Tartans football drops 17–34 decision against Case Western

Senior running back Andrew Lovrovich pushes towards the Spartans' endzone. The Tartans ended up losing 17–34. (credit: Travis Wolfe/Photo Staff) Senior running back Andrew Lovrovich pushes towards the Spartans' endzone. The Tartans ended up losing 17–34. (credit: Travis Wolfe/Photo Staff)

The Tartan football seniors took the home field on a beautiful fall day for the last time this weekend. Saturday marked the last home game of the season as well as the last game for senior football players and cheerleaders, who were recognized for their commitment before kickoff at Gesling Stadium at 2 p.m. against Case Western Reserve University.

Carnegie Mellon hosted number 9 Case Western in the 24th Annual Academic Bowl on Saturday. The Tartans’ loss of 17–34 makes their overall record 5–4 and their University Athletic Association record 1–1.

The Tartans, set to receive after the coin toss, opened the game with a strong offensive drive toward the end zone. Their opening drive finished with a 23-yard field goal by junior place kicker Elliot Carnevale to make the score 3–0 Tartans. Unfortunately, the Spartans soon took the lead 3–7 when Case Western quarterback Dan Whalen threw a 29-yard pass to junior Zach Homyk for a touchdown. The Spartan offense fumbled the two ensuing drives, but Whalen put his team up 3–14 just before the end of the half.

Case Western powered it up after half-time, bringing the score up yet again with another touchdown on their opening drive. However, the Tartans battled on and minimized their lead to 10–21 on their next drive when junior running back Justin Pratt took the ball in for a touchdown. However, once again, the Spartans were quick to take action as Whalen scored for the fourth time. Case Western pulled further into the lead at 10–27 as the third quarter ended.
The Tartans were not about to give up. First-year Jared Delello scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 20-yard run, tightening the score to 27-17. With only a 1:18 left in the fourth quarter, the Spartans scored yet again to give them a 34-17 victory.

Senior offensive guard Ryan Chehanske said, “I felt that we played well. They were just a very good team. On offense we were able to move the ball, but there were little things that held us back from scoring on certain occasions. The defense had to defend against a great Case quarterback.”

Although it was a disappointing loss for the team’s last home game, it was a great game for parents, fans, and especially the seniors. “It was a very emotional game playing for the last time at home,” Chehanske said. “All of the seniors wanted it to be their best. [Head coach Rich] Lackner has done an amazing job with us over these past four years and we owe so much to him for being there for us on and off the field.”

The football team will finish off their regular season next Saturday in Chicago against the University of Chicago at noon.