Football: Defeat seals losing season for first time since 1992
For the first time in 17 years, the Washington University football team (4-6, 1-2 UAA) finished the season with a losing record.
The team’s sixth loss, a 28-8 defeat, came Saturday at the hands of the undefeated No. 7 Case Western Reserve University Spartans of Cleveland, Ohio.
“I know that everybody left everything out on the field, so that’s all you can ever ask for,” senior running back and co-captain Matt Glenn said. “It would’ve been nice to walk away with a victory, but unfortunately we didn’t.”
The win for Case Western (10-0, 3-0) not only gives them the University Athletic Association championship, but also their third straight undefeated season and a 31-game winning streak in the regular season.
“When it’s all said and done, I think we’re a little disappointed, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort. They’re a good team, too,” head coach Larry Kindbom said. “It would’ve taken not just a good effort, but a good performance to beat them, but I think we had the opportunities.”
Case running back Greg Meyer led a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to start the game. His 7-yard run into the end zone gave the team a 7-0 advantage with 10:45 left in the first quarter.
The Bears’ defense responded and gave the offense a chance to tie the contest. Senior defensive back Nick Vom Brack intercepted quarterback Dan Whalen on Case’s second drive, returning the ball 38 yards to the Spartans’ 25-yard line. Junior Tim Johnson’s 41-yard field goal missed wide left.
“On defense, we didn’t play anything close to a perfect game,” senior linebacker and co-captain Andrew Berryman said. “The whole time, we had to go out and worry about ourselves and keep putting the offense in positions [to score].”
Junior defensive back Brandon Brown intercepted Whalen one drive later. The Bears would be limited to a three-and-out.
Despite a 42-yard run by Glenn and a 20-yard catch by junior Tom Gulyas on their next series, the Bears failed to score on a first-and-goal, turning the ball over on downs at the 2-yard line.
“We were able to put together a couple of drives and had some big plays, but in the end, it came down to finishing,” Glenn said.
The defense forced a safety on Case’s following drive, but the Spartan offense quickly responded. Meyer added another rushing touchdown with 3:11 left in the first half, giving the Spartans a 14-2 lead heading into halftime.
Case extended its lead with a 13-play, 67-yard touchdown drive with 7:55 left in the third quarter, but Wash. U.’s 17-play, 65-yard drive could not replicate the same success. The Bears turned the ball over on downs for the third time.
“We just had to play…a little better on every play,” Kindbom said. “It would’ve put us in position to win that game in the fourth quarter.”
The Bears did connect for a 3-yard touchdown rush by Glenn with 5:46 left in the quarter, but the Spartans took advantage of a failed onside-kick attempt, sealing their victory with a 22-yard rush only 1:25 later.
Wash. U. used three different quarterbacks in the loss, but completed only 22 of 47 attempts for 172 yards and averaged 3.7 yards per attempt. The team gained 309 yards of total offense, while Case had 385.
“I’m obviously not extremely happy with our record and how we [finished], but I think we grew as a team and got a lot better as the season went on,” Glenn said. “You can’t have any regrets. I love the team, love playing with all the guys out there.”