The W&J Presidents entered last Saturday’s game against case Western Reserve knowing that if they won out they would more than likely be heading back to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Those playoff hopes took a huge hit as the Presidents dropped their second game of the season in a 35-28 loss.
Case Western (5-1, 6-0 PAC) quarterback Rob Cuda threw for a career-high five touchdowns in the upset of 15th-ranked W&J. Bryan Erb caught nine passes for a career-high 147 yards, including the game-winning 39-yard score with 5:03 remaining.
W&J’s (5-2, 3-2) Jesse Zubik matched his career high with 12 catches and set a new high with 196 yards, while quarterback Pete Coughlin passed for 377 yards and Ryan Ruffing rushed for 118 yards in the defeat. Four Presidents made career highs in tackles, led by Jalen Morris (17), Dan Graziano (16), Ryan Snedeker (12) and Luke Merhaut (11).
Coughlin did get injured in game, which hurt the Presidents chances at a comeback.
With the win Case Western Reserve (No. 23) moved into D3football.com Top 25 for first time this season. They remained tied atop the PAC with Thomas More as both teams sport a 6-0 conference record.
The loss drops W&J out of the Top 25 and also likely means the Presidents won’t make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
In other news around the PAC:
– Bethany (3-5, 2-4) wide receiver Eric Blinn became third active Division III player to eclipse 5,000 career all-purpose yards (5,143) with 215 yards in a 41-14 win against Geneva (2-5, 1-4). In addition, running back Jalen Holmes is putting together a solid stretch of games, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the third consecutive game.
– Carnegie Mellon (4-3, 4-2) was in a record setting mood Saturday in a 41-13 win against Saint Vincent (3-4, 2-3). Wide receiver Graham Schilling set a school’s single-game receiving record with 159 yards on a career-high nine receptions. In addition, Brian Khoury recorded a school-record four sacks.
– Thomas More (8-0, 6-0) continues to roll as they put up 687 yards of total offense to Grove City’s (0-7, 0-5) 233 in a 66-14 win. Hjavier Pitts and Luke Zajac each had three rushing touchdowns for the Saints.
– Waynesburg (3-5, 2-4) quarterback Jake Dougherty threw for a collegiate-high 296 yards in a 28-15 win over Thiel (1-6, 0-5). The Yellow Jackets have now beaten Thiel 10 consecutive times, which is its longest active stretch of victories against any PAC opponent.
– Cuda was named the PAC Offensive Player of the Week. He finished 21-of-35 passing for 278 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 100 yards on 27 attempts. Cuda has completed 63.2 percent of his passes this season for 1,744 yards and 23 touchdowns without an interception, while also leading the Spartans with 561 rushing yards.
– Bethany defensive lineman Nadim Raddar was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week. He posted a career high 5.0 tackles for loss, while also matching a career best with 3.5 sacks.
– Thomas More kicker Tommy Budke took home Special Teams Player of the Week honors after converting on all nine of his point-after attempts and connecting on a 46-yard field goal.
Last Week’s Results
Bethany 41, Geneva 15
Carnegie Mellon 41, Saint Vincent 13
Case Western Reserve 35, W&J 28
Thomas More 66, Grove City 14
Waynesburg 28, Thiel 15
This Week’s Schedule
12 p.m., Washington (Mo.) at Case Western Reserve
1 p.m., Saint Vincent at Westminster
1 p.m., Waynesburg at Thomas More
1:30 p.m., Grove City at Bethany
7 p.m., Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
7 p.m., W&J at Geneva
Photo Credit: Case Western Reserve