Football Ready to Break In Bernlohr with OAC Showdown Versus Wilmington

Football Ready to Break In Bernlohr with OAC Showdown Versus Wilmington

 Capital University Crusaders


Wilmington College Fightin' Quakers

(0-2, 0-1 OAC)   Saturday, Sept. 24  |  7 p.m.   (1-1, 1-0 OAC)
Roster   Bernlohr Stadium   Roster
Stats   Video  |  Live stats   Stats


Wilmington has had a rough go of it in its opening two games, surrendering 101 points and over 900 yards of total offense in losses against Bluffton University and Otterbein University. Their run defense is surrendering close to 300 yards per game, though the pass defense is holding its own and allowing only 180.0 yards per contest, despite eight touchdowns against. They have just two sacks this year and only two takeaways. C.J. Thompson is the Quakers' leading tackler (13-8-21) and has a team-high three tackles for loss.

Junior quarterback Luke Creditt gets the nod under center and sports a 34-57-1 line, good for 401 yards but also is accompanied by four interceptions. Against Otterbein, he went 14-for-25, 203 yards and one score through the air. A rotation of running backs may be seen this week, including sophomore Gino Hinton (17-92-1) and senior Chase Manica (10-22-1). Manica was the starting running back last year, but was held to -5 yards on his lone carry against Otterbein last week. Hinton was held to three yards on five carries, while Eric Flynn Jr. served as the team's leading rusher (3-12-0). Juniors Tyler Tarnowski (11-90-1) and PJ Meyer (8-188-0) are Wilmington's top receivers.

The all-time series between these two teams favors the Crusaders, heavily. Capital holds a 20-4 overall record in 24 meetings since their first in 1923. Wilmington has not beaten a Capital team since 2000 when the Quakers downed the Crusaders, 34-27. That meeting was the first time the two teams had met in 22 years (1977). After that Quaker win in 2000, Capital has won each of the last 15 meetings.

Capital had a strong start to its conference schedule, defeating Muskingum University 34-16 in New Concord, last week. Another balanced attack kept the offense moving up and down the field, where junior running back Cory Heeter scores three rushing touchdowns and sophomore Thomas Wibbeler added two scores through the air. Capital's defense, led by reigning OAC Defensive Player of the Week Derek Eibon, stopped the Muskies on 75 percent of its third-down conversions and had three takeaways (1 INT, 2 fumbles). Capital is now looking for its second straight season in which it has started the conference slate 2-0.

Wilmington's defensive struggles continues in a 52-7 loss to the Otterbein Cardinals last week at home. The Cardinals scored all of their points without being answered until the top of the fourth quarter when the Quakers' Tyler Tarnowski caught a two-yard touchdown pass with 13:41 remaining. The defense held Otterbein to just 167 passing yards, but allowed three passing touchdowns and could not stop the run. Otterbein racked up 359 rushing yards, though no one runner topped 100 yards. Four different Cardinals scored on the ground, and three different receivers caught touchdown passes.

... the Crusaders' offense was in full swing, cranking out 49 points and over 500 yards of total offense in a 49-27 win. Three of Wilmington's scores came on plays of 25 or more yards. Quarterback Nick Iske was efficient, completing 8-of-11 passes for 147 yards, while also rushing for a pair of touchdowns. Capital put up 351 rushing yards on the day, and also added a defensive touchdown when former safety Jimmy Curtis returned a pick-six 98 yards. Wilmington's best offense came from quarterback Luke Creditt, who tossed for 219 yards (16-27) and two touchdowns. He created two 100-yard receivers in Brandon Mitchell and Justin Lee, who each had 100 yards receiving and one score.

As you may or may not know, Capital is looking to start the 2016 campaign 2-0 in OAC play, and will do so with a win against Wilmington. The Purple and White also started last season 2-0 with win over Muskingum and Wilmington in successive weeks.
Bud 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.  

J.R. Garrigo

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 last week at Muskingum.

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. Last week at Muskingum, 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.

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.


David Barnett

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.

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 two games in 2016, Capital has two turnovers and four takeaways (+2). Last week, they did not turn the ball over at all while causing three turnovers at Muskingum.

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. Last week, though Wyatt Pertuset did the punting, the coverage team allowed just two returns for a total of seven yards.

After being out of commission over the last two seasons due to a series of knee injuries, Chase Longwell has decided to return to the field. He made a great impact in last week's contest at Muskingum, where he made his first career touchdown catch (6 yards) in a win. He now has a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown to his resume over his college career.``

He spent the 2015 season as a student coach after a setback from an injury sustain in game two of the 2014 season, but desired to come back for another season...or two. He will have junior eligibility after garnering a redshirt for the 2014 season and is set to graduate in December 2017, so he can potentially play for two more seasons. 


Derek Eibon

Following a career day against the Muskingum Muskies (9/17), junior linebacker Derek Eibon was tabbed OAC Defensive Player of the Week. Eibon was selected by OAC SIDs after posting a stat line of 19 tackles (career high), nine of which were solo. He complimented that with two pass break ups and one fumble recovery. His stats show that he was involved, statistically, in 33 percent of Muskingum's total offensive plays. The Capital defense held Musky to just 25 percent third-down conversions in its 34-16 road win.

Junior running back Cory Heeter rebounded from a quiet week one with a trio of trips to the end zone in week three against Muskingum. Heeter totted the rock 20 times for 87 yards, but found paydirt three times (career high) in the win. He scored Capital's first touchdown of the season on a six yard plunge up the middle. He now has 39 rushes for 143 yards (71.5 ypg) and is averaging 3.7 yards per carry.

Jon Eaton has embraced his new role as a linebacker with Capital (he was previously listed as a running back). Depth issues have forced him to move into a defensive role, and he went from being a mere backup in week one to getting the start against Muskingum (9/17) last week. In his debut at this new position, he made three tackles. Last week, he made another three and added a fumble recovery. He'll likely get the start against Wilmington on Sept. 24.

Saturday marks Capital's annual Fall Family Day. A day filled with fun and activities is planned for students, their families and the community. 

10:00 am - Brunch
11:00 am - Campus Tours
1:00 pm - Trip to COSI Science Center, Schumacher Gallery Animation presentation
2:30 pm - Family Bingo
3:30 pm - Cap Family Tailgate
5:30 pm - Meet and Greet Administration
6:00 pm - Pokemon Go! Hunt (Cap Athletics)
7:00 pm - Football v. Wilmington, Purple Out


Football coaches around the country will be showing their support to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Capital will be among them. Watch for Capital coaches on the sidelines wearing the Coach to Cure MD patches as a sign of support toward funding research toward curing Duchennes. 

Football fans can help support the fight to end Duchenne by either going online to or by texting the word CURE to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill). 

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood and primarily affects boys across all races and cultures. People with Duchenne develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne and limited therapeutic options exist. 

You can show your support of Coach to Cure MD and the fight to end Duchenne by using the hashtag #TackleDuchenne. 



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