No. 15 John Carroll Football loses 23–10 heartbreaker against No. 1 Mount Union

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No. 15 John Carroll Football loses 23–10 heartbreaker against No. 1 Mount Union


Sophomore running back Mike Canganelli rushes past the Mount Union defense on Sept. 23.

Sophomore running back Mike Canganelli rushes past the Mount Union defense on Sept. 23.

JCU Sports Info

Sophomore running back Mike Canganelli rushes past the Mount Union defense on Sept. 23.

JCU Sports Info

JCU Sports Info

Sophomore running back Mike Canganelli rushes past the Mount Union defense on Sept. 23.

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

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Junior quarterback Anthony Moeglin lined up under center on the John Carroll 19-yard line in Alliance, Ohio, against the Mount Union Purple Raiders for what could be the final time in his Blue Streaks career on Sept. 22. Moeglin, a graduate of Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas High School, grew up 14 miles southwest of John Carroll’s rival.

On the opening offensive play of the game, Moeglin found junior receiver Darrin Davis for a 23-yard pass completion. Davis was also flagged on the play, setting up the Blue Streaks in Mount Union territory on the Purple Raiders 38-yard line.

Including the big gain to Davis, Moeglin anchored a six-play drive over a span of 3:07 for 81 yards. Moeglin capped the series off with a five-yard touchdown rush to take a 7–0 lead early. The crowd at Mount Union Stadium was stunned, as nationally ranked №15 John Carroll gained the early lead against the best team in the country and reigning national champions, Mount Union.

Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold, the last play of the game was not as nostalgic as the first. The Blue Streaks were down by a score of 16–10 and starting their final offensive drive of the day with 44 seconds left on the clock with one timeout left. On second down, Moeglin was sacked and stripped of the ball, as the Purple Raiders ran 57 yards for a touchdown, winning the game 23–10.

It was an absolute heartbreaker for Moeglin, playing in front of his hometown, with the stadium holding 5,866 fans for the Sept. 22 game, capping off what was likely his final game in Alliance with a strip sack.

With under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on fourth down, sophomore running back Mike Canganelli rushed from the right hash-mark across the field to the left pylon in the endzone for a six-yard touchdown score, tying the game at 16 points apiece. A yellow flag lay on the field, questioning the touchdown run. This time around, it would not come in favor of the Blue Streaks.

Holding was called on Davis, negating the touchdown score, forcing the JCU offense to move back to the 12-yard line. Moeglin’s pass fell incomplete to the left of the endzone, handing the ball back into the hands of the Purple Raiders with 3:33 remaining in the contest.

Head Coach Rick Finotti disagreed with the call saying, “Darrin did his job. It was a great effort play. I … just … I just don’t know.”

Canganelli was a bright spot on offense for JCU, accounting for 181 of the Blue Streaks’ 231 total yards on offense.

Mount Union entered the game ranked 10th in the country in total offense, out of 239 teams, and the best in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Overall, the Blue and Gold held their own on the defensive end during the game with their longtime rivals.

The Blue Streaks defense held the Purple Raiders to only one touchdown and 286 total yards on 70 plays, the best totals on defense for any opposing team against Mount Union this season.

“The defense played great. They played their butts off. I am proud of them,” said Finotti after the game.

The Blue Streaks will seek revenge next week in New Concord, Ohio, against the Muskingum Fighting Muskies.

Finotti on next week’s matchup: “We are guaranteed 10 games and we’d better make every effort to make the most of those games.”