Rivalry Showdown Between Capital and Otterbein Set for Saturday, 2 p.m.

Rivalry Showdown Between Capital and Otterbein Set for Saturday, 2 p.m.

 Capital University Crusaders


Otterbein University Cardinals

(1-2, 1-1 OAC)   Saturday, Oct. 1  |  2 p.m.   (2-1, 2-0 OAC)
Roster   Memorials Stadium (Westerville, Ohio)   Roster
Stats   Video  |  Live stats  |  Audio   Stats


Capital took down the Quakers of Wilmington College, 35-21. Capital had a commanding 22-6 lead going into the half, and added to that with touchdowns in both of the remaining quarters. Junior running back Cory Heeter found the end zone three times, all in short-yardage situations, and fell just short of his first 100-yard game. Sophomore quarterback Thomas Wibbeler tossed for 193 yards and was 15-for-23 (65.2) through the air with two touchdowns and two picks. The Capital defense may have allowed more than 350 yards, but had FOUR interceptions to kill off the Quakers' offensive drives. Freshman wide receiver David Barnett caught two touchdowns and five passes for 48 yards total to lead the wide outs.

Otterbein is coming off of a tough home loss to Ohio Northern, 16-10. The Polar Bears did most of their scoring in the first half, and were limited to just three points in the second. ONU defensive lineman Scott Rapps scored a defensive touchdown with a fumble recovery in the end zone and ended the game by sacking and stripping the ball away from Otterbein quarterback Logan Stepp on the Cardinals' final drive with under two minutes to go. Stepp ended with 171 yards passing and took three sacks on the day. Otterbein's run game was limited to just 34 yards with Christian Johnson (9-15-0) serving as its leading rusher. Otterbein had four fumbles and lost three in the game.

Otterbein's offense has been driven largely by its pass game, led by junior quarterback Logan Stepp who has amassed 532 yards and four touchdowns on 47-for-84 (55.9) passing. He favors junior wide receiver Hunter Joseph, who has 21 catches (7.0 rec/g) and two touchdowns this season. He broke out for a 7-145-1 line in his debut against Buffalo State (9/3). The other end of the wideout tandem lies in junior Julian Lowe, who was held to just two grabs and 12 yards last week.

The defense is led by senior linebacker Nick Toledo, who last week racked up 11 of his 20 total tackles on the season. The defensive backs have mustered three interceptions but have 14 pass breakups, this season. Stephen Carpenter leads all DBs with 19 total tackles and is one of three players with an interception. Junior defensive end Kyle Blust has a habit of getting into the opponent's backfield, sporting 6.0 tackles for loss, 17 total tackles and leads the team and the OAC with four sacks. 

You can't provide out a rivalry as more even-keeled as this one. This year will mark the 91st meeting between Otterbein and Capital, and the series favors Otterbein (only slightly) at 44-43-3. An additional edge here is that the Cardinals have won the last four meetings and seven of the last nine. There has only been one year in which these teams have not met since beginning to play each other regularly in 1927, and that was in a war-torn 1943. The first matchup on record was in 1894 when Otterbein won 60-0.

... the Crusaders' filled the seats, but Otterbein loaded the stat sheet with nearly 500 yards of total offense. A hot start by Otterbein was too much for Cap to overcome, fighting from a 35-14 halftime deficit. The turning point was a 99-yard run by John Pyles at the top of the second quarter, followed by a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and a second touchdown just two minutes later. Capital kept fighting, scoring the last two touchdowns of the game, but could not overcome what a one point was a 21-point deficit. Capital ran for 399 yards, but despite winning the time of possession battle the defense was unable to stop the Cardinals' offense. 

Saturday marks the 90th edition of the Capital University-Otterbein University rivalry, but before the game gets underway, we invite friends of The Purple and White to join us at On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina for a pregame celebration to get into the school spirit. Bring some canned food to help a good cause and get free admission to the game in Westerville, this Saturday afternoon.

Capital and its newest partner On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina is teaming up to provide fans and supporters of Capital Football a place to start their day full of pregame festivities. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., fans can enjoy free soft drinks, hor d'oeurves and prizes! Special guests will be in attendance to get the crowd pumped up for the big game.

The event is free to attend for all, and if you are looking for a ride from the Capital main campus to On the Border, be sure to sign up for free bus transportation. Signups are being held in the Student and Community Engagement (SCE) office inside the Student Union. Buses will also take fans to the game and return to main campus afterwards. (more info)

On the Border is located at 4175 Morse Crossing, Columbus, Ohio. (website)

If you are looking for a ticket to the Capital-Otterbein rivalry game, you can do a good deed and receive free admission to the contest at the same time. Bring one nonperishable canned food item and your ticket is on the house. Otterbein will be holding a canned food drive that will benefit the Westerville Area Resource Ministry (WARM) and The Promise House.

WARM is an organization that provides compassionate, short-term assistance, educational services, employment services, and spiritual support in order to encourage individuals to achieve a God-reliant, self-sufficient life while restoring dignity and hope.

The Promise House is an Otterbein student-led community resource center that serves under-resourced students. We offer services to help peers flourish including a community café, campus food pantry, referrals to community resources, peer advocacy, volunteer opportunities, and educational workshops. 

As you may or may not know, Capital is now off to a 2-0 start in OAC play with a win against Wilmington, last week. The Purple and White also started last season 2-0 with win over Muskingum and Wilmington in successive weeks.

But did you know ... the last time Capital football start back-to-back seasons 2-0 in OAC was when they did so back in 2008 and 2009? In both years, Capital beat Heidelberg and Wilmington by multiple scores in each game to go 2-0. In 2008, Cap was 5-5. In 2009, they went 7-3. The 2009 season also marks the last time Capital started a season 3-0 (and 4-0). 


Cory Heeter (Jr., RB)
J.R. Garrigo (So., S)

Junior running back Cory Heeter rebounded from a quiet week one with a trio of trips to the end zone in back-to-back weeks against Muskingum (9/17) and Wilmington (9/24). Heeter totted the rock 20 times for 87 yards, but found paydirt three times (career high) in the win against Muskingum. He scored Capital's first touchdown of the season on a six-yard plunge up the middle. He scored touchdowns from one, two and three yards against Wilmington. He now has 56 rushes for 236 yards (78.7 ypg) and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry. 

Ironically, Heeter has a chance to replicate what Brent Walton did last year and that is to rush for three touchdowns and three straight games to open the season.

Straight out of Florida, J.R. Garrigo brought his game up north and had a great first year. He led the Crusaders with 75 tackles (19th OAC), 33 of which were solo, and 7.5 per game (15th). Garrigo led the Crusaders with 13 tackles in the season opener, including 10 of the solo variety. He also posted 13 tackles against Witt in the season opener last year, which was also his collegiate debut. He posted four tackles and forced one fumble two weeks ago at Muskingum. Last week versus Wilmington, he recorded seven tackles and one interception, the first of his career.

A high school standout at Shawnee High in Springfield, Ohio, David Barnett is putting his talents on display early in his collegiate career. He made three catches for a team-high 81 yards in the team's opener against Wittenberg, including a 58-yard grab in the second quarter. At Muskingum (9/17), he made his first career touchdown catch of 13 yards. He led the team in receiving for a second week in a row making five catches for 96 yards. In his third game, he caught two touchdown grabs, including an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone.

Barnett was a three-time all-conference, and two-time all-district and all-area selection at SHS, where he also holds multiple career, season, and single-game records for yards, receptions, and touchdown receptions. He also participated in the Blue-Gray All-American Bowl.

The Crusaders had just seven turnovers through 10 games, last year, finishing the season with a -3 turnover margin. Capital ended the year second in the country in turnovers lost (7). In three games in 2016, Capital has four turnovers and eight takeaways (+4). Two weeks ago, they did not turn the ball over at all while causing three turnovers at Muskingum. Last week, the defense forced four interceptions against Wilmington College.

Kane Murray earned the nod as the STAR linebacker, and in his first start recorded five tackles and pass breakup.  The sophomore's numbers have only gotten better with time. At Muskingum (9/17), he recorded eight tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. Last week versus Wilmington he set a new career high with 11 tackles and added 0.5 tackles for loss.

As mentioned, Capital freshman wide receiver David Barnett was a big deal at Shawnee High School in Springfield, Ohio. For his contributions both on and off the field, plus an exemplary scholastic mark, he was named one of 37 National High School Scholar-Athlete finalists by the National Football Foundation (NFF). He was nominated by the Springfield NFF chapter, and is one of seven to advance as a Midwest regional finalist. On Oct. 3, the NFF will announce the winners of each National Scholar-Athlete Award winner from the five regions represented.

Special teams have been a big priority over the last two seasons and the punt return numbers can prove it. Through Capital's first three games of 2015, the Crusaders' coverage team did not allow an opponent to return a punt. Mount Union became the first team to return a punt, doing so just once. Keegan Irwin on the season has 31 punts, is averaging 37.4 yards per boot, has pinned nine inside the 20-yard line, induced eight fair catches and one touchback. 

Against Wittenberg in the season opener, Capital allowed the Tigers to return just one of Irwin's five punts. Over the last two weeks, Wyatt Pertuset did the punting, and the coverage team allowed just three returns for a total of seven yards.

Team Scoring (5th, 69)
Points per game (5th, 23.0)
Passing yards (2nd, 694)
Pass yards per game (2nd, 231.3)
Pass yards per completion (1st, 14.8)
Rush touchdowns (3rd, 6)
Kick return average (1st, 27.7)
Punt return average (2nd, 11.5)
Redzone touchdowns (2nd, 9-14)
Defensive INTs (1st, 6)
Penalties (1st, 11)

Derek Eibon (#30, Jr., LB)
Total tackles (1st, 42)
Tackles/game (1st, 14.0)
J.R. Garrigo (#7, So., SS)
Tackles/game (14th, 8.0)
Tyler Conner (#13, Sr., DE)
Sacks (t-7th, 2.0)
Tackles for loss (5th, 5.5)
Jordan Duncan (#1, So., CB)
Interceptions (2nd, 2)
Thomas Wibbeler (#17, r-So., QB)
Pass yards/game (4th, 211.0)
Yards per completion (2nd, 7.6)
Touchdown passes (t-3rd, 4)
Pass attempts (6th, 83)
Passes completed (6th, 42)

Cory Heeter (#13, Jr., RB)
Rush yards/game (5th, 78.7)
Rushes (t-3rd, 56)
Yards (5th, 236)
Rush TDs (t-1st, 6)
David Barnett (#13, Fr., WR)
Receiving yards per game (3rd, 75.0)
Receptions (t-10th, 14)
Rec. Yards (3rd, 225)
Rec. Yards per game (3rd, 75.0)
Rec. TDs (2nd, 3)

Nick Waters (#3, Jr., WR)
All-purpose yards (3rd, 137.7)
Receptions (7th, 14)
Rec. yards (10th, 169)
Rec. yards per game (10th, 56.3)

Team Fewest penalties (16th, 11)
Fewest penalties per game (10th, 3.67)
Fumbles lost (22nd, 1)
Kickoff return yards, average (12th, 27.7 ypr)
Passes intercepted (35th, 6)
Pass yards/completion (35th, 14.77 ypc)
Turnover margin (35th, 1.33)
Kickoff returns (8th, 35.7 ypr)
Pass yards per completion (26th, 15.07)
Rushing touchdowns (13th, 6)
Scoring (24th, 12.0)
Total Tackles/game (7th, 14.0 tpg)

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