, but Longwell's pass attempt on fourth-and-5 was intercepted.


Capital forced its second turnover of the contest with 1:24 to play in the fourth as sophomore defensive tackle Vince Austin (Highland Heights, Ohio) stripped a JCU ball carrier. The ball was recovered by senior defensive back Ethan Bennington (Cambridge, Ohio).


The Crusaders visit No. 13 Heidelberg next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Tiffin, Ohio.