Courtesy of Baldwin-Wallace Athletics
BEREA, Ohio - Baldwin-Wallace College returned two kickoffs and an interception for touchdowns as the Yellow Jacket football team defeated Ohio Athletic Conference rival Otterbein University, 35-34, today on Tressel Field at The George Finnie Stadium before 5,775 Homecoming fans in Berea in a wild game.
With the Yellow Jackets trailing 34-28, B-W went on an 8-play, 59-yard game-winning drive that was capped when junior running back Tim Miker (Parma/ Senior) scored on a 23-yard run to tie the score at 34-34. Then, following an Otterbein timeout, senior placekicker Brad Pollock (Brecksville/ Brecksville-Broadview Hts.) kicked the game-winning point for the win.
With its victory, B-W is now 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the OAC. The 5-0 start is B-W’s first since 2004. With its loss, Otterbein is now 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the OAC.
The Yellow Jackets led 7-0 after one quarter and 28-27 at halftime and Otterbein led 34-28 after three stanzas.
The Yellow Jackets opened the scoring at the 9:48 mark of the first quarter and took a 7-0 lead when O’Rourke threw a 20-yard TD pass to senior wide receiver Josh Oswald (Milan/ Edison) and Pollock made the PAT to cap a 4-play and 41-yard drive in 4:41.
Otterbein countered at the 14:57 mark of the second quarter when Cardinal senior RB Colton Coy scored on a 1-yard run to cap an 8-play and 49-yard drive in 3:36, but they missed the PAT kick and B-W led 7-6. The TD began a string of three scores in 30 seconds.
On the ensuing kickoff, B-W freshman defensive back Kevin Johnson (Garfield Heights/ Cleveland St. Ignatius) returned the ball 94 yards for a TD and tied Larry Mills’ Finnie Stadium record that was set in 1979 against Otterbein. Pollock’s PAT kick then gave B-W a 14-6 lead with 14:43 left in the half. For his efforts, Johnson received the Frank Roppolo Homecoming Game Player of the Game award.
Otterbein came right back when junior DB Dominic Jones returned the kickoff 81 yards for a TD and senior PK David Brewer’s PAT kick cut B-W’s lead to 14-13 with 14:27 left.
Otterbein then took its first lead of the contest at 20-14 with 10:47 left in the half when the Cardinals drove 54 yards in four plays in 2:02 when junior QB Austin Schlosser threw a 22-yard TD pass to junior tight end Gabe Shively and Brewer added the PAT.
Undaunted, Yellow Jacket freshman WR Josiah Holt (Elyria/ Grafton Midview) returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for the third kick return for a score of the game at the 10:34 mark. Pollock’s PAT kick gave B-W a 21-20 lead. Then, B-W increased its lead to 28-20 at the 7:43 mark when junior DB Matt Bowen (Tiffin/ Columbian) picked off a Schlosser pass and returned it 88 yards for TD. Pollock followed with his fourth straight successful PAT boot. Bowen’s return for TD was the second longest in Finnie Stadium history and it marked the second straight game that he returned an interception for a TD.
Otterbein closed to within 28-27 with 43 seconds left before halftime when Coy scored his second rushing TD of the game with a 14-yard run and Brewer kicked the PAT. The score capped a 4-play and 44-yard drive in 1:26.
In the third quarter, Otterbein retook the lead at 34-28 when Coy scored on his third TD run of the game, this one a 3-yarder with 9:19 left to cap a 6-play and 97-yard drive in 2:50.
Despite its loss, Otterbein dominated B-W in total offense, 356-206, including 251-106 through the air.
The Yellow Jackets were led offensively by Miker with 70 rushing yards in 10 attempts, including the game-tying TD, senior RB John McGraw (North Ridgeville) with 53 yards in 12 attempts and sophomore quarterback Ryan O’Rourke (Avon) who completed 9-of-18 passes for 103 yards and a TD. The defense was led by senior middle linebacker Ryan Kish (Amherst/ Steele), the reigning OAC Defensive Player of the Week, with nine tackles, three tackles for loss and one quarterback sack.
The Cardinals were led offensively by Schlosser who completed 17-of-30 passes for 251 yards with a TD and the interception by Bowen. Coy led Otterbein on the ground with a game-high 111 yards on 27 attempts with the three TD jaunts. Senior WR Steve Kuzyk led all receivers with five grabs for 36 yards. Dominic Jones led the Cards with a game-high 10 tackles and ran back the kick for a TD.
The Yellow Jackets are back in action next Saturday, Oct. 16 when they travel to Ada, Ohio to play 16th-ranked Ohio Northern University at Dials-Roberson Stadium at 1:30 p.m. Fans can listen to that game live on campus radio station WBWC, 88.3 FM, and via the WBWC Internet Web site at www.wbwc.com as well as watch that contest later that evening on SportsTime Ohio.
Fans and media are reminded that today’s B-W versus Otterbein game was taped and will be shown tonight on SportsTime Ohio at 10:00 p.m., on Oct. 11 at 12 noon and again on Oct. 12 at 5:00 a.m. Six of 10 Yellow Jacket games this season are being televised by STO.
The next B-W home game is on Saturday, Oct. 23 when B-W plays OAC foe Wilmington College at Finnie Stadium at 1:30 p.m. on Professor Appreciation Day. At halftime of that game, the College will honor its 1980 OAC-champion team that went undefeated during regular season and was the final team coached by the legendary Lee Tressel.