WILMINGTON – Call it a tale of two halves.
The Wilmington College football team outscored Ohio Northern 33-7 in the second half Saturday but came up short by four points, 49-45, in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Williams Stadium. The Quakers trailed 42-12 at halftime.
The defeat drops the Quakers to 2-7 overall, 1-7 in the OAC. The Polar Bears are 6-3 overall, 5-3 in OAC action. The Quakers travel to Muskingum Saturday for the season finale.
“What an emotional roller-coaster type of game it was,” WC head coach Bryan Moore said. “We could not get it going in the first half, but came out fired up and really battled in that second half.
“That’s the mantra of this team. We may fall behind, but we’re gonna keep fighting and clawing and finding a way to make a game of it. We had some miscues which hurt us, like the blocked extra point, and had to go for two and could not convert. Still, I am proud of the way these guys keep fighting right to the very end.”
Moore is hopeful the second half momentum carries over into the season finale.
“What is important now is to keep our spirits high and hopefully we can get that OAC victory on the road at Muskingum,” said Moore. “I don’t think we have really arrived as a coaching staff until we secure that first conference victory on the road.
“It’s something which has not happened here for quite a while.”
In the loss, two departing seniors put up big numbers for the Quaker offense. Quarterback Luke Creditt had five touchdown passes, and completed 35 of 47 passes. Wide receiver P.J. Meyer set a school record by catching all five of Creditt’s scoring passes. In all, Meyer had 13 receptions for 208 yards.
Freshman receiver Ameer Jackson had 13 receptions for 100 yards.
WC scored on the opening drive of the game, getting to the Polar Bears’ 12 before the drive stalled. Kevin Shamp’s 21-yard field goal at the 12:12 mark put the Quakers up 3-0.
Polar Bears’ quarterback Anthony McFadden had a nifty 32-yard run to put ONU in the lead, 7-3 on the ensuing drive.
Wilmington got another Shamp field goal, this one from 24 yards to close the gap to 7-6 with 6:55 to play in the first.
ONU running back Christiaan Williams, who finished with 125 yards rushing, put the Polar Bears on top 14-6 with a nine-yard run.
The second quarter was dominated by the Polar Bears, who reeled off three touchdowns, while the WC tandem of Creditt and Meyer put WC on the scoreboard in the closing minute of the half.
The back-breaker came 38 seconds later as McFadden connected with wideout Caleb Saalfeld on a 16-yard TD reception with just 17 seconds remaining giving the Polar Bears a comfortable halftime margin of 42-12.
However, it was a different Quaker team in the second half of play. Everything started clicking for the home squad and the fans had plenty to cheer about. Eric Flynn scored on an 11-yard rushing touchdown, and Creditt connected with Meyer for a Touchdown as WC outscored ONU in the third quarter, 12-0.
That same tandem of Creditt and Meyer hooked up again on a pair of TD receptions as the Quakers steadily chipped away and pulled within three, 42-39.
ONU got its final touchdown-and its only points of the second half-with just under 5:00 remaining when McFadden hooked up with wide receiver Chad Rex for his third TD catch of the contest.
Wilmington’s final scoring play was Meyer’s fifth TD reception with 1:23 remaining.
As part of Senior Day, a total of 13 departing seniors were recognized prior to the game. Those honored included C. J. Thompson, Flynn, (Luke) Creditt, Nic Logic, David Henry, Lane Hacker, Darren Milligan, Sterling Clark, Lawrence Green. Meyer, Tim Murphy, Ryan Prince, and Terrance Narcisse-Murphy.
Nov 4 2017
Ohio Norther 49 Wilmington 46
WC-Shamp, 21-yd. field goal, 12:12.
ONU-McFadden, 32-yd. run. Watson PAT kick, 10:54.
WC-Shamp, 24-yd. field goal, 6:55.
ONU-Williams, 9-yd. run, 2:45.
ONU-Nolletti, 18-yd. pass from McFadden. Watson PAT kick, 14:23.
ONU-Rex, 35-yd. pass from McFadden. Watson PAT kick, 8:03.
ONU-Rex, 38-yd. pass from McFadden. Watson PAT kick, 4:48.
WC-Meyer, 13-yd. pass from Creditt. Shamp PAT blocked, 0:55.
ONU-Saalfeld, 16-yd. pass from McFadden. Watson PAT kick, 0:17.
WC-Flynn, 11-yard run. Two-point conversion failed, 9:21.
WC_Meyer, 24-yd. pass from Creditt. Two-point conversion failed, 3:41.
WC-Meyer, 5-yd. pass from Creditt. Pass to Voltz, 13:58.
WC-Meyer, 17-yd. pass from Creditt. Shamp PAT kick, 8:50.
ONU-Rex, 30-yd. pass from McFadden. Watson PAT kick, 4:52.
WC-Meyer, 10-yd. pass from Creditt. Shamp PAT blocked, 1:23.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet
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