Blue Streaks come up short in Top 25 matchup against Mount Union


John Carroll Sports Information Department

Junior Brennan Fugh scoring a the touchdown in Saturday’s loss against the University of Mount Union. Fugh led the team in receiving with two touchdowns and 92 yards.

Anna Meyer, Sports Editor

Each year, the bragging rights of winning the NCAA Division III rivalry game go up for grabs between the University of Mount Union and John Carroll University. 

On Saturday, Sept. 25, at Don Shula Stadium, the Purple Raiders pulled off a victory for the fifth consecutive time against the Blue Streaks in a 28-14 Top 25 conquest.

Despite the loss, the Blue Streaks remained in the Top 25 holding onto a spot as No. 22. However, Mount Union also maintained their spot as No. 4. 

Coming into the game, John Carroll was tasked with handling one of the best offenses in Division III Football the Purple Raiders were ranked first in the Ohio Athletic Conference and 14th in the nation. 

However, the Blue Streak’s defense held Mount Union to their lowest amount of points scored in a game this season. 

The Blue and Gold defense was led by linebacker, Luke Brown ’22. Brown led the team in sacks with 12, including five unassisted sacks throughout the afternoon. Hunter Orlando ‘22 and graduate student Tyshawn Jones also contributed immensely to the John Carrol defensive efforts recording 11 total tackles each, respectively. 

Nate Leopold ’22 captured his first interception of the season as Mount Union looked to seal the game up in the third quarter. Leopold’s interception marked only the third interception thrown by the Purple Raiders Quarterback Braxton Plunk in his career. 

The Blue Streak’s offense in the contest was led by junior wide receiver, Brennan Fugh.

“[Fugh] is dangerous, and his performance says it all,” said Finotti. “We tried to give it to him a couple more times. If we got to him a little bit sooner, he could’ve made some more big catches. Brennan is a great player for us, and Limerick had a few big downs. Today was about quality of possession.” 

Fugh finished the day with two touchdown receptions as well as 92 yards receiving. Demerius Goodwin ’22 led the team in rushing with 51 yards. 

Third year starting quarterback for the Blue and Gold, Jake Floreia finished the contest completing 18-35 pases, for 188 yards and two touchdowns. 

Despite the loss, Finotti was very proud of the way his team prepared for rivalry week. 

“My hats off to my leaders and coaches and everyone,” said John Carroll University Head Coach Rick Finotti. “A lot of guys dropped their egos in this game, and they did what they had to do to get everyone ready. I have so much respect for my football team, coaches, and we tested their patience, but it did not come out our way. A lot of guys grew up today in this game, and it is encouraging.”

The Blue and Gold will remain at home this week as they kickoff against Muskingum University on Saturday, Oct. 2. 

Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. game is part of the John Carroll University Homecoming Weekend festivities. Before the game, the 2021 homecoming court winners will be announced, and halftime will feature the honoring of John Carroll Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.