Polar Bears defeat Quakers 35-22

ADA, Ohio – Ohio Northern University (ONU) avenged a defeat at the hands of the Wilmington College football team in 2019 with a 35-22 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) victory on Friday evening.

The Polar Bears were able to overcome a 4-1 turnover deficit and struck first on a 42-yard quarterback keeper from Brody Hahn for the only score of the first quarter. Wilmington would get one of those four turnovers as Jake Sheriff recovered a fumble, but the Quakers were forced to punt. As the second quarter opened, Hahn continued to move the chains with his feet and capped off another touchdown drive with a 16-yard strike to Chase Rose.

Trailing 14-0, Wilmington went to Malik Sims six times on the ensuing drive. Kyle Barrett connected with Itika Wynn Jr. to move the chains on 4th-and-14, but the drive stalled. Gabe Dolen got the visitors on the scoreboard with a 29-yard field goal, but ONU struck for another touchdown in two plays to take a 21-3 lead into halftime.

The Polar Bears would add two more touchdowns in the third quarter to open up a 35-3 lead, but the Quakers would make things interesting. It started with a 14-play, 75-yard drive to end the quarter, and after Xzerious Stinnett setup his offense with an interception, Barrett found Wynn Jr. for a 19-yard score with 6:01 to play.

Trailing 35-16, the Wilmington defense came up with a three-and-out, and Barrett connected with Xavier Fuller for a 16-yard touchdown with 3:46 to play. The two-point conversion failed, but Wilmington executed an onside kick perfectly to get the ball back. This time, however, ONU came up with the stop to seal the win.

ONU finished with 406 yards of offense, 316 of which was gained by Hahn both through the air and on the ground. Wilmington had 354 total yards which included a 23-of-49 performance from Barrett through the air. Hahn finished 14-of-23 for four touchdowns through the air and joined Brock Martin with over 70 yards on the ground. Austin Eick led all receivers with 125 yards and a touchdown while Wynn Jr. hauled in eight passes for 96 yards and one score.

Defensively, Tavion Bryant led Wilmington with 10 tackles including one for loss while a trio of Quakers – Bryant, Tre’Quez Parks and Brandon Weaver – all forced fumbles. Nichal Johnson and Peyton Wilson had 10 tackles each for ONU while Johnson was joined by Jarrett Sitton and Josh Bever in having two or more sacks.

Wilmington (2-2) has a bye week next week and will play in the OAC Crossover game on April 16.