Section: Football

Lords football surrenders late lead against Ohio Wesleyan

The Lords’ football team dropped to 0-5 on Saturday, losing a heartbreaker against Ohio Wesleyan University 23-21.

As they have now done three times, the Lords opened the scoring on a Nat Henry ’20 touchdown run, taking a 7-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. After exchanging touchdowns throughout the rest of the half, including the first of two Ian Robertson ’19 touchdowns, the Lords found themselves tied 14-14 at halftime, searching for their first win of 2017. 

After forcing the Bishops to a three-and-out to start the second half, the Lords scored a touchdown on one of their wackiest plays of the season. Quarterback Thomas Merkle ’20 slung a nine yard pass to wide receiver Justin Bosch ’21. He proceeded to fumble the ball at the 31-yard line, which was picked up by Robertson, who took the ball all the way to the end zone giving the Lords a 21-14 lead.

The Lords special teams jumps to block a field goal by the Ohio Welseyan kicker. Kenyon was defeated by less than three points.

However, with the lead shortened to 21-17, the Bishops were able to get the ball with eight minutes to go in the game and drove 85 yards in four-and-a-half minutes to score a go-ahead touchdown with 3:28 remaining.

During the next drive, Kenyon stalled out and then the defense had a costly offside penalty, which allowed the Bishops to kneel out the clock.

The Lords football coaching staff had to make a key decision that affected the outcome of the game. With eight minutes left in the 4th quarter and a 21-17 lead, the Lords had the ball on the Bishop 15 yard line on 4th down & 1. The coaching staff had a choice to send out the offense to go for the first down, or to send out kicker Ryan Cooper ’20 to attempt the 32-yard field goal that would put the Lords up by seven. So far this season, Cooper has been 2-2 on field goal attempts and 7-7 on extra point attempts with a 35- yard field goal as his personal best.

Instead, the Lords went for a first down, and Nat Henry was stuffed by the Bishops defensive line, giving the ball back to OWU for them to drive down the field to take a 23-21 lead.

An added 3 points for the Lords would have left them with a 24-23 lead after a Bishop touchdown with a missed extra point, but instead their play put the Lords behind the eight-ball as they were forced to drive the field to try to score a field goal they could have taken five minutes prior.

The Lords’ next game will be at home against a solid Hiram College team, who defeated the Lords 45-7 in 2016.

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