Yeomen Drop Final Road Game of Year to Bishops


Photo Courtesy of OC Athletics

First-year defensive back Malachi Clemons cradles the ball past defenders in the Yeomen’s game against the Wabash Little Giants on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Despite cutting a 21-point deficit to eight in their final road game of the season, the Yeomen’s comeback attempt was too little, too late as they fell to the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops 34–26 on Saturday. After starting the season 2–0, the Yeomen are now 2–6, sitting second to last in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

“We struggled early in the first quarter on both sides of the ball, but to everyone’s credit, nobody quit,” senior wide receiver Trace McConnell said. “Up until the final whistle, everyone played their hardest.”

The Yeomen were electric on offense, racking up 400 yards total. Once again, sophomore quarterback Zach Taylor led the charge, throwing for 282 yards and two touchdowns as well as running for 38 and a score. Going in to the second down 21–3, Taylor ran in the ball from three yards out for his fourth rushing touchdown of the year. After sophomore kicker Michael Leshchyshyn’s second field goal of the day, the Yeomen went into the half trailing 28–13.

In the second half, the Yeomen came out of the gate strong, scoring a touchdown less than 10 minutes into the half. The score came from Taylor, as he threw a six-yard pass to junior wide receiver Ryan Gleeson, who finished with a career-high 142 yards and 11 catches in the game. Although he noted after the game that his individual success felt good, the team’s success was still paramount to him.

“It would have felt better with a win,” Gleeson said.

The Yeomen did not score again until Taylor threw for his final touchdown with three minutes left in the game. McConnell, who caught a five-yard pass for a touchdown, was humble when asked about his crunch time touchdown.

“[Taylor] threw a perfect ball to the back of the end zone,” McConnell wrote in an email to the Review. “I’m just happy I pulled it in for a touchdown.”

Head Coach Jay Anderson, who has been in the position for four years, believes both sides of the ball showed flashes, but their inconsistency was ultimately the deciding factor.

“We were able to stabilize ourselves, but a little too late,” Anderson said. “Offensively, we were consistent. I thought our offense did some good things. [Our] defense got off to a bad start in the first quarter, but we [were] playing fast and giving [the opposing team] a consistent effort of swarm tackling. It’s something that we practice and we preach.”

While the game against the Battling Bishops was the latest in a demoralizing six-game losing streak, Gleeson said that it was just a few plays that made the difference in the defeat.

“There really wasn’t one thing that tripped us up at any point throughout the game,” Gleeson wrote in an email to the Review. “With a game that close, it comes down to small missed opportunities throughout the game that add up in the end.”

The Yeomen will finish the season with a two-game home stand, the first of which will be against Hiram College tomorrow at 1 p.m.