South Euclid, Ohio – The University of Findlay football team faced a big time in-region road test on Saturday, Oct. 26 as they took on 2018 national semifinalist and current no. 6 ranked Notre Dame College Falcons. Down 14 at the half, the Oilers effort to come from behind fell just short as they would lose 24-19. With the loss, Findlay now has a 5-3 record on the year while the Falcons improve to 8-0 and will likely be the top ranked team in Super Region 1 when the first coaches' poll comes out this week.
The game began as well as the Oilers could hope when the Falcons, who returned the opening kickoff, would fumble their on their first offensive play. Findlay's Christopher Jefferson would return the fumble 56 yards to the Falcons' nine yard line. The Falcon defense stepped up and stopped the drive, forcing a field goal. Chris Demler nailed the 25 yarder to put Findlay aheada 3-0.
Notre Dame, which featured one of the top running backs in the country in sophomore Jaleel McLaughlign, a Harlon Hill finalist in his freshman season, answered with a field goal of their own on their first drive to tie the game.
Trailing 17-3 at the half, the Oilers wasted no time out of the locker room, driving the ball 60 yards on eight plays, capped with a Matt Winzeler touchdown pass to Jacob Brown to cut the Notre Dame lead to seven.
In the fourth, after punting the ball down two scores and six minutes on the clock, Findlay went on a 74 yard drive in just under two minutes and scored on a reverse to Marlin Richardson who threw a pass to quarterback Matt Winzeler for a touchdown.
With 44 seconds on the clock, the Oilers converted on the ensuing onside kick, but a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty put Findlay behind the chains to begin the drive. The Oilers managed a pair of positive plays, but a low snap again set the offense back, essentially ending the game.
Notre Dame outgained Findlay 437-to-350 including 230 yards on the ground, 166 of which were from their all-American tailback, McLaughlin.
The Oilers rushed for a season-low 120 yards and had 230 yards through the air.
Findlay was plagued by yellow flags, committing nine penalties for 110 yards.
Matt Winzeler completed 23-of-43 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown. It was also the fourth consecutive game that the junior QB did not throw an interception. Junior Ruben Flowers was Winzeler's favorite target. The Lima, Ohio native caught ten passes for 108 yards.
Findlay's all-American running back Brian Benson rushed the ball 21 times for 100 yards to lead the rushing attack.
Findlay stays on the road next Saturday as they travel to Lake Erie on Nov. 2. That game will kick off at noon.