Ohio's Best College Football Rivalry Returns This Saturday

Ohio's Best College Football Rivalry Returns This Saturday

Capital Crusaders (0-7, 0-6 OAC) vs. Otterbein Cardinals (1-6, 0-6 OAC)

Saturday, October 27, 1:30 pm  |  Memorial Stadium (Westerville, Ohio)

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Capital notes (pdf)  |  Otterbein notes (pdf)

The Cardinals have the lowest scoring offense in the OAC at 7.9 points per game, but rank fifth in points allowed per game (28.0). They rank fourth in pass, rush and total yards allowed, and have surrendered fewer points than their season average in back-to-back weeks. Junior LB Ryan Tuchow leads the defense with 62 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss. He is also second in sacks (3.5). Sophomore LB Jacob Tiell leads the team with 4.5 sacks. Out of the defensive backfield, Naill Lewison has the most tackles (58) and seven pass breakups. Senior QB Steven Irwin leads the struggling offense and has a line of 67-142-712 with three touchdowns to six picks. He is also the team's leading rusher with 104His favorite target is seasoned vet Payton Vanderkooi (20-306-2). The Cardinals have just 411 rushing yards on the season, led by Dakota Smith (63-173-1). 
... the Cardinals and Crusaders met at Bernlohr Stadium on Cap's homecoming and in classic rivalry fashion the two teams beat up on one another in a shootout. Neither team led by more than one score until the end of the third when Otterbein broke a 28-28 tie with two consecutive touchdowns. David Barnett countered that with touchdown catches in two straight drives. The fourth quarter was a battle, one in which Otterbein's Julian Lowe helped give the edge to the Cardinals with a 22-yard touchdown catch with 7:42 to go. The Otterbein defense then did its job to keep the CU offense at bay and clinch the win, 49-42.
Capital broke a four-game losing streak with its win over Otterbein in 2016 at Memorial Stadium on the Cardinals' homecoming. After last year's loss back in Bexley, the series between these two teams is tied, 44-44-3 *.   
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* The first matchup on record was in 1894 when Otterbein won 60-0, but was before football was considered a varsity sport, so we don't count that one in the overall record books.
... the Crusaders struck first and took a 14-7 lead out of the first quarter against the Ohio Northern Polar Bears. ONU came back to score back-to-back touchdowns to build an 11-point lead, but the Crusaders were far from out of it. Capital retook the lead at the top of the fourth, 39-35, and similar to how they garnered the lead so to did the Polar Bears. ONU scored twice more to go up by 10, then Thomas Wibbeler hit Kameron Lee for his second touchdown catch to come back to within three. However, the ensuing onside kick failed and gave ONU the ball back. With one first down, the Polar Bears held the Crusaders off for the win, 49-46. 
Check out the year-by-year performance of Thomas Wibbeler against Otterbein.
2016: 21-32, 351 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT - W, 42-41
2017: 32-45, 399 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT - L, 49-42
TOTAL: 53-77, 750 yards, 11 TD, 2 INT
Last year was Dar Stanford's first time engaging in the rivalry. It marked the first of a seven-game streak of 100+ yards receiving in 2017. He made nine catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-42 loss.
MR. 6000, AND 6500
Despite the game not going the Crusaders' way, QB Thomas Wibbeler hit another significant milestone when he surpassed 6,000 passing yards in his career. He is now just the third Crusader to hit 6,000 yards passing joining former Capital greats Shawn Wheeler (1996-99) and Rocky Pentello (2002-06). 
Wibbeler is now also credited for hitting the 6,500-yard milestone as well. He hit that mark with 464 yards passing in a loss to Ohio Northern on Oct. 20. He now has 6,576 total passing yards in his career.
Freshman tight end Kameron Lee made a fantastic debut with the Crusaders on Oct. 20 versus ONU after missing the first six games due to an offseason injury. He made his first collegiate catch in the first quarter, which went for a touchdown on a nine-yard corner route to put Cap up 7-0. He made one other catch in the game which also went for a touchdown. Two for two! 
Much like Kameron Lee's impact, freshman LB Bryce Johnson also made an impactful first. His first collegiate tackle came on Oct. 20 when he shot through the middle of the ONU offensive line and sacked QB Anthony McFadden on a third-and-11 play to force a punt late in the third quarter. One for one!
Sophomore QB Andrew Ray earned a few snaps on Oct. 20 versus ONU. He had been primarily used in a QB option package, but later in the game tossed his first collegiate touchdown pass when rolling out and hitting David Barnett in the end zone, a catch Barnett stole away from the opposing defender on a 50/50 ball.
QB Thomas Wibbeler is currently ranked in the top-25 in multiple categories on a NATIONAL level. 
#9 Passing Yards (2,207)
#6 Pass Yards per Game (315.3)
#5 Total Offense (340.0)
#5 Completions per Game (26.71) 
We've come to expect lots of the national rankings to go the way of the offense, but what about special teams?! Junior KR/RB Antwan Shipp has his name in the top-25, too! Currently, Shipp is ranked No. 10 in total kickoff return yards with 601 this season. His season and career long return is 30 yards (9/15 vs. Heidelberg).
Sophomore LB Michael Lauofo (pronounced lew-OFF-foe) has made a splash since becoming a regular starter on the Capital defense. On Sept. 8 he set a new career high with 15 total tackles, eight of those solo, in the Crusaders' loss to Marietta. He has totaled 63 tackles this season - 28 solo - and 4.0 tackles for loss. Lauofo racked up 10 tackles versus Ohio Northern last week and against No. 1 Mount Union, marking the fourth time this season he has tallied 10 or more tackles in a game. He ranks fifth in the OAC in tackles (81) and tackles per game (9.0), and eighth in solo tackles (28), this season.
Sophomore kicker Blake Middleton made 18 consecutive PATs in his debut season and went 30-for-33 overall. He is currently 19-of-22 and has made his last seven tries going back to Sept. 29 against BW (9/29). He went 5-for-5 versus ONU in his next tries on Oct. 20.
Capital has won the time of possession battle in all seven of its games this season. In 2017, they won TOP in six of 10 games and 2016 just four times. The 2016 season turned out to be Capital's best (4-6) and in their wins the TOP sided with them just once - and only by 26 seconds. Their TOP this year is 34:48, which ranks ninth in the country at the D3 level.
Capital was only one of 17 teams in the country in NCAA Division III to have not thrown an interception through week four of the season. Senior QB Thomas Wibbeler went six games without throwing a pick until 9/29 versus Baldwin Wallace. He now has four picks, and the team has six total. Wibbeler now has 57 TDs to just 18 INTs in his career, and 17 TDs to 4 INT this season. Only two teams in NCAA Division III have zero interceptions this season.
In the first three games of the season, Capital had great success in the offensive trenches. They allowed just two sacks, backs gained more than 100 yards in all three games, and they ran into the end zone six times. In three games from 10/6-10/20, Capital quarterbacks have been sacked 18 times, did not have anyone accumulate more than 30 yards rushing, have finished below zero yards rushing as a team twice, and have not found the end zone. Last week, Ohio Northern was able to get to Capital QBs just twice for sacks.
Junior WR David Barnett suffered a shoulder injury in the team's loss to Ohio Northern on Oct. 20, which will end the receiver's season. He ends the campaign with 53 catches, 681 yards and five touchdowns.
In reaction to Barnett's injury, there are a few names to watch for increased reps heading into the final few games of the season. 
Junior WR Wyatt Pertuset has been on the field all season and has collected 15 receptions, 253 yards and one touchdown.
Freshman TE Kameron Lee made a big impact in the red zone versus ONU (10/20) with two TD catches. He will likely get increased reps on the edge and outside.
Sophomore WR Chad Davis has made catches in back-to-back games, and freshman WR Sam Pickett made his first collegiate catch against ONU on 10/20. 
For full media/fan notes, click here!