Crusaders Falter on Opening Day in Loss to Mount St. Joseph

Pictured: Jordan Duncan (photo credit: Jordan Duncan, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Jordan Duncan (photo credit: Jordan Duncan, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Capital University Football opened up its 2018 campaign on the road against Mount St. Joseph University. The Lions beat the Crusaders for the second straight season, this time at Schueler Field in Cincinnati. Despite a competitive first quarter of play and Thomas Wibbeler's strong stat line, the Crusaders were unable to slow down the Lions on Saturday evening in a 59-21 loss.

Mount St. Joseph (1-0) struck first with a touchdown just three plays into their first offensive set, but the quick start did not dishearten the Crusaders. On the very next drive, Capital went 79 yards the other way and capped off the 12-play drive with a 29-yard strike to junior wide out David Barnett (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) on the near-side pylon. Blake Middleton's point-after touchdown attempt was successful and Capital took the lead for the first of two times in the quarter.

After a quick return fire by Mount St. Joseph, Capital went right back to the air and this time made a memory for junior Wyatt Pertuset. The drive nearly stalled before it even got a chance to get going but senior wide receiver Dartavious Stanford (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) made a key 15-yard grab to move the chains. Three plays later, Wibbeler avoided a fierce rush and bought just enough time to find Pertuset left alone in the end zone for the first touchdown catch of the receiver's career. Another successful PAT by Middleton once again gave Cap the lead, 14-12. Capital held that lead as the first quarter ended.

It was at that point that Lions were more like bees that had their nest disturbed. From that point, the hosts were able to score 40 unanswered points before Capital could break up the run. Mount St. Joseph quarterback Chaiten Tomlin tossed five touchdown passes during that 40-point run.

David Barnett's second touchdown grab of the game stopped the rally late in the third quarter. Wibbeler connected for his third touchdown pass when he dropped a fade route directly into Barnett's hands where he fought off a Mount St. Joseph defender in the back of the end zone.

Tomlin threw his seventh and final touchdown pass at the top of the fourth quarter to extend the score to 59-21, a score that would hold for the duration of the game.

Capital's 332 yards of total offense was outdone by the Lions, which tallied 665 yards over the course of the contest. Wibbeler finished with 193 yards and three touchdowns through the air and also was Capital's leading rusher with 77 yards on 15 carries.

Barnett ended the night with a new career-high 10 catches which totaled for 92 yards. Stanford was held to just three catches and 29 yards.

Senior DB Jake Lindsey (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) and sophomore LB Michael Lauofo (Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg) shared the team lead with six tackles each.

Capital will play its next contest on the road and hit another corner of Ohio in week two of the college football season. The Crusaders will square up with the Marietta College Pioneers on Saturday, September 8 in Marietta for a 3:30 p.m. Ohio Athletic Conference showdown.