Time of Poss.
MARIETTA, Ohio — Marietta College's upset bid fell short as No. 11 John Carroll University held on for a 23-21 win Saturday (Oct. 26) afternoon at Don Drumm Stadium. The loss drops Marietta to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Blue Streaks improve to 6-1 on the season and 5-1 in the conference.
"I'm proud of the team and our effort. We played a top-15 team down to the wire and we had our chances to win," Marietta head coach Andy Waddle said. "We just didn't capitalize on some opportunities. John Carroll is a talented team and they force you into not executing things as perfectly as you want."
John Carroll pushed its lead to nine points, 23-14, on a 20-yard field goal by Anthony Lupo with 7:50 left in the game. Marietta answered with an 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive capped by an 8-yard pass from Kyle McSweeney to Robert Nelson. Jacob Griffin added the extra point to pull the Pioneers within two, 23-21.
With 3:21 remaining, Marietta elected to kick the ball deep. Following a touchback, the Blue Streaks put the ball in play at their own 25-yard line. Two Michael Canganelli runs lost five yards and after an 11-yard completion from Jake Floriea to Keyshawn Colmon, JCU was forced to punt.
Following the John Carroll punt, the Pioneers took over at the Marietta 38-yard line and 2:17 left on the clock. McSweeney was sacked on first down but connected with Nelson for 13-yards to bring up a third down and two. McSweeney picked up the first down with a 6-yard rush to the JCU 48-yard line.
After completing a pass to Tanner Clark for no gain, the next two attempts from McSweeney were incomplete bringing up a fourth and 10. On fourth down Tyler Frederick and Conner Bogard sacked McSweeney for a 2-yard loss ending the Pioneer comeback bid.
John Carroll grabbed the early lead when Canganelli scored on a 20-yard run. Lupo added the extra point for a 7-0 JCU lead with 9:51 left in the opening period. The Blue Streaks extended the lead to 14-0 when Devin Limerick scored from 6-yards out at the 9:43 mark of the second quarter.
Marietta answered with its best drive of the first half going 70 yards on 15 plays. McSweeney hit Ryan VanMeter on a 16-yard touchdown pass to finish off the drive. Griffin added the point after sending the game to halftime with JCU leading 14-7.
Canganelli scored his second touchdown of the day in the third quarter. This time from 16-yards out. Lupo's extra point was no good making it 20-7 with 9:26 left in the third quarter. Canganelli finished with 140 yards rushing on 28 carries. Limerick rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries.
Floriea completed 10-of-14 passes for 148 yards. He was picked off once. Joe Torok was Floriea's primary target finishing with four receptions for 79 yards.
McSweeney completed 26-of-40 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns. VanMeter caught six passes for 68 yards. The Blue Streaks held Clark in check as he carried the ball 19 times for 39 yards.
Chad Stalnaker and Hunter Orlando led the John Carroll defense with 15 and 11 tackles, respectively. Kyler Folkert finished with 14 tackles for Marietta.
Marietta travels to Berea next Saturday (Nov. 2) for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Baldwin Wallace University.