COLUMBUS, Ohio – One could not have scripted a better way to end the careers of seven young men than the outcome of Saturday afternoon's Capital University football game. Capital used a late fourth quarter scoring drive to force overtime, a strong offensive drive in the extra session and a big defensive stop to defend Bernlohr Stadium successfully, 28-21.
Capital (3-7, 3-6 OAC) found itself down by one touchdown and Marietta (2-8, 2-7OAC) had possession of the ball with 3:11 remaining in the game. With no timeouts remaining, the Crusader defense answered the call and forced a three-and-out to put the ball back in the offense's hands with 1:03 remaining and short field.
After a pair of incompletions, Nick Iske (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) connected with senior wide receiver Jake Skelton (Madison, Ohio) for 25 yards. Skelton jumped out of bounds to stop the clock and on the next play, Iske rolled out and found junior slot Nick Waters (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) dragging across the end zone open for the score. With Jack John's extra point, it left the game tied and forced overtime.
Marietta won the toss and elected to go on defense first. It took six plays to find the end zone but it was another senior, this time Jake Breakey (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) who took the rock in from four yards out to put the Crusaders up by a touchdown. On Marietta's following possession, Marietta quarterback Lucas Havens set up a third-and-three chance from the Capital 18-yard line. Roger Bush for two of those yards and Marietta was forced to go for the first down. Bush took the carry but was stuffed at the line by Nick Wright, Aaron Viscount and Derek Eibon in the middle inches short of the first down. The stop ended the game with Marietta's failure to score.
The Pioneers had a 14-7 lead heading into the half, marking Capital's first win after trailing at the midway point this season. The Crusaders responded to the Pioneer's first score when Iske hit a wide open Wally Brewer (London, Ohio) down the near-side sideline for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Capital's second touchdown came in its opening drive of the third quarter. The Crusaders bullied their way down the field with a strong run game before Iske and Skelton connected again on a fade route down the home sideline. Skelton climbed the ladder to catch the jump ball and was marked down at the one-yard line, good for a 36-yard reception. That play set up a one-yard touchdown run by Iske, tying the game at 14-14.
The Capital defense stood tall, allowing just 325 yards of total offense and only 35 yards through the air. Sophomore linebacker Derek Eibon (Amherst, Ohio) led Capital with 13 total tackles while teammate Jimmy Curtis (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) trailed close behind with 12 after making a move back to safety. Four players finished with 10 total tackles, including freshman safety J.R. Garrigo, who also had a key pass breakup to stall a Marietta drive.
On the offensive end, Iske finished with 118 yards passing and two touchdowns on 7-for-12 throwing. He also added 69 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.
The senior class came up big with two of Capital four touchdowns being scored by the class. Brewer and Breakey both scored out of the slot and combined for 45 total yards. Skelton finished his career with a three-catch, 68-yard day.
Adding to key statistical leaders was running back Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central). The junior finished the 2015 campaign with 123 yards on 21 carries against the Pioneers.
Capital finishes the year with an overall record of 3-7 overall, 3-6 against OAC competition.