Heeter, Eibon Go Off in Capital’s First Win of the Rogosheske Era

Heeter, Eibon Go Off in Capital’s First Win of the Rogosheske Era

NEW CONCORD, Ohio – Saturday night marked a bit of history for the Capital University football team. Capital opened the Ohio Athletic Conference schedule with a road win at Muskingum University, 34-16. The win was backed by solid performances by players on both side of the ball, and marks the first win for Chad Rogosheske as Capital's head coach.

Capital scored touchdowns on its opening two drives, covering more than 70 yards in each possession. Junior running back Cory Heeter (Centerville, Ohio/Logan Elm) scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns after plunging through the center of the Musky defense from eight yards out and successfully stretching out for the goal line. The drive was set up by a 39-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Thomas Wibbeler (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) to freshman wide receiver David Barnett (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) on the first offensive play of the game. The seven-play, 71-yard drive lasted 3:54 and was capped off by Will Weir (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) kicking the first extra point of his college career.

Sophomore safety J.R. Garrigo induced the first of Capital's three takeaways on Muskingum's first offensive possession. The Muskies drove inside the Capital red zone, but on first down Garrigo connected with Musky ball carrier Warren Wilson to jar the ball loose. Junior linebacker Derek Eibon (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele) jumped on the loose ball, giving possession back to Capital.

The Crusaders again went deep on the first play of the drive, where Wibbeler found junior tight end Trey Reese for 51 yards. Six plays later, Wibbeler threw for his first collegiate touchdown pass. Wibbeler found junior Chase Longwell (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) in the back of the end zone for a six-yard score. With the touchdown reception, Longwell now has a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in his Capital career.

First Capital touchdown of 2016
Will Weir's first collegiate PAT
Cory Heeter barrels through for a TD
The team sings Pride of the Purple after the 'W'

Down 14-0, Muskingum took a bite out of the Capital lead with a 45-yard lob pass that resulted in a touchdown scored by Damon Jones. The PAT was no good, leaving the score 14-6 in favor of Capital at the end of the first quarter.

Capital made a second defensive stop, this time with Muskingum attempting to convert a fourth down chance. Scrambling out of the pocket and sprinting for the sticks, senior Tyler Conner chased down Musky quarterback Griffin Degener and held him two yards short of converting. Capital took over on its own 31-yard line and then cashed in on the extra chance. The Crusaders wore down the clock and at the end of a 5:47 drive, Wibbeler connected with Barnett for the freshman's first career touchdown reception. Barnett separated from his defender on a corner route and was hit in stride by Wibbeler.

The Purple and White added one more score before the end of the half. After a Muskingum holding penalty gave Capital an automatic first down, Heeter took advantage and blasted through the Muskies' defense for a second time from five yards away. Capital led 27-6 going into the half, which ended after sophomore Kane Murray (Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding) forced a fumble that Jon Eaton recovered.

Despite a 59-yard completion to open the third quarter, Capital's defense made another key stop inside the red zone. This road block forced Musky to kick a field goal despite four tries from the Capital 10-yard line. The defense again answered the call on Musky's next possession when it stopped the hosts cold at their 30-yard line and Cody Dent missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.

Muskingum (1-1, 0-1 OAC) did add another touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but Capital answered back when Heeter found paydirt to blow open the game with less than four minutes remaining. Facing a fourth-and-two situation, the Crusaders decided to go for the first down. Instead, Heeter found a hole and ran away for six points and his third rushing touchdown of the game.

Heeter ended with career highs in carries (20), yards (87) and touchdowns. He also made two catches for 31 yards, giving him 118 total yards on the night.

Barnett topped the numbers he turned in during his debut at Wittenberg two weeks ago, posting five catches and 96 yards in addition to his first college touchdown grab. Junior Nick Waters matched him with five catches and turned in 72 yards.

Derek Eibon turned in a career performance with 19 total tackles to lead the Capital defense. Nine of those tackles were solo. He also had two pass break ups and one fumble recovery.

Murray had a career-high eight tackles while also posting one sack, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.

Capital's defense posted three sacks by three different individuals. Murray, Conner, and sophomore Drew Selegue each obtained one.

Capital ended the night with 412 total yards of offense, 261 of which came through the air via Wibbeler's line of 16-33-2. Capital committed zero turnovers while taking the ball away three times.

Muskingum running back Jordan Scanlon was held to just 44 yards on 11 carries, while quarterback Griffin Degener finished 16-for-30 and one touchdown before being lifted in the fourth quarter.

Capital (1-1, 1-0 OAC) will now turn its attention to its next game, its home opener versus Wilmington College (0-2, 0-1) on Saturday, Sept. 24. Game time at Bernlohr Stadium is set for 7 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.

Derek Eibon postgame interview
Head Coach Chad Rogosheske postgame interview