Waters and Walton Lead Crusaders to Victory in Finale

Crusaders slotback Nick Waters (photo credit: Jeff Mills)
Crusaders slotback Nick Waters (photo credit: Jeff Mills)
MARIETTA, Ohio – Sophomore backs Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) and Nick Waters (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) had career days on the ground, leading the Capital Crusaders football team to a 56-42 win over Marietta College in its season finale.

For the third straight game, Capital (3-7 overall, 2-7 OAC) recorded more than 300 yards rushing as a team. This is also the second straight contest in which they recorded more than 375 yards.

Walton, a Pickerington, Ohio native, led the Crusaders with 179 yards on the ground and hit a milestone on an individual and program level. Following the conclusion of Saturday's game, Walton propelled himself over 1,000 yards rushing on the season, marking just the third Crusaders football player to do that in recorded history. He finishes the 2014 season with 1,130 yards, good for the second-most yards in a single season.

Walton also found the end zone twice, escalating his season total to 10 rushing touchdowns.

Waters stole the show by finding the end zone a total of four times over the course of the game. He registered 123 yards and three touchdowns on 10 rushes and also added a 25-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.

Capital's 56-point day serves as their best offensive output this season and second game scoring 50 points or more. The last time they achieved that was when they put up 54 against Earlham College in the season opener.

Freshman quarterback Nick Iske (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) got Capital on the board late in the first quarter in response to Marietta taking an early lead. After leading a drive that went a total of 62 yards, Iske capped it off with a touchdown run from one yard out to tie the game.

Marietta retaliated with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Akil Young to Tannon Roberts to retake the lead, but Waters finished another long Capital drive with a five-yard scoring run, finding the end zone for the first time and helping the Crusaders tie the game once again.

Young and Roberts connected once again, scoring on the first play from scrimmage on its next drive. The duo went 77 yards on Young's touchdown pass, but the two-point conversion failed.

Capital added its third straight scoring drive that spanned 60 yards or more when Walton scored on a six-yard run to finish off a nine-play, 65-yard drive with five minutes remaining in the first half. However Marietta scored the final touchdown of the second quarter and converted a two-point conversion to take a 28-21 lead into the locker room.

Capital's offense exploded in the third quarter, scoring on each of its first three drives to open the half. Brenden Doyle and Walton each scored on eight- and four-yard touchdown runs to help the Crusaders retake the lead, and then Waters  broke off a 29-yard scoring run to break the game open, 42-28.

Marietta made a valiant attempt at a comeback, scoring twice more before game's end, but they could do nothing more than keep pace with Capital's offense by that point.

Zak Sheridan (Zanesville, Ohio) received playing time, as promised, and went a perfect 4-for-4 through the air and tossed Capital's lone touchdown pass in the last two minutes of the game.

Doyle had a season-high eight touches on the ground, picking up 38 yards. A total of nine Crusaders touched the rock as part of the team's rushing attack that accumulated 388 yards.

Marietta's offense put up 475 yards of total offense, 370 of that through the passing game. Young finished going 19-of-28 through the air for 370 yards and three touchdowns.

Pioneers running back Nick O'Neil was held to just 86 yards but scored three touchdowns. Roberts made a total of five catches for 130 yards.

The win snaps the Crusaders' seven-game losing streak that had built up as the season progressed. They finish the year 3-7 overall and 2-7 in OAC play.