CLEVELAND – Just three weeks after handing John Carroll a bitter loss, the football team at Washington & Jefferson battered and bruised Case Western Reserve.
You might say the Presidents are King of Cleveland after a 37-14 victory over the Drew Saxton-led Spartans Saturday night.
This time Joey Koroly was the centerpiece of W&J’s offensive bananza. Koroly, a Trinity graduate, tore up the Spartan defense for 114 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns, one on the ground and one with a beautiful run off a Justin Heacock flip for the other.
The win moves the Presidents to 4-0, 3-0 in the Presidents Athletic Conference. Case Western Reserve fell to 1-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall.
So what does this make W&J?
“It makes us 4-0,” Koroly said with a smile.
Koroly caught four passes for 53 yards giving him 175 total yards when you throw in the one punt return for eight yards to go along with the three scores.
“We’re just playing our best right now,” said Koroly. “The key was our receivers caught the ball and blocked well. We played our style of football. We knew the past couple of weeks we hadn’t played the way we’re capable of. So that was the goal, get back on track and play as good as we could.”
The Presidents built a 21-14 lead at halftime but really dominated the second half. W&J’s offense scored 16 points and the Presidents pitched a shutout over the final 30 minutes.
“Last week they beat themselves and this week we beat them,” said W&J head coach Mike Sirianni.
Andrew Wolf started after missing the past two weeks more out of a precaution. He caught three passes for 20 yards but drew two pass interference penalties, the final one W&J turned into a touchdown
“The doubled Andrew. When they don’t, we’re throwing the ball to him,” Sirianni said. “He drew two crucial penalties. He had a huge impact on the game.”
W&J’s defense blitzed on some plays, fell back in coverage on others but they couldn’t shake the determination of Saxton, who finished hitting 21 of 44 attempts for 195 yards and no interception. The W&J defense sacked him just once.
“We just need to get back to our game and do what we do best. It’s all about execution and physicality.,” said Saxton. “When you don’t have your guys in there like Colt Morgan, the timing is going to be different. They (the Presidents) are a good team and their protection affects our timing”
Drew Erlich led the Presidents with seven tackles and linebacker Sean Doran had six. Justin Jones had the lone sack of Saxton.
A desperation drive with just under a minute to play ended in a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Heacock to Payton Skalos and gave W&J a 21-14 lead at halftime.
It was Skalos second touchdown catch of the day. He opened the scoring for W&J by snaring a 19-yards pass over the middle to tie the game 7-7.
Antonio Orsini opened the scoring for Case Western Reserve by bulling over from the one one play into the second quarter.
Koroly made a spectacular run with a Heacock outlet pass and went 35 yards for a touchdown and 14-7 lead for W&J.
Case Western Reserve tied it in the second quarter with a six-yard pass from Saxton to Luca DeCaro with 49 seconds to go in the half.
Heacock was 20 of 33 for 204 yards and threm touchdowns.