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Solid 28-7 win keeps Spartans undefeated

WR Nicely catches two TDs; Spartans claim Baird Bros. Trophy for second straight year

Nick Spring

Issue date: 10/17/08 Section: Sports
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Sophomore wide receiver Shaun Nicely hauls in a pass during Saturday's win over Wooster. Nicely had two touchdown catches and 86 yards receiving.
Media Credit: Zhaoyang Wang
Sophomore wide receiver Shaun Nicely hauls in a pass during Saturday's win over Wooster. Nicely had two touchdown catches and 86 yards receiving.

For the third time this year, Case hosted an opponent and won. But this wasn't your normal game; this was Wooster. The same Wooster that beat Case 10 times in a row before these last two meetings. This is a historic battle with a trophy on the line, the Baird Brothers Trophy (see Spartan Notebook). On top of being one of Case's arch nemeses, both teams were undefeated going into this game.

"The atmosphere and practices were on another level. Everyone was so focused and intense because we knew it was Wooster week," said junior wide receiver Ryan Kolesar. The game lived up to the hype.

The opening drive for Case was promising. The Spartans took the opening kick and drove 56 yards in nine plays for a touchdown. Completing the drive was Corey Checkan, who scored on a rushing touchdown from 4 yards out. After the impressive start, the Spartans were in for a dog fight. Case's next two drives were a combined seven plays for 18 yards. The Wooster offense moved the ball fairly well throughout the quarter, but failed to put up any points. The Scots came close to scoring on their second drive, but their kicker failed to convert a 38-yard field goal attempt. The quarter came to an end with Case up only 7-0, their lowest scoring first quarter of the year.

The Scots had the ball to start the second quarter and were well on their way to tying the game when sophomore Lucas Sasala forced and recovered a fumble on the Case 31-yard line. The Wooster defense swarmed the offense on the next two drives, forcing two quick three and outs. The Case defense once again came up big on Wooster's next possession by forcing and recovering another fumble (forced by Lee Sasala, recovered by Jake Mey). Although the Case offense couldn't capitalize on the opportunity, their fortunes would change shortly after.

The next Case possession started on the Case 27. After a slow two plays and a false start penalty, the Spartans were facing a third-and-13. The next few plays shifted the momentum in Case's favor for the rest of the half. Quarterback Dan Whalen hit Zach Homyk down the sideline for a 30-yard completion and a first down. On the next play, Whalen was forced to scramble right due to pressure from the defensive line, avoided the oncoming blitz, then rolled out back to the left and hit a wide open Ryan Kolesar for 38 yards, bringing the ball to the Wooster 8-yard line. A few plays later, Case scored on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Whalen to Shaun Nicely. The defense forced a quick three and out and Case got the ball back on the Case 41-yard line. The Spartans took the ball and didn't take too long to score. In 1:09, Case took the ball 59 yards in nine plays and finished with another touchdown pass to Nicely, this one from 10 yards out. The half ended with Case leading 21-0. At the half, Case was outgaining Wooster 288 yards to 170.

Wooster received the ball to start the second half and put together an impressive 76-yard scoring drive. Case responded by scoring on a 60-yard drive their first possession. The drive ended with a 22-yard rush by No. 22, Billy Deitman. The rest of the quarter consisted of a few time-consuming drives, ending with the score 28-7. Both teams fought hard in the fourth quarter, but neither was able to convert any possessions into points.

Statistically, Deitman lead the Spartans on the ground, averaging 8.6 yards per carry and totaling 43 yards. Once again, icely led the receivers, reeling in eight catches for 86 yards, with a long of 19 yards. Nicely had two touchdown catches. Whalen finished the day going 17-for-31 for 247 yards and two touchdowns, bringing his season total to 10. Defensively, the Sasala brothers lead the way, with Lee totaling 6.5 tackles and Lucas with six tackles and each recording a forced fumble.
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  • Cross Country: Men join women on top at All-Ohios
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  • Men's Soccer: Spartans don't give or get goal in Brandeis tie
  • Solid 28-7 win keeps Spartans undefeated
  • Spartan Notebook
  • Spartan Spotlight: Jeff Brown
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