No. 9 Blue Streaks fall to arch-rival No. 2 Mount Union, 37-14


The Blue Streaks offense sits on the bench against Mount Union at Don Shula Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Darrell Lane, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Sept. 28, the Mount Union Purple Raiders came to Don Shula Stadium to face the John Carroll University Blue Streaks in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup — one that was more than just a game. These two teams found themselves in both the national rankings this season and postseason tournaments in year’s past. 

Both programs have a rich football history. Many of their alumni have played in the National Football League, including London Fletcher, who attended the Sept. 28 game. Fletcher is a prominent JCU alumnus and NFL player, having played for the St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. 

Senior Conner Bogard, a preseason All-American defensive lineman, recognized the importance of Saturday’s game. Especially with Fletcher in attendance.

“Being able to play in this game is an honor,” Bogard told The Carroll News. “It’s one of those games that every JCU alumni wishes they could play in.”

The game immediately began in Mount Union’s favor as they drew first blood, with a touchdown on the opening possession. The Purple Raiders continued to have their way with the Blue and Gold as they went on to score the next four touchdowns in the first half. 

Heading into the second half, the Blue Streaks were down 31-0.  JCU started to gain a bit of momentum, as junior quarterback Jake Floriea took his team on a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a rushing touchdown from junior running back Michael Canganelli. 

In the fourth quarter, with the game out of reach, the Blue and Gold scored again. Floriea connected with sophomore running back Devin Limerick over two defenders.

Despite a late momentum swing, the Blue Streaks fell 38-14 over the Purple Raiders. JCU dropped to 2-1 on the year, including 1-1 in OAC play.

“We beat ourselves. Mount played a good game,” said senior defensive back Ariel Jimenez. 

Even though the end led to a loss, there were still some positives to take away. Having allowed just 21 total points in the first two games, the JCU defense has been the backbone of the team so far this season.

That same defense was tested early on against Mount Union, as they allowed 31 points in the first half. However, JCU was rebounded, only allowing seven points in the second half of action.  

The Blue Streaks had many standout performers on both sides of the ball. Senior linebacker Chad Stalnaker led the team with 11 tackles. Bogard was unblockable on the defensive line as he recorded nine tackles and a sack.

On offense, Floriea threatened the Purple Raider defense, rushing for 34 yards and passing for 181. Senior wide receiver Evan Nugent made his mark on the game, leading the team with a season-high three receptions. Limerick caught the 40-yard touchdown reception.

The Blue and Gold were outgained 23-13 in first downs and also just 4-of-13 on third down conversions in the loss. 

Coming up next, the Blue and Gold will host the Muskingum Fighting Muskies in an OAC matchup on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The Blue Streaks know what they need to do to improve. 

“We all need to get back to doing the basics,” Jiminez said. “Just doing our one 11th on each side of the ball.”