Capital Gears Up for 93rd Edition of the Best Rivalry in Ohio

Capital Gears Up for 93rd Edition of the Best Rivalry in Ohio

Capital Crusaders (0-7, 0-6 OAC) vs. Otterbein (1-6, 1-5 OAC)

Saturday, November 2, 1:30 pm  |  Purmort Field at Bernlohr Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)

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The Cardinals have dressed four different quarterbacks this season, but freshman Logan Pharmer has emerged as the favorite snap-taker. The 5-8, 175-pound signal caller has 728 passing yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. Otterbein quarterbacks have been sacked 17 times by opposing defenses. The run game hasn't been quite there to support its young quarterback. Matt Webb leads the ground game with 276 yards and one touchdown, but Luke Schmeling is the man finding the end zone most often with five scores on the ground. Wide receivers Dom Ross and Reed Tucker each have three touchdowns and combine for 574 yards receiving. Niall Lewison is most active around the ball on the defensive side with his team-leading 71 tackles and two blocked kicks. Nick Cipriano and Greg Nolder share the team lead with 3.0 sacks each. Otterbein is scoring 19 points per game while allowing an average of 35.1 points per contest.
... the Cardinals and Crusaders engaged in another classic battle to the end. In the cold and soggy fall weather, both offenses were slowed and defense made the headlines of the Capital win. Capital first got on the board with a blocked PAT that turned into two CU points when LB Kole Carter returned the loose ball 98 yards the other way. The Crusaders took the lead on a trick play when WR Dar Stanford hit fellow receiver Wyatt Pertuset in the back of the end zone to take a 9-6 advantage. The teams traded the lead three times leading into the game-deciding score inside the last minute of the fourth quarter. Marking down the field slowly but surely, QB Thomas Wibbeler whittled four minutes off the clock before hitting WR Dar Stanford on a 31-yard streak pass in the end zone for the eventual game-winning touchdown. The game was far from over at that point as Otterbein marched down the field and set itself up for a chance to win the game on the final play of the game. However, Otterbein was stopped at the goal line when its quarterback fumbled the snap, picked it up but was stopped behind the line of scrimmage as time expired to give Capital the 23-19 win at Memorial Stadium.
Nothing says rivalry like a dead heat in the all-time series standings. Capital has a slight edge in the historic rivalry, 45-44-3. Both sides have alternated wins over the last four years, and since Head Coach Chad Rogosheske came to town the Crusaders are 2-1 against the Cardinals. Both wins were at Memorial Field in Westerville. 
Capital fell to the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears, 49-0, in Ada, Ohio. Capital was held to just 131 yards of total offense while the Polar Bears compiled 474. ONU RB Christiaan Williams ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 25 totes, while QB Anthony McFadden tossed for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Capital freshman Justin McClelland took the reigns at quarterback midway through the game, and also served as Cap's leading rusher after running for 46 yards on 12 carries. David Barnett returned to the lineup on limited time and made two catches for 17 yards. Senior LB Kole Carter led the team with a career-high 15 tackles and forced one fumble. Junior LB Blayde McCully also set a new career high with his 14 tackles.
Sophomore Kameron Lee was primed to be an offensive weapon this year, but he has also become a valuable asset in the kicking game, as well. Over the last three games, Lee has assumed the punting duties for Cap and has done well in those situations. Against John Carroll (10/12) he punted five times after taking over midway through the game and pinned the opponents inside their 20 twice. He also booted a 65-yard punt, the longest of his career. Against Mount Union (10/19) he punted a career-high 10 times for 362 yards (36.2 ypp) with a long of 48. Twice, he induced fair catches. He has now punted 23 times and averages 39.9 yards per kick.
Sophomore Mike Smith quietly made a position switch in the offseason. Smith came to Cap from Ohio Dominican University (Division II) as a safety but missed much of his first year due to injury. He returned to camp and made the switch to wide receiver. After his game against Baldwin Wallace, we'd say it was a successful one. Smith elevated up the depth chart after an injury to David Barnett took him out of the game. Smith went on to lock on with QB Mitch Machock and made six catches for 68 yards, his longest a 21-yard strike. He has led Capital in receiving in three of the last four games. Over that time he has posted 15 catches for 124 yards and at least four catches in each game. He was held without a catch against Ohio Northern (10/26). He has a season line of 16 catches and 143 yards.
Capital has been looking for its replacement under center and has had three different players take snaps this season. Junior Andrew Ray began the season as QB1. Junior Mitchell Machock played in the opener as well, and then supplanted Ray on the depth chart for Week 2. However, Machock's climb to the top was stalled by an injury sustained in the first half of the Marietta contest. Freshman Justin McClelland has taken snaps in four games and played significant time against ONU last weekend.. Machock returned against BW on Oct. 5 and started against JCU. Here are their breakdowns through three games in 2019:
Machock: 58-131-541-2-7 (23)
Ray: 40-69-352-1-7 (24)
McClelland: 10-28-64-0-2 (15)
While Capital's record may not be what was desired coming into this week, need we remind you that last year the Crusaders finished the 2018 season with three straight wins to end the season? Capital lost seven straight but after a 49-46 loss to Ohio Northern, Cap rattled off wins at Otterbein (23-19), vs. Wilmington (38-17), and at Muskingum (33-28). They can very well do the same in 2019!
Senior WR David Barnett made seven catches for 89 yards against Marietta (9/14) in the home opener and came back with an 11-catch, 100-yard day against Heidelberg. Following the Marietta game, he surpassed Keith Willike '88 (2,389) for second on the CU all-time receiving yards list.  Barnett enters this weekend with 186 catches for 2,547 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also ranks second all-time in touchdowns caught and receptions. Barnett did not make a catch before exiting the game at Baldwin Wallace (10/5) due to injury. He did not play against John Carroll, Mount Union or Heidelberg. He returned to the lineup last week at Ohio Northern where he made two catches for 17 yards.
Senior WR David Barnett is also quickly approaching some Capital career receiving records. Barnett is:
100 from becoming #1 all-time in Capital receiving yards
16 receptions away from becoming #2 in all-time catches, and 17 catches away from becoming #1
4 touchdown catches away from becoming #1 all-time in a career
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For more news and numbers, download the Capital notes here.