Crusaders Football Ready to Open the Year Against Mount St. Joseph

David Barnett (pictured) and the Crusaders will open the 2018 season at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday evening. (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
David Barnett (pictured) and the Crusaders will open the 2018 season at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday evening. (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

Capital (0-0) vs. Mount St. Joseph (0-0)

Saturday, September 1, 6 p.m.  |  Schueler Field (Cincinnati, Ohio)


Video/Live stats  |  Audio  |  Capital notes (pdf)  |  Directions to Shueler Field Ticket Information

Mount St. Joseph made its living through the air last year behind the arm of QB Chaiten Tomlin. His sophomore campaign featured more than 3,000 yards through the air, 40 passing touchdowns and just 13 interceptions. His top two receivers, juniors AJ Glines and Grayson Roberts, also return. Together they combined for 1,312 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. They only lose one receiver from a year ago when the offense averaged 40.7 points and 426.0 yards per game, which served as one of the best in its school history.
The Lions' top two defensive players, DB Peyton Williams and LB Nathan Stone, also return. Williams made 62 tackles and picked off two passes while Stone made 53 stops, forced three fumbled, recovered two, and tallied three sacks. The team's top three tacklers from a season ago are all listed as DBs. DL Dustin Applegate (4.5) returns as the team's leading sack getter from a season ago with the graduation of LB Nolan Miller (7).
Despite the schools being separated by just 118 miles, last year was the first time Capital and Mount St. Joseph met in a regular season game. Given that, skip down to the next note!  
... the skies were dreary and the field wet with rain, leading to a few more carries for each team. The hyped MSJ quarterback Chaiten Tomlin was held to just 11-for-35 passes, 157 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Capital QB Thomas Wibbeler had a serviceable day going 21-for-42 with 261 yards and three touchdowns, but was picked off three times. Cory Heeter rushed 16 times for 85 yards while his equal on the other side, Nykwuan Presswood ran for 87 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
Capital and Mount St. Joseph battled to a 7-7 tie through the first quarter, and the Crusaders took a lead early in the second with a 50-yard Wibbeler-to-Stanford touchdown connection. However, MSJ rattled off 24 unanswered points in the second and third quarters and then held Cap scoreless in the fourth to secure the win in their first meeting in each school's history.
For more information, go to
Capital has a strong duo to lead the team into Saturday gamedays. The following individuals will serve as captains this season, as voted on by the team:
#13 Cory Heeter, RB, Sr.
#17 Thomas Wibbeler, QB, Sr.
Senior QB Thomas Wibbeler is having one of the best seasons for a Capital quarterback in nearly a decade. Currently, he is ...
(single season)
5th in passing yards - 2,813 yards
2nd in passing TDs - 27 (1st, Rocky Pentello, 36)
6th in completions - 216
He has already tied the school record for TD passes in a game (6) set by Shawn Wheeler in 1999. He is also tied for the sixth-longest pass play in school history (75 yards).
In 2016, senior QB Thomas Wibbeler became just the third Capital quarterback to reach 1,500 yards passing. That mark was reached just before he endured a season-ending injury against John Carroll in game six of the season. Last season against BW, Wibbeler became the first 2,000-yard passer since Marty Assman (2,382 yards, 2009). He finished the year with 2,813 yards, 29 passing touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Those are the best numbers for a Capital quarterback since 2010 when Chase Carris threw for 1,905 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 picks. 
What makes a quarterback happy? More weapons to throw to! Dartavious (Dar) Stanford joined the Crusaders prior to the 2017 season after playing the last two years at nearby Ohio Dominican University (NCAA Division II) as a wide receiver. At ODU in 2016, he was the Panthers' second-leading receiver after making 60 grabs for 687 yards and four touchdowns. 
In his Capital debut, Stanford made four catches for 70 yards and recorded his first touchdown grab with Cap in the team's loss to Mount St. Joseph on Sept. 2. He finished the year with seven straight games with 100+ yards receiving and eight overall. He has found the end zone in each of the last five games and 12 times overall this season. He was held without a touchdown grab in just one game in 2017.
Looking at the Capital Football records, WR David Barnett cracked into the top-10 in single-season receiving yards ... as a freshman. Follow along as Barnett and partner in crime on the outside, Dar Stanford, begin a new climb up the Cap Top-10 ladder for receiving yards and touchdown grabs.
David Barnett caught three touchdown passes in Capital's huge homecoming spoiler over rival Otterbein last year (10/1). The previous time a Capital wide receiver caught three touchdown passes in a single game was when Ryan Gunnarson did so against Heidelberg nearly six years ago to the day on Oct. 2, 2010. 
Senior RB Cory Heeter will return to the Capital sidelines for a fifth year after missing most of the 2017 season due to an arm injury sustained against Wilmington College on 9/23/17. To open the 2017 season on Sept. 2, Heeter racked up 171 total yards, 85 of those on the ground on 16 touches. He then came back versus the Muskies on 9/16 and tallied 99 yards on the ground, which helped him eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in his career. 
Senior quarterback Thomas Wibbeler is back and ready to get back onto the field after sustaining a season-ending knee injury against John Carroll (10/22) . He has been tabbed Capital's starting quarterback for the second season in a row. Prior to the injury, Wibbeler completed 114-of-214 passes (53.3%) for 1,556 yards and 11 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He became just the third (and now fourth) CU quarterback to hit 1,500 yards passing since 2003. Last year, that number could have been north of 2,000 had it not been for the injury. In his return to the lineup in the season opener against Mount St. Joseph (9/2), he went 21-for-42 for 261 yards with three touchdown passes and three interceptions. 
Capital is welcoming 42 new Crusaders to the team as the 2018 season opens. This includes 39 freshmen, two transfers and one newcomer to the program. Defensive backs Avery Sylvester (JR) and Mike Smith (FR) transferred into Capital while senior OL Courtney Mays joined the program in the offseason. Sylvester comes to Capital from Iowa Wesleyan University while Smith joins the team from nearby Ohio Dominican University (Division II). He is now the third ODU transfer to join Capital on the current roster.
At the start or the preseason, safety may have been the biggest question mark on the defensive side. Now, it may be one Capital is confident in. Sophomore Dominic Alberini has switched sides of the ball and is the Crusaders' week one starter at free safety. Behind him is a freshman that has had a stellar camp in Cade McCaskey. On the strong side, redshirt-sophomore Jake Elsayed had grown into one of Coach Rogosheske's most talked about defensive players. Transfer Mike Smith may have limited reps early, but once he hits full stride, he is expected to be a key piece of this Cap defensive unit.
Cornerback is a great spot to have two seniors returning. The outsides will be locked down by four-year starter Jordan Duncan and honorable mention All-OAC selection LeShaun Sanders Jr. Sanders became a highly touted cornerback in the OAC last year after being in the top five in passes defended. A third senior, Jake Lindsey, will be a key backup or serve in the slot.  
It's not often that one town, or one high school can provide a college team such a significant portion of a team's offense (or defense for that matter). This year, Zanesville and Hilliard are two nearby cities that will have a major impact on Capital's starting lineup, all on the offensive side of the ball.
QB Thomas Wibbeler and WR Dar Stanford go back to their youth days throwing and catching passes to one another. Both are from Zanesville, Ohio and played on the Zanesville High School football team that advance all the way to the final four of the 2013 state championship.
The CU offensive line will feature not one, not two, but THREE Hilliard Darby High School graduates. Sophomores Josh Boyle and Nick Russell both earned starting nods in their second seasons while center Logan Hernon is now in his second season as the team's starting center.
Thank goodness for numbers on jerseys or you may not be able to tell apart two sets of twins that are on the Capital football team. Sophomores Michael (LB) and Matthew (DL) Lauofo make it even more difficult being on the same side of the ball. Seniors Cory (DL) and Courtney (OL) Mays line it up in the trenches, but on opposite sides. Michael Lauofo and Cory Mays look to serve as starters for Cap to begin the season.
A couple of Capital's players made some changes in their game and their positions in the offseason. 
SO Kobe Swackhammer, LB to DL
r-SO Jake Elsayed, CB to S
JR Kole Carter, DB to LB
JR Will Futrell, DL to OL
Capital's coaching staff brought a big man with some big-time experience to the table. Keith Rucker, an NFL veteran that played six years professionally, was hired to handle the defensive line. Rucker was named All-American 14 times over the course of his collegiate career at Ohio Wesleyan as both a football player and a thrower on the OWU track & field team. He is also serving as the throws coach on Capital's track & field team. 
Five Capital football players earned All-OAC honors after last year's season. After a phenomenal debut year, WR Dar Stanford was tabbed first team honors, marking the first time a Capital player earned that high of an honor since 2011 (LB Troy Spiker, WR Matt White). QB Thomas Wibbeler earned second team laurels after putting up the best numbers for a CU quarterback in nearly a decade. Recent graduate and offensive lineman Zack Kennedy '18 was named second team, as well. CB LaShaun Sanders Jr. and WR David Barnett each earned All-OAC Honorable Mention.
At this year's OAC Football Media Day, the coaches and media member were polled to see their views on how they believe the season will play out. Capital Football was tabbed to finish ninth by the coaches, and the media.
Polls are just polls, but here they are:
COACHES: 1. Mount Union (81, 9), 2. JCU (73, 1), 3. Ohio Northern (61), 4. Baldwin Wallace (56), 5. Heidelberg (49), 6. Marietta (44), 7. Otterbein (32), 8. Wilmington (22), 9. Capital (19), 
10. Wilmington (13).
MEDIA: 1. Mount Union (310, 31), 2. JCU (274), 3. Ohio Northern (223), 4. Heidelberg (206), 5. Baldwin Wallace (205), 6. Marietta (149), 
7. Otterbein (140), 8. Muskingum (75), 9. Capital (74), 10. Wilmington (49).
For complete coverage from media day, including interviews with SR wide receiver Dar Stanford, SR quarterback Thomas Wibbeler, plus Head Coach Chad Rogosheske, please visit: