October 13, 2009

On the road, offense overwhelms Oberlin

Playing on the road after a much needed bye week, Chicago (2–2) disappointed the more than 1,200 Oberlin fans in attendance, keeping the Yeomen (0–5) winless in a 38–17 thrashing.

Chicago’s opening offensive play from scrimmage was as gutsy as they get, and it paid dividends. Third-year wide receiver Clay Wolff connected with first-year sensation wideout D Brizzolara on a double-reverse pass, good for a 64-yard touchdown. After failing to produce points on their first drive, the Yeomen found themselves in a 7–0 hole within 12 seconds of giving the Maroons the ball.

Later in the first quarter, Oberlin got on the board with a 31-yard field goal, capping a disappointing 10-play, 28-yard drive that began in Chicago territory. Early in the second, however, the Maroons started to pull away, engineering a methodical 11-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a two-yard score from second-year halfback Francis Adarkwa.

En route to their comfortable 17–3 lead at halftime, Chicago put on a dominant display of balance on both sides of the ball. The first-down numbers were jarring: The Maroons more than doubled their opponent’s first-down total—nine—by notching 23 of their own throughout the game.

Despite their two-score advantage heading into the break, the Maroons were focused on putting the Yeomen away, an emphasis that echoed throughout their halftime talk.

“Coach Maloney warned us about coming out flat, and we managed to score on our first drive after the half,” second-year offensive lineman Stefan Mitrovic said.

Mitrovic was referring to Chicago’s five-play, 45-yard drive directly after intermission, in which Wolff was on the receiving end of a four-yard touchdown pass from third-year quarterback Marshall Oium, a score that widened the gap 24–3.

After an Oberlin score to draw them back within two touchdowns, the Maroons kept pouring it on in a pivotal third-quarter sequence during which the Maroons outscored their opponent 21–7.

“We knew that the third was going to be very important for us because we hadn’t played well in that stretch in our previous games,” Mitrovic said.

To complete his trifecta, Wolff added a running score with 12:49 to play in the third, a 44-yard run to cap off a brilliant three-touchdown day. With Oberlin effectively on life support, the Maroons pulled the plug with another Adarkwa run to end the third, putting the score at 38–10, where it stood until a meaningless Oberlin touchdown at the beginning of the fourth.

“Oberlin’s defense really didn’t have an identity,” Mitrovic said. “We exploited their weaknesses by establishing our running game to make way for our short-passing attack.”

Adarkwa’s consistency on the ground netted 180 rushing yards, to complement his more than 70 yards receiving. Oium managed the game effectively, passing for 236 yards and one touchdown on 33 attempts. Brizzolara amassed 241 and a touchdown in the victory.

The Chicago defense flustered Oberlin’s freshman quarterback David Kalgren by daring him to run, which he did with some success (96 yards), and suffocating his passing game. Kalgren went for 68 yards and a score on 8–19 attempts, and was often scrambling to avoid the Chicago pressure, being sacked four times on the day.

The Maroon defense was led by inside linebacker Alex Dzierbicki, totaling 14 tackles and one sack for the game.

Now that Chicago has reached the .500 mark, they look to continue last weekend’s success in their visit to Macalester.