ADA, Ohio – The Capital University football team went toe-to-toe with the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears on Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium. Despite injuries at key positions, the Crusaders stuck with the Polar Bears for much of the game but ran out of gas at the end, falling by a score of 52-31.
Capital trailed by just three points coming out of the half, 24-21, but immediately retook the lead when sophomore B-back Isaiah Lyle (Youngstown, Ohio) broke off a 51-yard touchdown scamper on the second play of the third quarter.
Ohio Northern (4-2, 3-1 OAC) returned fire with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Will Freed to Logan Ray, but the Crusaders refused to go away. Following Eric Stroksi's interception, sophomore Jack Johns connected on a 39-yard field goal to tie the game, 31-31, but big plays by the Polar Bears prevented the Purple and White from ever regaining the advantage.
ONU wide receiver turned in his second 50-plus-yard scoring play to close out the third quarter, where the shift in momentum was felt. Price's 52-yard touchdown run came immediately after a three-and-out and a short punt gave Ohio Northern the ball back with eight seconds left in the quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Capital drove inside the red zone but a holding penalty brought the ball back outside of the 20-yard line. The Crusaders were unable to get any additional offense going and then had its field goal attempt blocked by ONU's A.J. Simpson.
Justin Magazine then broke off runs of 29, 24 and 14 yards on the next drive to put another touchdown on the board and put the game out of reach. Magazine finished the game with 152 rushing yards on 19 carries, plus two touchdowns.
Quarterback Will Freed led all offensive players with 274 total yards, 225 coming through the air and another 49 being achieved on the ground. He finished with three touchdowns, two passing and one rushing. Devon Price ended the game with 225 total yards, 151 in receiving yards.
Filling in for running back Brent Walton, Lyle had a career day by racking up 95 yards and his first collegiate touchdown on 10 carries. Quarterback Nick Iske reached a new career high in rushing yards with 131 on 20 carries, including a 48-yard run that setup Capital's first touchdown.
Senior Jake Breakey (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) also had a career day, taking in two touchdowns and 90 yards on 13 carries out of the slot. Senior Wally Brewer (London, Ohio/Grove City Christian) scored a touchdown for the second straight game, mixing in 56 yards on 13 carries.
In his first significant action, freshman B-back Jonny Easton (Wapakoneta, Ohio) picked up 53 yards on 10 carries.
Capital dominated the time of possession, 42:18 to ONU's 17:42, but gave up eight plays of 25 or more yards and two scoring plays of 50-plus yards to make up for the difference.
The Crusaders (2-4, 2-3 OAC) will bring their game back home next Saturday for a meeting with John Carroll University, who entered the weekend ranked No. 18 by D3Football.com. Capital and John Carroll (5-1, 4-1 OAC) will square off at 1:30 p.m. at Bernlohr Stadium.