Moeglin and Kukura: A relationship between a quarterback and his running back


JCU Sports Information

Junior quarterback Anthony Moeglin hands the ball off to Senior running back Sam Kukura.

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

Often times a close relationship on the field will lead to even a closer relationship off the field. John Carroll football running back Sam Kukura and quarterback Anthony Moeglin are the epitome of the connection between a quarterback and his running back.

Kukura and Moeglin both crossed paths for the first time in the OHSAA playoffs their senior year of high school. Kukura, a Kirtland graduate, and Moeglin, a St. Thomas Aquinas (Louisville, Ohio) graduate competed for the first time, and Kukura won. Kukura would go on to play football at Kent State University and Moeglin would proceed to play for the Blue Streaks.

Kukura transferred from Kent State to John Carroll following his sophomore year in 2015. Almost immediately, the former Golden Flash, Kukura, became best friends with the Blue Streak, Moeglin. “Anthony was really welcoming when I came to Carroll. Right away we developed a very close relationship,” said Kukura.

“When he first came to Carroll and visited we recognized each other’s last names, and developed an incredibly close relationship right away,” Moeglin said.

Their close bond off of the field led to a special season on the field. The 2016 Blue Streaks, also known as “Team 94,” went to the final four of the division three football national championship. It was a special season as a team and a special season for both players.

Kukura ran for 821 yards and 14 touchdowns during his 2016 campaign, and received second team All-OAC accolades. Moeglin had an impressive season as well, passing for 2,800 yards and 29 touchdowns in his first year as starting quarterback for JCU.

Complacency would be normal following a season that nearly resulted in a National Championship berth, but not for Kukura and Moeglin. They pushed each other every day to be better.

Kukura said, “We are both extremely competitive and we hold each other to high standards. If one of us is down, we pick the other one up. We are each other’s biggest supporters.” Moeglin felt the same way as Kukura. “We both know the expectations from one another. If I am falling short, he tells me. We hold each other to a really high standard.”

The 2017 season was not one that the Blue Streaks would like to repeat. Following their postseason run, the team fell short of another potential shot at a championship. The most costly loss came at Heidelberg where the Blue Streaks fell to a 47–21 loss.

Moeglin and Kukura both had games they would like to forget. Moeglin only threw for 175 yards and two interceptions, and Kukura only rushed for 24 yards. It was no coincidence that the Blue Streaks played poorly as a team when the team’s two leaders did not perform well.

The following week, Moeglin and Kukura did just as they said, they improved for their game against Wilmington. In a 72–14 win against Wilmington, Moeglin completed 20-of-27 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown. Kukura on the other hand, rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown. Coincidence? I think not.

Both are captains for the 2018 season. Head Coach Rick Finotti spoke highly of the duo. “They are selfless leaders. They do a great job of working with one another.”

Moeglin and Kukura will continue their journey on Sept. 15.