UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS – Avoiding big plays and limiting turnovers was a focal point for the John Carroll University football team at practice this past week.
Neither aspect of the game plan came to fruition.
The Blue Streaks threw five interceptions – two of which were returned for touchdowns – surrendered 448 yards of total offense, and converted 36% (5-for-14) of their third downs in a 47-21 defeat to Heidelberg on Saturday afternoon from Hoernemann Stadium in Tiffin, Ohio.
Eddie Williamson and Kody Kidd registered a pair of receiving touchdowns, while Arin Pruitt crossed the goal line from two yards out.
The loss snaps JCU’s 10-game winning streak in the OAC, a dominant stretch dating back to November 14, 2015 against the Mount Union Purple Raiders (L, 3-36).
Moeglin, Larkin unable to sustain possessions
Quarterbacks Anthony Moeglin and Riley Larkin fired five errant passes to the opposition, halting offensive momentum in the one-sided affair.
The play-calling tandem threw back-to-back pick-sixes in the third quarter, turning a 27-24 deficit to a 40-14 hole in a nine-minute span.
Moeglin completed 15-of-26 (57.7%) passes for 175 yards and a 32-yard touchdown to Williamson, his second of the campaign.
Larkin took over in the fourth period, posting a 35.3% (6-of-17) completion percentage with 121 yards and an 11-yard strike to Kidd, the first of his collegiate career.
Running back Ro Golphin spearheaded the rushing attack on nine carries for 65 yards.
Pruitt barreled through a bevy of defenders for his first TD since October 22, 2016.
Defensive front beat by big plays
The Student Princes averaged 6.7 yards per play, primarily through a 73-yard connection between quarterback Tyler Stoyle and Tony Morris.
Demetrius Magee tacked on a 29-yard touchdown, igniting the home crowd and eventually knocking off the ninth-ranked team in the nation.
Stoyle finished with 317 yards through the air, sending defensive coordinator Kyle Hoke back to the drawing board ahead of Week 4.
Bogard teams with Thomas on defensive line
Sophomore Conner Bogard consistently applied pressure to his competition, tallying two sacks for 17 yards, four tackles-for-loss for 22 yards and one pass breakup.
Junior Jimmy Thomas followed suit, notching two tackles-for-loss for four yards.
Weather and attendance
John Carroll (1-2) and Heidelberg (3-0) drew 2,147 fans under sunny skies and upper-80s temperatures.
Mount Union (3-0) crushed Baldwin Wallace (1-2), Marietta (2-1) beat Muskingum (1-2) and Ohio Northern (2-1) doubled up Otterbein (3-1).
JCU returns home to play the Wilmington Fightin’ Quakers next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. from Don Shula 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.