Story and photo courtesy of Baldwin Wallace Athletics
ADA, Ohio – The 24th-ranked (American Football Coaches Association poll) Baldwin Wallace University football team withstood a late Ohio Northern University rally to defeat the Polar Bears, 22-20, today (Saturday, October 6, 2012) in a muddy Ohio Athletic Conference game at the Dial-Roberson Stadium.
With the Yellow Jackets clinging to a two-point lead following a two-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Tate Humphrey with 27 left, the Polar Bears had to go for a game-tying two-point conversion. With Yellow Jacket senior All-OAC defensive tackle Max Wagner (Mentor) and senior end Joe Fitch (Elyria/ Catholic) in hot pursuit, Humphrey's two-point conversion pass fell incomplete. BW recovered the ensuing on-side kick to seal the win.
The Polar Bears led 14-7 after one quarter, BW led 15-14 at halftime and 22-14 after three periods. With its victory, BW is now 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the OAC and has beaten ONU two straight times and now leads the all-time series, 26-11-1 overall. With its loss, Ohio Northern is now 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the OAC.
Offensively for BW, senior quarterback Ryan O'Rourke (Avon) accounted for two touchdowns as he was 15-of-26 passing for 140 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 24 yards on 12 carries with a TD. Sophomore running back Sebastian Zuluaga (Naples, Fla./ Gulf Coast) led the running attack with 79 yards on 18 carries. Junior All-OAC wide receiver Josiah Holt (Elyria/ Grafton Midview) caught a game-high nine of O'Rourke's 15 completions for 83 yards. The defense was led by junior middle linebacker Michael Stacchiotti (Girard) with nine tackles. He now has 25 tackles in BW's last two games.
Offensively for ONU, Humphrey was 12-of-25 passing for 156 yards with two TD's and an interception. Senior running back Carter Paul rushed for 85 yards on 18 carries. Junior wide receiver Ryan Malone led the receiving corps with three catches for 33 yards. Sophomore linebacker Steven Kenney led the defense with a game-high 15 tackles.
In the first quarter, Ohio Northern fumbled the first snap of the game and Fitch fell on the loose ball at the Polar Bear 16-yard line. The Yellow Jacket offense would capitalize on the turnover when Holt scored on a two-yard run to cap off a six-play and 16-yard drive at the 12:01 mark. Junior placekicker Chris Mohler (Kent/ Roosevelt) tacked on the extra-point to give BW a 7-0 lead.
ONU tied the game at 7-7 when senior WR Justin Wilson scored on a 19-yard TD pass from Humphrey at 5:47. Freshman PK Matt Chaney connected on the PAT kick to end the seven-play and 48-yard drive.
The Polar Bears took their only lead of the game at 14-7 when senior WR Frank Thien caught a 33-yard pass from Humphrey in the end zone. Chaney added the PAT to close out the six-play and 52-yard drive.
In the second quarter, the Yellow Jackets cut into the lead and made the score 14-9 when a bad snap by Ohio resulted in a safety at 3:36. After the Polar Bear free kick, BW would use a nine-play and 52-yard drive to retake the lead at 15-14 with 20 seconds left in the opening half as O'Rourke connected with senior tight end Aaron Manders (Toledo / Cardinal Stritch) on a six-yard pass play, but the two-point conversion failed.
In the third quarter, BW added to its lead at 22-17 when O'Rourke scored on a three-yard keeper with 58 seconds left in the period. Mohler tacked on the PAT to cap the six-play and 31-yard drive for the Jackets.
That set the stage for the Humphrey two-yard TD run that capped a 10-play and 60-yard drive, and then led to the failed two-point conversion pass.
The Yellow Jackets are back in action next Saturday, October 13 when they host Wilmington College for Homecoming at The George Finnie Stadium at 2:00 p.m. Fans can listen to all the action live on campus radio station WBWC 88.3 FM and via the internet at www.wbwc.com. The game also will be televised by SportsTime Ohio.