OBERLIN — The most promising season in more than 30 years got off to a very unpromising beginning for Oberlin on Saturday.
The Yeomen, despite having their entire starting offense returning (although two regulars from 2006 did not play), could come up with only 181 yards of total offense and one touchdown in a
37-15 loss to non-conference rival Case Western Reserve at Savage Stadium.
“Their defense played well,” OC coach Jeff Ramsey said. “It wasn’t that they did anything exotic. We just had trouble with them.”
R.V. Carroll, Oberlin’s junior running back who averaged 5.7 yards a carry and 128 yards a game in 2006, was held to 38 yards on 17 attempts (2.2 average). The Yeomen had only 22 yards rushing.
“I think R.V was looking for too much, instead of just trying to be a running back,” Ramsey said. “He knows that.”
Junior quarterback Greg Mangan, who averaged 240 yards passing a game in 2006, completed 18 of 32 throws but was intercepted three times.
Oberlin committed four turnovers for the game. The other turnover, a fumble, was recovered was by cornerback Bobby Bott, a sophomore from Midview. Bott picked up the ball after it was stripped from Carroll at the 48 of CWRU and returned it to Oberlin’s 44-yard line.
“I saw the ball coming,” said Bott, the University Athletic Association’s Newcomer of the Year last season. “I had room to pick it up. I thought I had daylight, but I was tackled from behind.”
The Spartans failed to get a first down after the recovery, but their punt pinned Oberlin at its 2-yard line. The Yeomen got only as far as the 11. A 22-yard punt set up CWRU at Oberlin’s 33. Eight plays later, the Spartans were in the end zone for a 20-6 lead with 2:30 to go before halftime.
“Turnovers aren’t how we play the game,” Ramsey said. “This is a guy (Mangan) who had eight interceptions last year, and he throws three today.”
Mangan actually had only seven pickoffs in 2006, but he was under steady pressure from Case’s front seven, led by preseason All-American linebacker Tom Brew. Mangan had minus-22 yards on six carries.
“I won’t say we were complacent, but we found out some things about ourselves,” Ramsey said. “We have to do a better job. I have to do a better job.”
Mike Evans gave Oberlin an early lead when he stepped in front of a sideline pass intended for Tim Cowdrick on the left side and returned the interception 60 yards for a touchdown.
It was one of the few errors quarterback Dan Whelan and the offense made. Whelan completed 17-of-28 for 204 yards. Cowdrick caught eight for 122 yards. Fullback Corey Checken pounded the Yeomen defense for 89 yards on 20 carries.
Chris Schubert led the Oberlin receivers with 80 yards on nine catches. Carroll had the only offensive touchdown when, after being stopped at the line of scrimmage at the CWRU 10, he changed direction and found an opening to the end zone. It was Carroll’s longest gain of the day.
J.J. Hepp, Oberlin’s tight end and a Bay Village native, had two receptions for 25 yards, including a 17-yard gain for a first down on a key third-down play late in the first half.
Case 37, Oberlin 15
CWRU 7 13 10 7 — 37
Oberlin 6 0 7 2 — 15
OC—Mike Evans 60 interception return (kick failed)
CW—Corey Checken 3 run (Sam Coffey kick)
CW—Shaun Nicely 27 pass from Dan Whelan (Coffey kick)
CW—Brian Webster 4 pass from Whelan (kick failed)
CW—Checken 2 run (Coffey kick)
OC—R.V. Carroll 10 run (Zach Richard kick)
CW—Coffey 22 field goal
CW—Brendan Jones 7 run (Coffey kick)
OC—Safety, Kris LeVant tackles punter in end zone
First downs 19 13
— by rushing 10 2
— by passing 9 8
— by penalty 0 3
Yards rushing 180 22
Yards passing 223 159
Total offense 403 181
Passes att./comp. 30/18 33/18
Intercepted by 3 1
Fumbles/lost 3/0 1/1
Penalties/yards 8/80 5/27
RUSHING — (CW) Corey Checken 20-89, Dan Whelan 11-45, Lee Salata 4-26, Derek Bush 9-25. (OC) R.V. Carroll 17-38, Chris Schubert 1-6, Ryan Harvey 3-0, Greg Mangan 6-(-22).
PASSING — (CW) Dan Whelan 17-28-204-1, Angelo Mirano 1-2-19-0. (OC) Greg Mangan 18-32-159-3, Joey Zebelian 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — (CW) Tim Cowdrick 8-122, Brian Webster 4-10, Shaun Nicely 3-63, Ryan Kolesar 2-17, Derek Bush 1-11. (OC) Chris Schubert 9-80, James Brady 3-44, R.V. Carroll 3-11, J.J. Hepp 2-25, Wayne Mundekis 1-(-1).