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Football Team Drops Homecoming Game to Otterbein, 33-30

Football Team Drops Homecoming Game to Otterbein, 33-30
BEREA, Ohio –  Junior running back Austin Smith (Broadview Heights/North Royalton) ran for 107 yards and three touchdown, but the Baldwin Wallace University football team fell to Ohio Athletic Conference rival Otterbein University, 33-30, on Homecoming on Tressel Field inside The George Finnie Stadium before 1,850 fans.

The Yellow Jackets led 13-3 after one quarter, 23-10 at halftime and Otterbein led 26-23 after three periods. Otterbein (4-3 overall, 4-2 OAC) outgained BW (2-5 overall, 1-5 OAC OAC) 408-398.

Sophomore quarterback Jake Hudson (East Lake, Fla.) completed 23 or 39 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 60 yards in 11 attempts. The top receiver was freshman Da'Juan Glover (Elyria) who caught seven passes for 31 yards. The BW defense was led by junior linebacker Sam Groff (Waynesburg/Sandy Valley) with 10 tackles.  For his efforts, Austin Smith was named as the 2016 BW Homecoming Frank Roppolo Player of the Game.

For Otterbein, junior QB Logan Stepp completed 13 of 22 passes for 229 yards with two TD's. He also ran for 117 yards in 14 attempts. Also, junior RB Isaiah Richmond ran for 27 yards and two TD's. The receiving corps were led by junior wide receiver Julian Lowe who caught seven passes for 92 yards and a TD, and junior WR Peter Vanderkooi had three grabs for 96 yards and a score. On defense, junior end Kyle Blust had a team-high 10 tackles, including four tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.

In the first period, Otterbein grabbed a 3-0 lead when sophomore placekicker Joe Sanfillipo booted a 23-yard field goal to complete a 6-play and 71-yard drive. The key play in the drive was a 66-yard run by Stepp. BW came right back to make the score 6-3 at 5:50 when it drove 60 yards in eight plays. The Yellow Jackets scored when Smith ran into the end zone from seven yards away, but the PAT snap was fumbled and ensuing 2-point conversion failed.

BW increased its lead to 13-3 at 4:25 when Smith scored on a 15-yard run and then senior Academic All-OAC placekicker Joe Simonis (Hinckley/ \Medina Highland) kicked the PAT. The score was set up when junior outside linebacker Groff recovered a Cardinal fumble at the Otterbein 17-yard line.

In the second quarter, BW gained a 20-3 lead at 11:31 when Hudson passed five yards to senior WR Bryon Cook (Tallmadge) for his team-leading third TD reception and Simonis added the PAT. Undaunted Otterbein scored 18 second later and on the first play of its series when Stepp threw a 71-yard strike to junior WR Payton Vanderkooi and Sanfillipo kicked the PAT to make it 20-10 at 11:13.  BW built a 23-10 lead eight second before halftime when Simonis booted a 37-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Cards took the second half kickoff and sped 68 yards to the BW end zone to close the BW lead to 23-17 at 10:42. Junior RB Isaiah Richmond scored from 6 yards away and Sanfillipo added the PAT. Following a BW punt, Otterbein received a 44-yard field goal from Sanfilippo at 7:13 to make the score 23-20. The Cardinals took the lead at 27-23 at 2:33 when Stepp threw a 12-yard strike to Lowe following another BW punt, but the PAT kick was blocked by BW junior safety Trypp Washington (Orlando, Fla./First Academy).

In the fourth quarter, BW regained  30-26 lead at 14:39 the Smith tied a career-high with his third TD run of the game, an 8-yarder, and Simonis added the PAT. It completed an 8-play and 75-yard drive. Otterbein scored the winning TD on a 2-yard run by Richmond with 32 seconds left and Sanfilippo made the PT.

The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, October 29 when they travel to the Greater Columbus area and Bexley, Ohio to play the Capital University Crusaders at Bernlohr Stadium at 1:30 p.m. The next home game is on Saturday, November 12 versus Ohio Northern University at Finnie Stadium at 2 p.m.