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Football Team Loses at Marietta, 62-56

Football Team Loses at Marietta, 62-56
BEREA, Ohio –  Sophomore quarterback Jake Hudson (East Lake, Fla./ East Lake) accounted for 287 total yards and four touchdowns in his first career start, but the Baldwin Wallace University football team lost at Marietta College, 62-56, in an Ohio Athletic Conference game along the Ohio river.

The Yellow Jackets led 14-13 after one quarter, it was tied 35-35 at halftime and 49-49 after three periods. The Pioneers (1-3 overall, 1-2 OAC) outgunned the Yellow Jackets (1-3, 0-3 OAC) 624-446, including 364-197 through the air.

Hudson completed 15 of 25 passes for 157 yards with two TD's and one interception, ran for 103 yards in 14 attempts with a TD and caught a scoring pass on a 27-yard aerial from senior wide receiver Tommy Fuller (Lakewood). Also in the running game, junior Austin Smith (Broadview Heights/ North Royalton) ran for 94 yards in 18 attempts with two TD's. The top receiver was senior WR Mike Waggoner (Stow/ Stow-Munroe Falls) with four catches for 46 yards. The BW defense was led by senior middle linebacker Brian Stepp (North Royalton) with a career-high-tying 14 tackles (second straight week).

For Marietta, sophomore Darrien Fields completed 27 of 35 passes for 364 yards with five TD's and one interception. He also scored the game-winning TD on a 17-yard scramble with 33 seconds left in the game. The running game was led by the duo of freshman Tanner Clark, who accounted for 323 yards and three TD's. He ran for a game-high 122 yards in 14 attempts with three TD's and had 201 kick return. Sophomore Roger Walker, who ran for 113 yards in 17 attempts and caught four passes for 39 yards and a score. The receiving corps were led junior WR Andrew Barker who caught a game-high eight passes for 123 yards and a TD. On defense, senior safety Corey Huntsberger had eight tackles.

In the first period, MC gained a 6-0 advantage when freshman running back Tanner Clark ran three yards to the end zone for a TD but the point-after-touchdown snap was bobbled. Clark set up the score when he returned the opening kickoff 63 yards to the BW 34 yard line. BW came right back to take a 7-6 advantage when it drove 70 yards in eight plays, including 61 on the ground. The scoring play occurred when starting outside linebacker Sam Groff (Waynesburg/ Sandy Valley) lined up in the wildcat formation and scored from one yard away. Senior Academic All-OAC placekicker Joe Simonis added the PAT boot.

BW gained a 14-6 lead when Smith dashed two yards to the end zone at 5:37 and Simonis added the PAT to complete a five-play and 47-yard drive. The score was set up when senior All-OAC free safety Brock Hull (Youngstown/ Boardman) intercepted his second pass of the season. The Pioneers returned the fire and drove 77 yards in six plays and closed to 14-13 when Fields threw 23 yards to junior WR Andrew Barker for the TD and sophomore PK Jimmy Embrescia added the PAT at 2:46. The quarter ended when Marietta fumbled and BW junior cornerback Howard Dover (Akron/ Firestone) recovered at the MC 27 yard line.

In the second quarter, The Yellow Jackets opened with some trickery when senior WR Tommy Fuller (Lakewood) took a handoff and threw the ball all the way across the field to the QB, Hudson, for a 27-yard scoring play at 14:52. Simons added his third PAT kick. Marietta closed the gap to 21-20 when Clark ran 48 yards for a TD at 11:37 and on the first play after a BW punt. Embrescia added the PAT.

BW extended its lead to 28-20 at 4:59 when Smith ran eight yards for a TD on an option play and Simonis added his fourth PAT kick. The score completed a 14-play and 94-yard drive in 6:38. Clark put the Pioneers in position to tie at 28-26 when he ran 22 yards for a TD at 2:20. Marietta tied the game at 28-28 when Fields threw to Walker for the two-point conversion. BW moved back in front at 35-28 at 2:08 when sophomore speedster Jordan Leverette (Cleveland/ John Adams), who was fourth at the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 200-meter dash, returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards to pay dirt. Simonis' fifth PAT boot was true. The Pioneers tied the game again at 35-35 at 31 seconds when Fields threw 28 yards to junior WR Alex Smith and Embrescia converted his fourth PAT.

In the third quarter, BW regained the lead at 42-35 at 10:15 when Hudson sped 13 yards to the end zone and Simonis added his sixth PAT kick to complete a 9-play and 70-yard drive.  Again Marietta tied it at 42-42 at 7:54 when Fields threw a 9-yard scoring strike to freshman WR Ryan VanMeter and Embrescia kicked the PAT to complete a 7-play and 75-yard jaunt.  Undaunted, Hudson took BW on a 10-play and 73-yard drive and threw a "return-the-favor" 16-yard TD pass to Fuller at 4:08 and Simonis added the PAT for a 49-42 lead. Two plays later, the Pioneers tied it at 49-49 at 3:22 when Fields threw a 55-yard "stop-and-go" pass and run to VanMeter and Ebrescia added another PAT kick.

In the fourth quarter, BW gained a 56-49 lead at 12:20 when Hudson tossed a 9-yard TD pass to sophomore WR Ty Gallo (Brooklyn Heights/ Cuyahoga Hts). The score followed a fumble recovery by BW at the MC 11-yard line. Marietta tied it again at 56-56 with 9:21 left when Fields threw a 7-yard scoring swing pass to Walker and Embrescia kicked his sixth PAT. Following a BW punt, just its third of the game (Marietta punted once), the Pioneers moved meticulously downfield and scored the winning TD when Fields scrambled and found the end zone. But MC again fumbled its PAT attempt, and BW had one more chance to win.
The Yellow Jackets moved to its own 42 yard line.  A last-chance desperation pass was intercepted to end the game.

The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, October 8 when they travel to Wilmington, Ohio to play the Wilmington College Quakers at Williams Stadium at 2 p.m. The next home game is on Saturday, Oct. 15 versus Muskingum University at Finnie Stadium at 1:30 p.m.