WILMINGTON, Ohio – Muskingum University scored touchdowns on its first three drives and spoiled the Wilmington College football team’s Senior Day with a 27-13 Ohio Athletic Conference victory at Townsend Field Saturday afternoon.
Wilmington outgained Muskingum 390-357 and ran 81 plays compared to 58 for the Muskies. The visitors held the hosts to just 7-of-19 on third down and 2-of-5 on fourth-down attempts.
For Muskingum, Jordan Garrett finished 13-of-20 or 230 yards and two touchdowns through the air as well as running for 27 yards and two touchdowns. Carl Collins carried 18 times for 74 yards while Edmondson and Ja’Lin Goodman had the touchdown receptions for Muskingum.
Adam Dixon completed 20-of-38 for 206 yards and a touchdown with Itika Wynn Jr. and Ace Taylor hauling in a combined 14 passes. Ben Hobbs and Nehemiah Jenkins shared the rushing duties and combined for 140 yards.
Defensively, Austin Willforth and Tristan Howell had 11 and 10 tackles respectively for Muskingum while Joey Weikel and Lee each had nine for Wilmington.
The Quakers (3-6, 2-6 OAC) will conclude their 2022 season at Ohio Northern University next Saturday.
Wilmington received the opening kickoff and began the game’s first drive against the wind, which would play a factor the entire afternoon. An Adam Dixon-to-Jamaun Clark connection moved the chains once, but the Musky defense stood call, stopping Ace Taylor two yards short of the line to gain on 3rd-and-10.
The Quakers’ defense got pressure on Muskingum quarterback and program record holder for career passing yards Jordan Garrett on all three plays. The first results in an incomplete pass on a quarterback hurry from Xzerious Stinnett while on the second play, Quentin Davis got home on a corner blitz. Garrett was hurried once again on third-and-14, but he delivered a strike to Zuri Edmondson in stride. The wide receiver did the rest, out-running the Quaker secondary for a 73-yard touchdown.
Though the point-after attempt failed due to a bad snap, the Muskies marched right down the field on its second two possessions. In between Muskingum touchdown drives, Wilmington engineered a 19-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a Seth Best 21-yard field goal.
The third Musky touchdown drive of the half, capped by a Garrett two-yard run, made the score 20-3, but the Quakers answered with another field goal on a drive mainly on the ground courtesy of Ben Hobbs and Yvan Tientcheu. For the first time in the game, Wilmington’s defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession, but Best missed on a 41-yard field goal attempt wide left, and the hosts went into the locker room trailing 20-6.
Muskingum drove deep into Wilmington territory on the first drive of the second half, but Garrett was stripped at the two-yard line by Jake Sheriff and Zac Schmidt recovered. The Quakers gave the ball to Nehemiah Jenkins three straight times. On the third carry, Jenkins broke free and the play looked like a large gain, but Jenkins lost the handle and Muskingum recovered.
A nine-yard run touchdown run made it 27-6, a deficit Wilmington couldn’t climb out of. The Quakers, who would be stopped on fourth-and-short on their next two possessions, did score a touchdown when Dixon connected with Itika Wynn Jr. for a 25-yard score. The hosts then executed a perfect onside kick and got the ball back, but turned it over on downs.