Tartans PAC Co-Champions after Defeating Case Western Reserve University, 24-6 in 35th Annual Academic Bowl
|Game Statistics||Case Western Reserve||Carnegie Mellon|
|Time of Poss.||24:25||35:35|
(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team claimed a share of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship with a 24-6 victory over rival Case Western Reserve University in the 35th Annual Academic Bowl on Saturday. The Tartans share the title with Westminster, but claim the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs by way of the head-to-head result on October 9 when the Tartans won 34-10. It marks the first PAC Championship for the Tartans since 1989 and the first trip to the NCAAs since 2006.
Sophomore Tre Vasiliadis (Great Falls, Va./Langley) ran for 191 yards on 38 carries and a touchdown. He becomes the fifth player in Carnegie Mellon history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau and ninth overall in a single-season. The sophomore leads the PAC with 1,120 yards on the season, which ranks fourth in a single-season for a Tartan.
Carnegie Mellon was outgained by Case Western Reserve 346-296, but the Tartans forced six turnovers, five coming by way of interceptions. Junior Aryan Hegde (Brambleton, Va./Rock Ridge) led the Tartans defense with a career-high nine tackles and an interception. Senior Nick Cizik (Portland, Ore./Sunset) ended the day with a career-high with seven tackles and added an interception.
Sophomore Ben Mills (The Woodland, Taxes/Woodlands) started the scoring with a 1-yard plunge for a Tartan touchdown in the closing seconds of the first quarter to make the score 7-0.
The Spartans responded with a 57-yard touchdown run by Antonio Orsini three plays into the ensuing drive. The point-after attempt sailed wide and left the score 7-6 Carnegie Mellon with 14:20 to play in the half.
Midway through the second quarter, the Tartans put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown strike from Mills to freshman Matthew Evert (Roswell, Ga./Milton) to make the score 14-6. The drive started following an interception by junior Kevin Arcia (Doral, Fla./Doral Academy Charter) in the endzone.
On Case Western Reserve's next possession, Carnegie Mellon sophomore Kevin Cooke (Glen Ellyn, Ill./IC Catholic Prep) intercepted Drew Saxton and set the Tartans up on the Spartans 29-yard line with 1:42 to plain the second quarter. Five plays later and as time expired on the clock for the half, junior Casey Jaeb (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep) connected on a career-long 40-yard field goal to leave the score 17-6 at the break.
A Hegde interception early in the fourth quarter led to the Tartans third touchdown of the game. Three plays later, Vasiliadis scored on a 1-yard run to make the score 24-6 with nine minutes to play.
Carnegie Mellon concludes its regular season with a 8-2 overall mark, including an 8-1 record in the PAC while Case Western Reserve ends its regular season at 6-4, 5-4.
Carnegie Mellon will learn Sunday, November 14 who it will play in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Football Championships when the selection committee announces the bracket at 5:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.