JCU football celebrates 100th game at Don Shula stadium with a commanding victory


JCU Sports Information Department

Brennan Fugh rushes through the Marietta defense during their game on Saturday.

Leah Harrigan, Staff Reporter

On Sat., Oct. 7, the dedicated parents, spirited students and prospective recruits of John Carroll football held one common feeling: peace.

With a smooth victory of 45-10 over Marietta College, the fan base surrounding Blue Streak football relished in the feelings of a commanding triumph. 

This particular matchup didn’t necessarily evoke a trance-like response from onlooking fans, as the scoring margin meant that John Carroll could take a well-deserved moment to celebrate all of the relentless effort that contributed to their current successes.

“Our strategy was to play our game,” mentioned Matt Stupka ‘23. “Everyone is playing consistently well which is making our team great.”

As the whistle sounded for kickoff at 1:30 p.m., the Blue Streaks did nothing but what they were told: to play their game.

In the opening quarter, graduate student Demerius Goodwin paved his own path to the endzone to put John Carroll up 7-0 with the added extra point from Yanni Volas ‘25. A few minutes later, Brennan Fugh ‘23 would bring in a pass from quarterback Joe Collins ‘23.

“Offensively, Joe Collins has been what we needed this year,” added Stupka,

The first quarter of play ended in a 14-0 lead for the Blue and Gold. A fast-paced start energized the Blue and Gold but it was clear that the offensive foot would firm on the gas pedal. 

In the second quarter, Evan McVay ‘25 found himself adding to John Carroll’s lead as he contributed two touchdowns, one of the six points being the end result of a 70-yard run. 

Michael Palmer ‘23 saw his defensive efforts pay off as he tallied a forced fumble recovery ending in an 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown with the last seconds of the half ticking with each stride. 

With two quarters underway, the score stood at 35-7, a comfortable deficit that meant that the Blue Streaks could hone in on executing plays in the most pristine fashion.

The John Carroll offense was certainly steady but the defensive core also limited any potential counter attacks from Marietta.

Tyler Thimmons ‘24 led the charge with a total of ten tackles for the day. Josh McLean ‘23 wasn’t far behind with eight.

Overall, both halves were marked by Blue and Gold dominance, with either side of the ball working consistently to maintain their remarkable lead over the Pioneers.

Dohntay Williams before the game on Saturday against Marietta. (JCU Sports Information Department)

“As long as we played our game and executed, the game would turn out in our favor,” reflected Stupka.

The implementation of game strategy was nearly perfect which assisted in a striking final score of 45-10, the Streaks emerging triumphant.

Several Blue Streaks made important contributions throughout the game. Clean receptions,  sky-high rushing yards, abundance of tackles, fumble recoveries and overall hustle were the driving forces behind John Carroll’s impressive win. 

The victory puts the Blue and Gold at an overall record of 4-1 with an undefeated conference record of 4-0. 

Up next, John Carroll leaves the comfort of Don Shula Stadium to play at Ohio Northern University on Sat., Oct. 15. The Blue Streaks will be set for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

“Our plan for the rest of the season is to keep building on what we have been able to accomplish and have a championship standard,” summarized Stupka. “Regardless of the opponent, each week is an opportunity to get better adn show who we are as a team.”