JCU Football looks to continue their successful season after another OAC victory


JCU Sports Information Department

Dohntay Williams celebrates with his team after making a big play on defense against Muskingum.

Garrett Siegel, Staff Reporter

The John Carroll Football Team was looking for their 19th straight victory in the month of October throughout their seasons when they traveled to New Concord, OH last Sat., Oct. 29. Fortunately, they were successful as they came away with a 49-14 win against Muskingum University. 

The victory pushed JCU to 7-1 on the season overall and 7-0 in Ohio Athletic Conference games while Muskingum fell to 4-4 and 3-4 in OAC play. 

The Blue Streak defense had a stellar game, holding Muskingum to their second lowest points scored in a game in the season. 

The defense recorded four sacks, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and forced two fumbles. Meanwhile, the offense played steady before bursting for 21 points in the fourth quarter.

After a John Carroll punt on the first drive, the first offensive play for the Fighting Muskies was an emotional rollercoaster for both sides. 

Muskingum’s quarterback Jordan Garrett hit Travis Roberson on a long pass that was set to put them in the red zone. Elijah Chungu ‘24 stripped Roberson on the JCU 20 and the ball bounced down to the five yard line. JCU graduate student Kiefer Askew picked up the ball and ran it back 40 yards to the JCU 45. From there, the Blue Streaks went on to have a nine play drive where kicker Yanni Volas ‘25 made a 25-yard field goal attempt to make it 3-0 in favor of the Blue and Gold. 

On the second play of Muskingum’s offensive drive, Chungu intercepted a pass thrown by Garrett as his skillful reading of the quarterback once again gave John Carroll an offensive possession. 

The next JCU drive was capped off by Mason Sullivan who ran into the endzone for a six-yard rushing touchdown, his third of the season. 

Mason Sullivan celebrates after his touchdown in the game against Muskingum.

In the second quarter, quarterback Joe Collins ‘23 threw just his second interception in OAC play, and the Muskies scored on their ensuing drive to make it 10-7. 

Later in the quarter, Josh McLean ‘23 intercepted a pass and returned it to the house to extend the lead to 17-7. The Blue Streaks added another field goal to make it 20-7 going into the half. 

Graduate student Demerius Goodwin set the tone for JCU in the second half. 

In their first offensive possession of the third quarter, Goodwin had five carries for 62 yards. He capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run. To make the lead an even 21, Collins found Brennan Fugh ‘23 for a two-point conversion to make it 28-7. 

The Fighting Muskies answered with a touchdown of their own to make it 28-14 going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was all John Carroll. 

Evan McVay rushing during the game against Muskingum. (JCU Sports Information Department)

JCU leading rusher Evan McVay ‘25 opened the quarter with a touchdown run. After the second Muskingum fumble, the Blue Streaks scored once again as Collins found fifth year Tadas Tatarunas for a six-yard score after the Blue Streaks were able to start their drive at the Muskingum 10. 

Muskingum punted the ball back to JCU down 42-10 after another conversion. Mason Sullivan ‘25 got nine carries on the ensuing drive, capping off the drive and game with a one-yard score to seal a 49-10 win. 

Collins finished with 170 yards passing with one touchdown pass. Goodwin led the ground game with 75 yards and a touchdown while Sullivan led with two rushing touchdowns. Fugh led the receivers with 43 yards.

Defensively, Bricker Thiel ‘23 led the team with eight tackles and two tackles for loss. Seven Blue Streaks registered a tackle for loss while four registered sacks. Chungu had his best game of his career with a forced fumble and interception. 

John Carroll is now undefeated in the OAC going into November for the first time since 2016 when they made the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament’s Final Four. 2016 is also the last time the Blue Streaks beat rival team Mount Union. 

The Purple Raiders are the Blue Streaks’ next opponent this Saturday and are ranked No. 2 in the country. D3football.com also moved John Carroll up in their rankings from No. 25 to No. 22. 

The matchup is being played for the OAC regular season title, where the winner is expected to receive the conference’s automatic bid for the NCAA Division III Football Tournament. 

The last time JCU won the OAC title was in 2016 when the Blue Streaks beat the Purple Raiders in Alliance, OH. A loss to Mount Union would likely end John Carroll’s tournament hopes as it is incredibly difficult to get an at-large bid with two losses. 

The game is set to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 5 in Alliance, OH. 

With the OAC Championship games of Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer and Volleyball also being played on Saturday, it has a potential to be an all-time day for Blue and Gold Athletics.