Wilmington College football coach Bryan Moore isn’t quite sure what he’ll get Saturday afternoon as the Fightin’ Quakers host Ohio Northern University at Townsend Field.
The 1:30 p.m. Ohio Athletic Conference game is the final game of the 2017 season in front of the Williams Stadium faithful on the WC campus. Wilmington will play at Marietta next Saturday.
“The last home game of the year is always an interesting game,” said Moore. “It is hard to predict what you will get from your seniors. There is a lot of distractions going on behind the scenes as we honor these seniors. If it becomes too big of a distraction, it can become a liability. If handled the right way, it can be a great motivator. Typically your seniors either play their best game of the year on senior day, or they try and do too much and end up playing their worst game.”
Wilmington is 2-6 overall and 1-6 in the conference.
“For me, I would love nothing more than to send these seniors out on senior day with a positive experience, something they can hold their head up high about,” Moore said. “They deserve that moment for what they have been through in their career here, and I want nothing more than for them to achieve that.”
Ohio Northern is 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the OAC.
“ONU has been a little up and down this year,” said Moore. “When they are playing to their potential, they have enough to compete with some of the best teams in the country. They have had to deal with some injuries lately and you can see that has hurt them the past couple weeks. So lucky for us, with them struggling the past two weeks, we will see a desperate ONU team trying to get back on track.”
The Polar Bears are 3-1 in road games this season.
“I don’t think their team speed is quite as good as Mount Union or Heidelberg, but they are big and physical with their front seven (on defense),” said Moore. “They bring pressure on nearly 50 percent of the snaps, and it will be a challenge to adjust to what they are trying to do. Their secondary is very good at disguising their coverages and their blitzes, so our receivers will be tested mentally throughout the game.”
Ohio Northern running back Christiaan Williams has 1,319 rushing yards this season, best in the conference.
“The coaching staff at ONU is very good,” the WC coach said. “They attack your weaknesses schematically about as well as anyone in the conference. Offensively, there is a lot of movement in their offensive sets. We will have to be very disciplined with our linebackers and their run-fits. They have the leading rusher in the OAC and he is capable of carrying the ball 40 times a game. He ran for over 400 yards in a game against Capital earlier in the year.”
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