Football Drops Heartbreaker to OWU

James Kriz

The football team entered its contest against the Ohio Wesleyan University Bishops outnumbered in sheer roster size this past Saturday, Nov. 5 in Delaware, Ohio. Despite the clear disadvantage, the Yeomen successfully overpowered and outplayed the Bishops for a 3¬–10 lead at the end of the first half. This lead would not be enough, however, as Yeomen offensive turnovers gave the Bishops the opportunity for a comeback, ultimately leaving the final score at 30–23 in favor of the opponent.

Scoring in the first half was initiated by a successful 28-yard field goal attempt from first-year Erickson Andrews. Andrews, who joined the roster after his varsity soccer season ended, impressed in his first-ever collegiate football game, ending the day with only one missed extra point attempt.

With 48 seconds left in the first quarter, junior quarterback Josh Mandel capped off a nine-play, 71-yard drive by connecting to senior wide receiver Dan Weintraub for a 10-yard touchdown pass. This put the Yeoman at a 0¬–10 lead entering into the second quarter. The Bishops concluded the scoring of the half with a field goal early in the second quarter, leaving the Yeomen up 3–10. The defensive effort was a huge part of the first half success for the Yeomen. The unit forced the Bishops to punt five times, while causing a turnover on the opposing team’s first drive.

The second half would prove much more difficult for the Yeomen. Mandel ended the first Yeomen drive by connecting with Weintraub again, this time for a 23-yard touchdown pass. The Yeomen proceeded to commit turnovers on the next three offensive drives, however, giving the Bishops opportunities to even the score, leaving the game tied at 16 entering the fourth quarter.

Mandel stepped up at the beginning of the fourth, taking advantage of the second Bishops fumble forced by the defense, hitting senior running back Drew Mixter for a 47-yard touchdown pass. The Yeomen offense had difficulty finding the end zone throughout the rest of the quarter, allowing the match to end at a 30–23 advantage for the Bishops.

Perhaps one of the more impressive performances of the day came from the defensive line, which helped force several fumbles and sacked the Bishops quarterback five times. Junior defensive lineman Clay Eaton was responsible for 2.5 sacks, while also forcing a fumble and registering eight tackles. When asked about what could be taken from the loss, sophomore defensive lineman Kirby Livingston commended the success of Eaton and his other teammates: “I thought the D-line played well, particularly in getting some pressure on the quarterback.”

The Yeomen play their final game of the season on Nov. 12 in Meadville, PA, against conference rival Allegheny College. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.