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Blue Streaks claim 29th Cuyahoga Gold Bowl with 24-21 victory over Yellow Jackets

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS – Head coach Rick Finotti hoisted hardware after his first victory with the John Carroll University football program.

Ro Golphin and Stan Elad II crossed the goal line on the ground, Anthony Moeglin and William Woods connected for six through the air, and Michael Connick fended off a late-game rally with his first career interception to propel the Blue Streaks (1-1) over the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets (1-1), 24-21, on Saturday afternoon at George Finnie Stadium in Berea, Ohio.

The well-rounded effort landed JCU the 29th Cuyahoga Gold Bowl, an annual tradition dating back to September 12, 1987.

Connick silences feverish crowd

Facing a three-point deficit with 1:36 remaining in regulation, BW opted for the two-minute drill, beginning with a 24-yard pass from wide receiver Ty Gallo to quarterback Jake Hudson.

Shortly thereafter, the promising possession unraveled.

Tyler Frederick sacked Hudson for an eight-yard loss, Connick picked off Hudson in John Carroll territory, and Moeglin lined up in victory formation to cap off the tightly contested affair.

Connick filled in for the injured Ray Brewster, the primary ballhawk amid the team’s secondary.

Offense clicks on all cylinders, finds identity

With his job on the line, Moeglin – who spearheaded the Blue Streaks to the 2016 NCAA Semifinals – acclimated himself on the offensive side of the ball, completing 19-of-34 (55.9%) passes for 222 yards and a touchdown.

The Canton native sprayed his passes in all directions, finding seven different targets in the open field.

Eddie Williamson led the charge with seven receptions for 54 yards, Woods registered 53 yards on three catches, and Kornowski tallied 41 yards.

The rushing tandem comprised of Sam Kukura and Ro Golphin combined for 89 yards on 23 carries (3.87 yards per carry).

Stout defense rounds out array of contributions

The Blue and Gold notched four sacks and broke up four passes to limit the opposition to nine first downs and 340 total yards.

Tyler Moran fronted the unit with five tackles, while Anthony Christopher, Tyler Frederick and Jimmy Thomas had a sack apiece.

Defensive coordinator Kyle Hoke will look to avoid the big play next week, as running back Austin Smith marched down the field for a 70-yard score and receiver Rob Wolfington gathered a 78-yard strike to erase JCU’s 15-point advantage.

Danko delivers

Aside from his five kickoffs for 306 yards (61-yard average), kicker Matt Danko delivered the punishing blow on a 21-yard field goal with 9:07 left in the fourth quarter.

Weather and attendance

John Carroll and Baldwin Wallace drew 4,791 fans on a 74-degree day with sunny skies.

OAC update

Heidelberg (2-0) dominated Ohio Northern (1-1), Mount Union (2-0) beat Marietta (1-1), Otterbein (2-0) topped Wilmington (1-1) and Capital (1-1) edged past Muskingum (1-1).

Up next

The Blue Streaks head to Tiffin, Ohio to take on the Heidelberg Student Princes next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. from Hoernemann Stadium.

Photo credit: John Carroll University Sports Information Department

John Alfes has covered John Carroll University athletics since September of 2014. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (jalfes18@jcu.edu).

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