Defeated by Case Western Reserve 45-13
by Colin Smith
the third straight game the Oberlin football team scored first but
was unable to come away with a victory, losing at Case Western Reserve
University 45-19 on Saturday, Sept. 22. In their three losses this
season the Yeomen have scored a total of 28 first-quarter points,
but only 26 points in the remaining three quarters.
Despite big output from junior wide receiver Ricky Valenzuela, who
had 203 receiving yards Saturday, and sophomore defensive back Quammie
Semper, who had two interceptions, the offense had difficulty putting
the ball in the end zone, while the defense had trouble making tackles.
The Yeomen got off to a promising start on the first drive of the
game, when Semper picked off a Case Western pass and returned it
70 yards for a touchdown, giving the Yeomen a 7-0 lead. But Case
came right back with a 52-yard drive which was capped by a field
goal, and by 9:15 in the second quarter had scored 17 unanswered
The Yeomen responded with a 62-yard drive, with first-year running
back Jim Cooper rushing for a touchdown on third and goal from the
one, but it would be Oberlins only offensive touchdown of
the game. By halftime the Yeomen trailed 24-13.
Case Western quickly took advantage of a Yeomen turnover at the
beginning of the second half with a touchdown pass that made it
31-13 in their favor.
Sparked by a 34-yard kickoff return from first-year wide receiver
Zach Lewis following the Case touchdown, the Yeomen offense drove
from their own 47 as deep as the Case 12. First-year quarterback
Ryan Squatrito made two key third-and-long passes to sophomore wide
receiver Brandon Neely and first-year tight end Vinnie Hachigian
to prolong the drive, but Oberlin was eventually forced to settle
for a field goal.
In the following drive under Squatrito, the Yeomen drove 53 yards
to the Case 27, but on second-and-three Squatrito couldnt
find an open receiver and had to run with the ball. He rushed four
yards for a first down, but took a big hit and had to leave the
game with an injured ankle.
Junior quarterback Chris Moffatt came in to replace him. Moffatt
connected with Valenzuela for 20 yards and a first and goal from
the 10. On second and goal from the 10, sophomore running back David
Lightfoot appeared to have rushed for a touchdown, which would have
put Oberlin within nine, but the play was negated by an Oberlin
clipping penalty that cost the Yeomen 13 yards.
The Yeomen were called for nine penalties in the game, for a total
of 73 yards, while Case received only one five-yard penalty.
After two consecutive incomplete passes by Moffat, first-year kicker
Steve Willever had to come on again, and he successfully put the
40-yard field goal through.
Case followed with a 65-yard touchdown drive that effectively put
the game out of reach. Case would add another touchdown, while their
prevent defense held Oberlin scoreless for the fourth quarter.
The only thing that the offense as a whole has to change to
finish drives is our attitude, Lewis said. We have to
go into the red zone with the attitude that no team can stop us.
Lewis, who has two touchdowns on the season, was held without a
reception against Case, a striking contrast to Valenzuelas
Valenzuela, however, set a career high with his 12 receptions, and
his 486 receiving yards for the season leads the NCAC. Hes
fourth overall in NCAA Division III with 162 receiving yards per
The Yeomen next play Saturday at home against Wabash, which will
be their first conference game. Fortunately for Oberlin, Squatritos
injury was not serious and he will be ready to play on Saturday.