Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Football Ends Four-Year Drought, Wins at Home

Photo courtesy of Bella Tifford
Jamykle Benison runs the ball.

The football team won in what was nothing but a sensational game after a two year losing streak. The victory marked  the first win at home on Bailey Field in nearly four years. The team beat the Concordia Chicago Cougars 37–35 on Saturday with stellar performances all around the field. The Yeomen won despite multiple obstacles, including adapting to their new head coach, John Pont.

“The team is adapting to Coach Pont’s new coaching staff very well,” fourth-year Jack Diskin said. “A handful of guys were able to work with him during last spring semester and get a kick-start on building chemistry with him.”

Diskin was one player who performed especially well in the game. He benefited from the outstanding performance of second-year quarterback Drew Nye, who threw 21 out of 33 pass completions for 231 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. He earned the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week award, establishing himself as a critical piece in the offense for the rest of this season. Along with a great game from Nye, third-year Evan Smith-Rooks hauled in eight receptions for 80 yards, and players like second-year Connor Steele, third-year Greg Lane, and Diskin caught key touchdown passes. 

Saturday’s win was the first at home in almost four years, with the last one on October 19, 2019 against the Hiram College Terriers. This has had a tremendous impact on the players — for upperclassmen players, it is their first home win, and the first win of any kind for first and second-year students. 

“Just winning this game was a big deal since we haven’t won a game in almost two years, which would’ve been my [second] year here at Oberlin,” Diskin said. “We worked hard for this one, and to see things come together is truly special. I’m really proud of the whole team for going out and battling on Saturday.”

For first-year students, like Jamykle Benison, it is a great way to start their football careers at Oberlin. Benison rushed for 47 yards and one touchdown in only five attempts, which certainly sets him up to be a star of the program in future seasons. He wasn’t the only one with an electric touchdown — Diskin had a great play, catching a 29-yard pass from Nye and following it up with a great pitch-and-catch touchdown, further cementing the Yeomen’s lead over the Cougars.

“It was a really special moment for me catching my first touchdown of the season in front of that crowd,” Diskin said. “Having the trust of my teammates and coaches to throw the ball my way means a lot, and it really speaks to the level of confidence we have in our offense.”

That confidence was also transmitted toward the stands, leaving the crowd buzzing with energy throughout the game. On the defensive side of the ball, third-year Brandon Hall made nine tackles and two tackles for losses, and second-year Solly Brennan grabbed a crucial end zone interception, which prevented a potential Cougars touchdown. Finally, second-year Hunter Green and fourth-year Jake Russell combined for four sacks and made seven stops each.

“The crowd energy this Saturday was the best I had ever seen here, and we definitely fed off that energy as a team,” Diskin said. “I hope to see more and more fans come to our home games this year to continue what we started on Saturday.”

With key players on the offense and the defense, outstanding performances by the incoming class, and a new coaching staff working hard, the team is headed in the right direction.

“The win was special for every member of our team,” Coach Pont said. “We played together, kept believing, and every piece of the team contributed to the victory. It was a great day for Oberlin football. I’m excited to see the continued growth and development of our team as the season progresses. We have formed strong bonds that I have no doubt will only grow stronger.”

Diskin believes the win will inspire the team throughout the rest of the season. 

“I truly do think this team can keep this momentum going and continue to win this season. This is one of the best Oberlin teams I’ve played on in my time here,” Diskin said. “With Coach Pont as our head coach, everyone feels way more confident to go out on Saturdays and play to the best of their ability. I’m really excited to see what more this team will accomplish this year, but I know for certain this season will be a special one.”

Catch the football game this Saturday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. at Bailey Field against Denison University.

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