The Oilers football team suffered a 35-33 loss at the hands of Northwood University on Saturday, Oct. 18 in Midland, Mich. The Oilers, who turned the ball over five times in the game, are now 4-3 on the season with a 3-3 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
The Oilers jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter on the strength of a 20-yard scoring scamper by freshman running back Chauncey Bridges and a 10-yard touchdown catch by red-shirt freshman tight end Anthony Federico. The lead was short-lived however as the Timberwolves scored two touchdowns in a matter of 64 seconds to tie the game at 14-14.
Tied at 14-14, Bridges once again crossed the goal line to give Findlay a 21-14 lead with only 32 seconds remaining in the opening half. The Timberwolves however used a few big plays to tie the game up at 21-21 when they scored a touchdown right before the first half ended.
After a scoreless third quarter, Northwood took their first lead of the game when Mark Morris found Dan Richmond for a 29-yard touchdown pass and catch. They then added to their lead with a 79-yard touchdown run by Damian Nicholson to give the Timberwolves a 35-21 lead with 8:27 remaining in the game.
Down 14, the Oilers marched straight down the field and picked up a touchdown when senior quarterback Verlon Reed found senior wide receiver Lloyd Henry for a 23-yard score. The Oilers however missed the extra point attempt and found themselves down 35-27 with just under seven minutes to play in the game.
Down eight points, Reed hit sophomore wide receiver Luke Hampton for a 52-yard touchdown pass. The Oilers were unable to convert the two-point attempt however, but cut the margin to two points at 35-33 with 2:31 remaining in the contest.
After a big stop by the defense, the Oilers got the ball back, but Reed threw his third interception of the game with only a minute left. Northwood then ran the clock out to win the game.
The Oilers out-gained the Timberwolves 501-398 as Reed completed 26-of-44 passing attempts for 344 yards and three scores.
Henry caught six balls for 93 yards and a score, leaving him three shy of breaking the school record for most career receptions. Henry has now caught 147 balls during his tenure with the team and is chasing the school record of 149, which was set by Seth White (2010-13).
Hampton made four receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown while Federico recorded a career-high eight catches for 76 yards and a score.
Bridges rushed the ball 16 times for 99 yards and two scores while sophomore receiver Dylan Blunk made five receptions for 69 yards in the game.
Senior linebacker Zach Matracia led the defense with ten tackles, which included 2.5 stops for a loss and a forced fumble.
The Oilers will be back at home next Saturday (Oct. 25) to host Grand Valley State University. The game is slated for a noon kickoff inside Donnell Stadium.