Capital Crusaders under new football coach Brian Foos, looking to rid selves of losing ways

COLUMBUS, Ohio –  Entering the first full season under the leadership of Head Coach Brian Foos, the Capital University football team is poised to compete this fall among the best of best on the field. The team is aiming to put an end to a disappointing 14-game streak of losses and get back to winning ways among the ever-tough Ohio Athletic Conference. 

Last Season in a Nutshell
Foos started at Capital in December of 2020 from Madonna University, and quickly formed a staff to kickoff the spring 2021 season. With the COVID-19 pandemic shortening the season and moving games to the spring, Foos had little time to lead Capital onto the field for their first game on March 12th at home vs. Wilmington. In that game, Cap was upended on a late fourth quarter, 99-yard touchdown drive from the Quakers to fall 26-21. 

In the game, Kameron Lee caught two touchdowns from quarterback Ben Everson. Everson also scampered for a 14-yard touchdown score to account for the offense. Defensively, Nick Fisanick led the team with 15 tackles, while Aralius Walters was in on 13 stops. Walters also had a forced fumble, an interception and two pass breakups. 

Despite the early signs of positivity from the team, the final three games ended without a win against Heidelberg, Ohio Northern, and Otterbein. Fisanick, Walters, Lee, Jack Blaisdell, and Brady Kuhn all earned All-Conference honors for their efforts on the year. 

Top Returners
Capital returns all five All-Conference selections from last season, with just one entering their senior year. Fisanick led the team in tackles with 37. Walters was close behind with 36 stops. In addition to his tackling prowess, Walters had the team’s lone interception and led the team with eight pass breakups. Walters was also the go-to return man with 14 kickoff returns for 266 yards.

Blaisdell, was in the trenches defensively for Cap and had 18 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. He was also credited with a pass breakup and two QB hurries. 

Lee returns to the team for his senior campaign as the jack-of-all-trades for the team. A season ago, Lee was the team’s punter, top receiver, and a return man. Lee punted the ball 28 times on the year for more than 1,000 yards, including a long of 64 yards. Eight punts were fair caught, while nine landed within the 20-yard line. As receiver, Lee caught 14 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. 

Kuhn was on the offensive line that helped pave the way for a rush game that gained 325 yards on the ground and blocked for a passing game that garnered 579 yards through the air. 

Additional defensive players looking to improve upon their efforts from last season include Kobe SwackhammerMatt LauofoBalor AppiariusMaxamus VujaklijaDez Turkson, and Blake Newsome, among others. On the offensive side of the ball, additional returners include Everson, Luke McCarrellMichael SmithSam PickettChad DavisJonathan Williams, and Noah Meeker. All of these players are looking to improve on their efforts a year ago. McCarrell and Everson split time under center last season, with the pair combining for 552 yards passing and five touchdown passes. The offensive side of the ball will also see a mix-up as Walters will make the transition from defensive back to wide receiver in 2021, enabling another weapon in the offensive passing game. 

The team returns several additional players, both offensively and defensively, from last season’s roster, poised to contend for starting roles and significant time off the sidelines. 

New Faces in the Crowd
In addition to the relatively new coaches that joined the CapFam in January of 2021, the football program welcomes four new coaches to the fray for the fall campaign. Joining the leadership team are Trent FieldingTravell WrightAndrew Phillips and Evan Nunez. Fielding will oversee the tight ends, Wright will keep tabs on the outside linebackers, Phillips will monitor the inside linebackers, and Nunez will take charge of the cornerbacks. 

In addition to the new coaching staff are numerous new faces to the 2021 football roster. In all, Cap is adding 29 freshmen and several transfers to the mix, all of whom will put pressure on the returners for playing time. 

All-in-all, the Capital University football team will enter the new season with a solidified coaching staff looking to make a splash with a healthy mix of returners and new additions. 

Returning Coaching Staff
Coach Foos will welcome the returns of several important assistant coaches for this season after an abbreviated season in the spring. Coordinating the offense will be Matt Wright. He will also oversee the offensive line. Leading the defense will be Co-Coordinators, Johnathan Black and Joe Nemith. Black will also monitor the defensive line, while Nemith will serve as the assistant head coach and defensive back coach. Ben Burns returns to guide the wide receivers and serve as the team’s recruiting coordinator. In addition, Matt Edgar (specialists) and Dave Smith (running backs) return to the Capital sidelines this year. 

Season Schedule
Capital will open the new season at home, under the lights at Bernlohr Stadium for an early season edition of Thursday Night Football. Defiance College will make the trek to Columbus for the lone non-conference matchup of the season. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a shortened season of their own in which they compiled a record of 2-5 in the HCAC. 

Week two will serve as the team’s bye week before they hit the road for their first OAC test of the season at Heidelberg on September 18th. Cap will then return home to face Marietta on September 25th. Later in the season, Capital will travel to Baldwin Wallace, Mount Union, Ohio Northern, and Wilmington in addition to hosting John Carroll, Otterbein and Muskingum. 

Capital will host Otterbein on October 30th for Homecoming and Hall of Fame Induction and will welcome the Muskies of Muskingum to Columbus on November 13th for senior day. 

All OAC kickoffs are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. for the 2021 season.

COURTESY CAPITAL ATHLETICS

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