JOHN KOVACH | Colleges Ursuline's Clark provides spark for John Carroll

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS -- A good receiver and a good quarterback can make each other look much better.
Such is the case with John Clark, a senior wide receiver on the John Carroll University football team from Ursuline High, who has surpassed the career 1,000-yard receiving mark with the help of junior quarterback Tom Arth.
Through five games entering last Saturday's game with Muskingum, Clark (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) led the team and the Ohio Athletic Conference in receptions (38) and reception yards (597) this season with two touchdowns. Clark, for his career, has 78 catches for 1,271 yards.
Earlier in the season, Clark enjoyed his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game with 102 on seven catches in JCU's 16-14 win over Wilmington.
He has helped John Carroll to a 4-1 record under coach Regis Scafe, including 3-1 in the OAC, the only loss being to national power Mount Union, 33-30.
Winning assets: Clark credits a lot of his success to "just the fact that I am playing with a great quarterback like Tom Arth," a three-year starter from St. Ignatius.
"Arth is very accurate and I have good hands and I usually catch everything he throws at me. I'm not a big-fast type of receiver, but I'm quick and able to get into the open," added Clark, who played at inside receiver this season.
Also helping him to get open is a Blue Streak offense that uses four receivers half of the time, depending on the formations used.
"We have a wide-open offense and get a lot of receivers involved. We have a lot of other receivers and they take the pressure off of me," said Clark. "I feel that any of our receivers can have a good game, but the passes are coming my way."
Other factors: Clark also said two other factors have contributed to his accomplishments.
"We lost receiver Jeff Lerner [who] got hurt [separated shoulder] in the Mount Union game, and I felt I had to pick up my game a little for him.
"My new receivers coach [Larry Holmes] helped me out a lot this year, motivating me to get better and better each week. I played with him last year and now he is the receivers coach."
First-year offensive coordinator Ron Dolciato also has been "creative" in designing plays, Clark said.
"He puts in new plays and helps me to get the football, and he puts the quarterback in good situations [by] giving him the flexibility to call or change plays at the line of scrimmage," said Clark, who hopes to get another shot at Mount Union in the playoffs.
Shot at records: Clark has a chance of breaking four school records for single-season and career receptions and receiving yards.
Holmes, an All-American last year, holds school records for most reception yards in one season (950 last year) and most career TD receptions (24 from 1997-2000).
JCU's career records for receptions (139) and reception yards (1,809) were set by Hank Durica from 1988-91. The record for single-season receptions (60) was set by Sean Williams in 1994.
Eyes Mount again: Clark turned in an outstanding performance in the loss to Mount Union with 10 catches for 145 yards.
"It could have gone either way. We were up with two minutes left, but they put together a very organized drive. Hopefully, if we keep winning, we can meet again in the playoffs, and maybe we could win this one. I'd like to get one more shot at them."
Other numbers: Clark also leads JCU in all-purpose yards this season with 788, including 94 on punt returns and 92 on kickoff returns.
He has 1,765 all-purpose years in his career.
The son of John and Marilyn Clark, Clark has a 3.3 grade-point average as a finance major and is on the Dean's List.
While at Ursuline, Clark was a first-team All-Ohio pick as a senior, when he had 57 catches for 1,004 yards.
More from area: Other Youngstown-area regulars on the JCU team are junior punter Ryan Wolf (6-2, 180) of West Branch, and junior linebacker Brian Brooke (5-9, 185) from Cardinal Mooney.
Wolf is averaging 36.9 yards on 29 kicks, and had a solid punting day against Wilmington with nine kicks for 374 yards for a 41.6-yard average.