SPORTS

  /  

November 22, 2002

Football wraps up season with road win

The University of Chicago football team ended the season in record-breaking fashion, defeating Case Western Reserve (6-3, 2-2 in University Athletic Association play) 49-39. Fourth-year Quarterback Josh Dunn had a school record 31 completions in 48 attempts and threw for a phenomenal 431 yards. His performance included a school record-tying four touchdown passes in the victory at CWRU's Finnigan Field. The Maroons improved their record to 4-5 and 2-2 in the UAA with the victory.

The coaches on the offensive side of the ball were very excited about this victory. "Take a seat, this is going to take a while," quipped running back coach John Carey.

"The thing that we're most pleased with," said assistant coach Jeff Sokol, "was the efficiency. We had a very high completion percentage, which is something we stress. Josh [Dunn] only threw one true interception." The second of Dunn's two interceptions came on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half.

Sokol added, "We were able to run the ball consistently later on in the game, which is how we were able to control the ball for such a long period of time."

The Maroons never trailed in the contest, scoring first on a 19-yard pass from Dunn to third-year wideout Jim Raptis, who had 13 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown, and followed that up on the first play of the second quarter with a three-yard run by Sam Owens. Soon afterwards, a 13-yard touchdown completion from Dunn to Joe Polaneczky made it a 21-7 game. Polaneczky also had a great game, catching nine passes for 113 yards, and three touchdowns.

The Maroons then increased their lead to 28-7 on an 11-yard completion from Dunn to Polaneczky, their fourth in their last four drives. The lead shrank to 28-25 by halftime, as CWRU seemed intent on making this game interesting. "Case Western has a tremendous offense. Every time we got a ten point lead, they were able to cut it to three," said Sokol. Case Western quarterback Eli Grant threw for 436 yards and five touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions that led to two touchdowns for the Maroons. His second one, with 3:37 left in the third quarter, led to a 23-yard touchdown run by Aaron Carlock that made the score 42-32 and put the game out of reach for good.

To be honest, it's hard to find a member of the offense that didn't play a great game. Carlock had 141 yards on 24 carries, including two scores of 23 and 22 yards. Owens had 84 yards on 20 carries, including the three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave the Maroons the lead for good. Tight end Mike Healy caught ten passes for 125 yards. The offensive line shared UAA Offensive Player of the Week honors. It all added up to a school record 685 yards of total offense (244 rushing, 441 passing). The offense held the ball for over 41 minutes, and scored seven touchdowns in a dominating performance.

It has been a disappointing season for the Maroons, who finish with only a 4-5 record. "It's nice to see your name in the record books," said Sokol, referring to the records set by Dunn and Raptis this season, "but I'm sure those guys would gladly trade those records for a few more wins. We came into the season with hopes of winning [the UAA], and the season was disappointing in that regard." But, although they didn't get the wins they wanted, Dunn broke his own single season passing record with 2,550 yards on the season, and Raptis set records for most catches in a season with 77, and yards with 983.