Blue Streaks kick off season 2-0; Ranked No. 9 in NCAA


John Reid III

Head coach Rick Finotti (center) celebrates after a defensive stop in a game at Don Shula Stadium during the 2018 season.

Darrell Lane, Staff Reporter

The story of the first couple of weeks for the John Carroll Football season has been about finding a way to win. The Blue Streaks are undefeated with a 2-0 record thus far, having  defeated the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and their first Ohio Athletic Conference opponent, the Otterbein Cardinals. 

Led by a dominant defense that has only allowed a total of 14 points in the first two games, the Blue Streaks haven’t allowed a single touchdown pass yet. 

While the defense has started out fast, the offense has been a little slow to open up this season, only topping 20 points once so far. Senior defensive tackle Tyler Fredrick, who had 11 tackles against Stevens Point said it best:

“As a team, we have found a way to win, but by no means has it been pretty,” said Frederick. 

The Blue Streaks beat their opponents by a 10-point margin of victory.

Fellow senior defensive tackle Conner Bogard agreed with Frederick, but took a more optimistic approach.

“Mistakes are good because we need to never be satisfied,” Bogard said.

In some respects, it makes sense the Blue and Gold’s offense has started out a little slow, with three-year starter Anthony Moeglin graduating. The Blue Streaks now have a fresh face at quarterback in junior Jake Floriea. 

The exciting part about Floriea is that he has been getting better and better. In his first game against Stevens Point he threw for 117 yards, and in his second game against the Cardinals he improved, throwing for 200 yards. 

What also makes Floriea’s potential more exciting is that he has demonstrated his ability to run and be a dual-threat in the first two games, rushing for 48 and 49 yards, respectively. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Floriea is his lack of turnovers, as he has thrown no interceptions through two games.

Freshman wide receiver Joseph Torok is a big reason for Floriea and the Blue Streaks having success in the passing game. Torok leads the team in total receptions with eight, which includes a four-catch, 106-yard receiving game against Otterbein. 

The rushing attack has also been an added bonus for the Blue and Gold offense, as they have rushed over the 100 yards in both games in total rushing yards. 

Heading into this week, the Blue Streaks will need Floriea and company to improve once again on the offensive side of the ball. They are set to play the No. 2 nationally ranked Mount Union Purple Raiders Saturday. The rivalry is a big one and in the past has had huge implications on who will win the OAC and make it to the playoffs.

“We are going to bust our butts this week to make sure that we come out on top,” said Bogard.

Frederick added, “We need to stick together and have a great week of practice to get ready for Mount this week.”

There will be a lot on the line this Saturday, Sept. 28, at Don Shula Stadium as the Blue and Gold prepare for the Purple Raiders in a game that will have two nationally-ranked opponents facing off for OAC supremacy.

Mount Union comes into University Heights with a two game win streak in the series and ranked No.2 in the nation by Blue Streaks are looking for their first win in the game since 2016,