Oilers Football Hits the Road to Battle NMU

The University of Findlay football team will travel to Marquette, Mich. to take on Northern Michigan University in their second game of the 2013 season.  The contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. inside the Superior Dome.

Sights and Sounds

All Oilers football games can be heard on 88.3 FM "WLFC" or on the internet via their web site.

You can listen to the broadcast by clicking on the following link:

WLFC

The University of Findlay will also broadcast all of their home football games on the internet.  You can watch the games live by clicking on the following link:

Watch Live

UF athletics will also offer live stats for all home games. A link to this process can be retrieved by clicking on the live stats window located on the left side of the Oilers athletic website.

Live Stats

The Series

The Oilers currently trail 11-6 in the all-time series against Northern Michigan dating back to the 1954 campaign when the Wildcats were victorious by a score of 14-6.

Findlay came away with a 45-10 win over the Wildcats last year in Donnell Stadium as Clay Belton threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns.

Monterae Williams churned out 87 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, carrying the ball 23 times, while Seth White caught four passes for 85 yards.

Jaryd Brown hauled in four receptions for 73 yards and a score while Nathan Morris made three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Brandon Butler led the team with eight tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Head Coach Rob Keys

Head coach Rob Keys is currently in his third season at the helm of the Oilers football program and has his team off to a 1-0 start.

In his second season with the Oilers, Keys posted a 7-3 record with the same mark in GLIAC competition.  The Oilers showed improvement from their first season under Keys and saw six players earn either first or second team all-conference honors. 

Keys led the Oilers to a 6-5 record during his first season as head coach, which included a 6-4 mark in the GLIAC.  The win total marked a five-game improvement from the year before and included standout wins against Grand Valley State University and Wayne State University.

The Oilers, who had lost 11 straight to GVSU, claimed a 26-20 win on the road against the Lakers in the fourth week of the season and then defeated #22 Wayne State University on the road by a score of 43-42 in overtime to close the campaign.

Keys, who was hired as the head coach of the Oilers football program on December 16, 2010, previously served as the co-defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator for the Oilers from 2000-04.

In 2010, Keys served as the defensive backs coach at the University of New Hampshire. He helped coach the team to an 8-5 record in 2010 and a spot in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Playoffs. The Wildcats, who were ranked #10 in the nation, were then upended by the #5 University of Delaware Blue Hens 16-3 in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Before his time with the Wildcats, Keys spent four years as the special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach at Slippery Rock University (2006-10).

Prior to his work at Slippery Rock, Keys served one season as the safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Indiana State University (2005) after his five-year run at Findlay.

Keys also spent three seasons coaching at his alma mater, West Virginia University, coaching running backs, special teams, tight ends, tackles, quarterbacks and wide receivers.

As a player at West Virginia, Keys was a two-year letter winner and a 1995 team co-captain. He won the Mountaineer Club Award twice (1994-95), the highest honor a West Virginia player can receive. He was also given the Scott Shirley Award for the special teams MVP in 1995 and participated in the USF&G Sugar Bowl and Carquest Bowl during his tenure.

For Findlay's 2012 coaching staff, please click on the following link:

2013 Coaching Staff

The Oilers

The Oilers rocked Urbana last week by a score of 51-33 in their opener at Donnell Stadium.

Daiquone Ford racked up 172 yards rushing on 27 carries while Verlon Reed completed 22-of-28 passing attempts for 294 yards.

Lloyd Henry racked up seven catches for 97 yards while Seth White hauled in six passes for 115 yards. 

Jaryd Brown caught five passes for 56 yards for the Oilers as well while Kenny Klatt led the defense with ten tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.

Feraris Golden racked up nine tackles, an interception and three pass deflections.

For Findlay's 2013 season statistics, please click on the following link:

2013 Season Statistics

For Findlay's 2013 roster, please click on the following link:

2013 Roster

Northern Michigan Head Coach

The Wildcats are coached by Chris Ostrowsky, who is entering his second season at the helm of Northern Michigan's football program.

Ostrowsky also serves as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Wildcats, positions he coached with NMU as an assistant before being promoted last year.

Prior to NMU, he coached at NCAA Division I Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. for three seasons (2007-09).

Before Northeastern, Ostrowsky was the assistant head football coach at NCAA Division III Widener University in Chester, Pa. from 2005-07. He was the offensive coordinator in 2005 where his offense established 27 new school records. His squads were back-to-back South Atlantic ECAC Bowl Champions 2005-06. Before Widener he had a similar position at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. from 2002-04.

From 1997-01 Ostrowsky was the head football coach at East Side High School in Newark, N.J. He was named Newark Star Ledger High School Coach of the Year 1998.

The Wildcats

The Wildcats will be playing their first game of the season on Saturday against the Oilers.  They finished last season with a 4-7 record.

Cody Scepaniak returns to lead the Wildcats after throwing for 1,055 yards on 74-for-128 attempts last season and six touchdowns after starting the final five games. Ryan Morley, who is recovering from surgery, also brings experience to quarterback. Morley was 88-of-174 last season for 916 yards and three touchdowns.

Nick Krause will lead the defense after racking up 94 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks in 2012.

For Northern Michigan's 2012 season statistics, please click on the following link

2012 Season Statistics

For Northern Michigan's 2013 roster, please click on the following link:

2013 Roster

Record Catching

Senior wide receiver Seth White has made 118 career receptions for the Oilers, which ranks sixth all-time at Findlay.  He is currently tied with Andy Witker (2001-04) for sixth place and is chasing Jason Hamby (1995-98) for fifth place in the standings as Hamby racked up 127 catches during his tenure with the team.

White also ranks seventh with 1,496 career receiving yards and is chasing Dustin Zielaskiewicz for sixth place.  Zielaskiewicz accumulated 1,624 receiving yards during his career.

In addition, senior tight end Jaryd Brown ranks tenth all-time with 104 career receptions and eighth all-time with 1,330 career receiving yards.

He is chasing Ty Rhoad (2001-03) for ninth place on the all-time receptions list.  Rhoad caught 106 passes for the Oilers.

Returning for Records

Senior running back Demetrius Trapps is chasing several return records this season.  Trapps ranks third all-time at Findlay in kick returns with 57 attempts and third all-time in career kick return yardage at 1,251.

Steve Blackburn (1969-72) currently resides in second place in both categories at Findlay.  Blackburn registered 63 kick returns for 1,341 yards during his tenure with the program.

A Bolt of Lightning

Junior wide receiver Nathan Morris returned a kickoff 91-yards for a score against Urbana on Sept. 5 to mark the first time an Oilers player had accomplished the feat since the 1991 campaign.

Milan Smith was the last Oilers player to return a kick for a score and he did it from 92 yards out on Oct. 19, 1991 against Geneva College.

The school record for the longest kick return is 93 yards, accomplished by Adam Burdette against Wayne State during the 2000 campaign.

Morris was named the GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Oilers win over Urbana and averaged 58.0 yards per kick return.

The Swiss Army Knife

Senior Seth White does a little bit of everything for the Oilers football team.  On the year, White has made six receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.  He has also made 3-of-4 field goal attempts and connected on all four of point after attempts.  The Bexley, Ohio native is also averaging 33.0 yards per punt with two placed inside the 20-yard line.  For good measure, White has also recorded 33 passing yards and caught one two-point conversion on the year.

Getting After the QB

The Oilers racked up seven sacks in their win over Urbana.  The team got pressure on the quarterback from all over the field as senior linebacker Kenny Klatt, senior defensive back Ray Ballard, senior linebacker Trevor Smith, junior defensive lineman Kevin Brewton, sophomore defensive lineman Luke Fleming, junior defensive lineman Josh Lee and junior wide receiver/defensive back Nathan Morris all notched a sack in the game.

Toting the Rock

Sophomore running back Daiquone Ford made his presence felt in the Oilers win over Urbana last week after recording a career-high 27 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Special, Special Teams

The Oilers made a huge impact with their special teams play in their win over Urbana.  The team averaged 48.8 yards per kick return, connected on 3-of-4 field goal attempts and converted one two-point conversion.

Junior wide receiver Nathan Morris had the biggest play with a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but senior running back Demetrius Trapps also had a big return of 56 yards in the game.

Senior wide receiver Seth White drilled three field goal attempts, kicked four point after attempts and caught a two-point conversion from junior quarterback Verlon Reed in the victory.

Not too Shabby

Junior quarterback Verlon Reed connected on 22-of-28 passing attempts for 294 yards and two scores in his first game with the Oilers.  Reed, a transfer from Ohio State, has not played quarterback since high school when he was the signal caller for Marion-Franklin.

The Columbus, Ohio native spread the ball around to four different receivers and showed his big play ability with a 62-yard pass to senior wide receiver Seth White.

Reed also showed the receiver ability he flashed with the Buckeyes by making a 33-yard catch from White during the game.

Forcing Turnovers

The Oilers forced five turnovers in their 51-33 win against Urbana by recovering three fumbles to go along with two interceptions.

Sophomore defensive back Zack Washington, red-shirt freshman linebacker Brad Fenton and junior wide receiver/defensive back Nathan Morris all recovered a fumble in the game.

Senior defensive back Ray Ballard and junior defensive back Feraris Golden each came away with interceptions.  Golden took his pick back 36 yards for a touchdown as well.

Racking up the Points

The Oilers scored 51 points in their win over Urbana last Thursday.  Under head coach Rob Keys, the Oilers have hung 50 or more points on an opponent twice now.  They also accomplished the feat in a 50-27 victory against Tiffin in 2011.

The team has scored over 40 points in a game seven times since Keys took over control of the program in 2011.

A Nose for the Ball

Senior defensive back Ray Ballard has recovered five fumbles during his career with the Oilers, the most a Findlay player has pounced on since Joe Knopick scooped up seven from 2006-09.

Fast Starts

The Oilers have won their opening game in 10 out of their past 12 seasons beginning in 2002 when the Oilers defeated Indiana University (PA) 37-34.  The Oilers then won eight straight openers followed by a two-year skid of losing their first game, which ended last year with a 45-10 win at home over Northern Michigan University.  They came away with a 51-33 win over Urbana this season as well.

Captains

Senior tight end Jaryd Brown, senior offensive lineman Justin Music, senior Seth White and senior Jamon McClain were voted as captains for the Oilers football team in 2013.

Dominating Non-Conference Games

The Oilers are currently 9-3 in non-conference games since entering the GLIAC during the 1998 season.  Findlay has also won nine out of their last 11 games against non-conference opponents dating back to the 2002 campaign.

GLIAC Preseason Poll

The Oilers were picked to finish third in the GLIAC South Division this year, receiving 69 total points and one first place vote in the annual coaches poll.

The Oilers finished the 2012 campaign with a 7-3 record, which was good for a tie for second place with Ohio Dominican in the South Division.

Preseason All-American Honors

Senior defensive back Ray Ballard was voted a 2013 preseason NCAA Division II All-American by USA College Football.

Ballard, a second team all-conference performer last year for the Oilers, was tabbed a first team All-American by the organization.

Senior wide receiver Seth White also earned praise from the organization and was tabbed a preseason honorable mention selection.

Preseason All-Ohio

Ohio College Football released their annual preseason All-Ohio teams on Aug. 6 and four Oilers were tabbed first team.

Senior wide receiver Seth White, senior tight end Jaryd Brown and senior offensive lineman Justin Music all earned first team honors on offense while senior defensive back Ray Ballard captured first team honors on the defensive side of the ball.

White, who earned preseason honorable mention All-American accolades by USA College Football, has played a variety of roles during his career with the Oilers.  Last season White led the team with 698 receiving yards and five touchdowns.  He caught 48 passes on the year, averaged 36.5 yards per punt and connected on all 30 of his extra point attempts while drilling four field goals as well.

Brown earned honorable mention all-conference honors last year as a junior when he led the team with 50 receptions.  He racked up 646 receiving yards, caught five touchdown passes and ran for another while averaging 64.6 yards per game.

Music has been a mainstay on the offensive line with 30 starts in his career at both tackle and guard.  He has been named honorable mention all-conference in each of the past two years as well.

Ballard, a preseason first team All-American selection by USA College Football, earned second team all-conference accolades as a junior.  He racked up 47 tackles and also registered five tackles for a loss and four sacks from his safety position in 2012.  The Columbus, Ohio native also forced three fumbles and recovered three fumbles as well.

Links

For complete NCAA Division II football statistics, please click on the following link:

D II Stats

For information about the American Football Coaches Association, please click on the following link:

AFCA

For more information about NCAA Division II football, please click on the following link:

D2 Football

For more information on the GLIAC, please click on the following link:

GLIAC