JCU Football runs away with Senior Day victory


JCU Sports Information Department

Mason Sullivan scores a touchdown during their Senior Day game.

Logan Potosky, Staff Reporter

On Sat., Nov. 12, No. 22 ranked John Carroll University Football team (8-2, 8-1 OAC) celebrated its Senior Day in style, finishing the 2022 season with a dominant 62-7 victory over Otterbein University (2-8, 1-8 OAC) at Don Shula Stadium.

The Blue Streaks were propelled by a powerful rushing attack, totaling 338 yards, and a season-high six touchdowns on the ground. Graduate student running back Demerius Goodwin led the way with a game-high 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns, both of which were season-highs.

Demerius Goodwin runs in one of his two touchdowns of the day. (JCU Sports Information Department)

“It was special.” Goodwin said. “Being around these guys is the greatest thing that I could probably ask for in life. We were just cherishing every moment that we had to be with each other and it was just amazing.”

In potentially the final game of his career, senior running back Matthew Buser had one of his best games. In terms of rushing, he totaled 104 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, collecting three receptions for 84 yards (both career-highs), and a career-long 61-yard receiving touchdown.

“That’s the dream.” Buser said. “Not knowing what the future holds for us, I’m just glad I got the opportunity to go out there, play ball and go do the best I could and it happened to fall my way today.”

Defensively, John Carroll constantly made its way into the backfield, recording 17 tackles for loss, tyingfor the third-most in a game in school history. Leading the way was linebacker Jahiem Peake ‘24. He had a career day, compiling a team-high 10 tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks, all of which were career-highs. Peake’s five tackles for loss were tied for the second-most in a game in school history.

“Today meant a lot for us, for me.” Peake said. “Coming in as a freshman, these [seniors] were the guys that took you under [their] wing so we wanted to send them out on top.”

On the game’s opening drive, running back Mason Sullivan ‘25 took his first carry 24 yards for a touchdown, giving John Carroll an early 7-0 lead. He would then make a heads-up play on the ensuing kickoff, recovering a muffed return deep in Otterbein territory. Eventually, Goodwin ran in a touchdown from two yards out, extending the Blue Streaks’ lead to 14-0.

After a Cardinals three-and-out, Sullivan caught his first career receiving touchdown, a 60-yard play that extended John Carroll’s lead to 21-0. This was Sullivan’s only reception of the game as he also finished with 51 rushing yards on just five carries. Another Otterbein punt then led to a 15-yard rushing touchdown from Buser, capping off a 28-point first quarter for the Blue Streaks.

On the following drive, graduate student cornerback Kiefer Askew recorded his second interception of the season, resulting in Buser’s second rushing touchdown of the day, a 12-yard run to make JCU’s lead 35-0 early in the second. Two drives later, John Carroll suffered its first setback of the day, a turnover on downs in Cardinals territory.

But, after another defensive stop, a six-yard touchdown reception from wide receiver Joe Torok ‘23 gave the Blue Streaks a 42-0 halftime lead.

Mason Sullivan with a fantastic catch during the game against Otterbein. (JCU Sports Information Department)

Early in the second half, John Carroll would pick up right where it left off as Buser’s 61-yard receiving touchdown extended the lead to 48-0. Despite being forced to punt yet again, the Cardinals were able to take advantage of a muffed punt. Otterbein capitalized by scoring its only points of the game, a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kaden Doup, his first career rushing touchdown.

But the Blue Streaks responded with a five-yard rushing touchdown from Buser, giving JCU a 55-7 lead through three quarters of play. In the fourth, John Carroll would score the final points of the afternoon courtesy of a 58-yard touchdown run from Goodwin, his longest run of the season. Many backups and seniors were able to take the field for the Blue Streaks in the final quarter.

After failing to qualify for the 2022 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs, the Blue Streaks ended their 100th season with an 8-2 record (8-1 in the OAC), finishing second in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings. John Carroll, however, is already looking forward to next season.

“We’ve got something burning in our pocket.” Peake said. “And we’re going to get ready for Team 101 and get right back to work.”