Yeomen Fall Despite Late-Game Surge

Darren Zaslau, Staff Writer

The Yeomen ended their campaign against Ohio Wesleyan University in a fury last Saturday, as senior quarterback Lucas Poggiali capped off the late game surge with a sly diagonal slip to first-year wide receiver Robby Reinheimer in the final 10 seconds of the game. But for all their final efforts and the Yeomen offense’s best performance of the season, the Yeomen still fell to their opponents 55–42.

The Yeomen started the game meekly, granting the Battling Bishops complete control of their home field and surrendering 27 points in the first quarter.

OWU running back Jesse Beachy rushed for a 40-yard touchdown on the Battling Bishop’s first drive of the game, followed by a pair of 37-yard touchdown passes from OWU quarterback Dominick Orsini and a punt return for a touchdown.

At halftime the Yeomen trailed by four possessions and the Battling Bishops took a 41–12 lead into the locker room.

Head Coach Jay Anderson said he believes the Yeomen must start each game as strongly as they ended against Ohio Wesleyan in order see success in the remainder of the season.

“We were just inconsistent,” Anderson said. “We gave up too many big plays.”

Moving into the second half, the Yeomen were down but not out. Oberlin’s defense quieted the OWU offense, only surrendering 14 total points and opening up channels left and right for Oberlin’s offensive line to close the point differential.

Responding to an offensive thrust from the Battling Bishops, Poggiali tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Reinheimer. At this point the Yeomen trailed 48-26 but were not done.

Poggiali found Clemons in the end zone once again, this time from 10 yards away as Oberlin trailed by just two possessions, 48-34. Poggiali’s 10-yard connection with Reinheimer capped the game’s scoring for the night.

Having completed a season-high 27 out of 44 passes for 342 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, Poggiali was happy with the overall flow of the offense and the protection he received from his teammates.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the offensive line. They didn’t give up a sack for the whole game,” he said.

The Yeomen racked up a season high of 431 total yards to OWU’s 315. But for the Oberlin defense, the end result was not what the Yeomen had in mind on their bus ride down to Delaware, Ohio, Saturday afternoon. The Yeomen were able to hold OWU to just 14 points in the second half, but by that point, the game was nearly out of reach.

Senior defensive back Gabe Edwards served as Oberlin’s castle wall, leading the team with eight tackles, five of which were solo. Edwards, who was an All-North Coast Athletic Conference Honorable Mention last season, said the defense can’t afford to let their warm-up continue into game time.

“We just need to get off the bus,” Edwards said. “We have to show up ready to go.”

Along with Edwards, sophomore defensive back Bennett Jackson played his part as a key element of the Yeomen defense. Jackson added three tackles along with the Oberlin defense’s lone interception of the game.

Junior linebacker Justin Bute commented on presence of younger players on the defense and the important roles they have on the team.

“A lot of young guys have stepped up in the roles that they have been given, and they are embracing that,” he said.

On average, the Yeomen defense gives up 42 points per game, making it tied for the most forgiving backline in the North Coast Athletic Conference. Coach Anderson believes the defense must play sound football on all sides to win.

“We have to play the right brand of football,” Anderson said. “It’s not about who we play but how we play.”

The Yeomen must find a way to move on from this loss, moving them to 1–3 overall and 1–2 NCAC, as they have an important weekend in store for them. Saturday, Oct. 3 marks the beginning of Homecoming Weekend, as Oberlin hosts Allegheny College in a weighty conference showdown. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.