The Oilers annual Orange and Black spring football game will take place on Friday, April 21. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in Donnell Stadium and be free for the public to attend.
The Oilers finished last season with a 6-5 record and will be transitioning from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) to the Greater Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) next season. They have a solid core returning with seven players who earned all-conference accolades last season.
Offensively, Jason Moore, Andrew Alten, Chauncey Bridges and Rhys Gervais will return to lead the way. Defensively, Chiebuka Chukwuneke, Cyle Skidmore and Aaron Ivory will be back in the lineup after securing all-conference honors one season ago.
Moore is back after earning first team all-GLIAC, first team all-region from the Football Gazette and second team all-region honors by the D2CCA. The Oberlin, Ohio native finished near the top of the GLIAC in the major receiving categories including receptions (71 | 3rd), yards (1,115 | 3rd), yards per game (101.4 | 3rd), yards per catch (15.7 | 6th), and touchdowns (15 | 2nd). His 15 touchdown receptions during the 2016 season are a school record, passing the mark of 14 set in 1979 by Rick Hatfield. Moore also set a new school record for receiving yards in a season with 1,115 as he passed Lloyd Henry's 2014 season of 1,105 in the final game of the year against Michigan Tech.
Alten is back to lead the offensive line. Alten, who was named first team all-GLIAC in 2016, appeared and started in ten games this year for Findlay and was essential to the team's offensive success that, for the first time in school history, featured a quarterback with 2,500+ passing yards, a receiver with 1,000+ receiving yards, and a tailback with 1,000+ rushing yards in the same season. This year, the Oilers finished second in the league with 2,933 passing yards and seventh with 2,089 rushing yards, one of only five teams in the GLIAC with 2,000+ rushing yards and 2,500+ passing yards. At 456.5 yards per game, the Oilers offense was fourth-best in the league while the 45 touchdowns scored were sixth. Findlay was also one of just four teams in the league with 18+ rushing touchdowns and 25+ passing touchdowns. Findlay is one of two teams in the GLIAC to have had an offensive lineman on the first or second team in every season since 2009.
Bridges returns after earning second team all-conference honors and third team all-region accolades. Bridges finished second in the league with 218 carries, third with 1,229 yards, and third with 111.7 yards per game. He was one of only four running backs in the GLIAC to average more than 100 yards per game. Bridges and Daiquone Ford (2013) are the only two Findlay backs in the last ten years to have averaged 5.5 yards per carry in a season. Bridges led the team with 1,343 all-purpose yards.
Gervais finished the 2016 campaign with 2,835 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. He also set new single-season school record with 236 completions and 378 passing attempts. Gervais has thrown for a school record 6,188 yards and 60 touchdowns during the past two seasons.
Chukwuneke finished the year with 55 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception, and seven pass breakups. He was one of the keys to Findlay's defensive improvement in 2016. Findlay allowed 286 points, just the fourth time in the last ten years that the Oilers have allowed less than 300 points in a season. Rushing defense was also much improved as the Oilers defense held five opponents to 100 rushing yards or less this season, the most such games in a season under Rob Keys.
Skidmore was a force on the defensive line for Findlay and was often found making plays in the backfield. He finished third on the team with six tackles-for-loss, had one sack, and also picked up a fumble recovery.
Ivory made 35 tackles and forced a fumble in 2016. He also have five pass breakups and two interceptions.