WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Capital University football team came up just a few plays short Saturday in a 19-14 setback at cross-town rival Otterbein in an Ohio Athletic Conference game at Memorial Stadium.
The Crusaders (1-7 overall, 1-6 OAC) drove into Cardinals territory with under a minute to play and had a fourth-and-1 at the Otterbein 35-yard line. Freshman b-back Brent Walton's run up the middle was stopped just inches shy of a first down.
Capital rushed for 296 yards while holding the Cardinals (4-4, 4-3) to just 44 on the ground, while Otterbein passed for 315 yards compared to 32 for the Crusaders.
Each team was penalized for over 90 yards in the contest. Otterbein held the ball for more than 35 minutes in the affair to control time of possession.
Senior slot back Alex Coleman (Columbus, Ohio) paced the Capital rushing attack with 185 yards on just 12 carries for a 15.4-yard average, to go along with a touchdown. Walton posted 20 carries for 88 yards and a score.
Freshman linebacker Jordan Blair (Lebanon, Ohio) totaled 10 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, to lead the defense. The Crusaders registered four sacks, including 1.5 by junior defensive lineman Gene Rucker (Marion, Ohio). Senior defensive back Domenic Hebebrand (Hinckley, Ohio), junior linebacker TJ Langermeier (West Jefferson, Ohio) and junior defensive back Anthony Cicione (Akron, Ohio) tallied seven tackles each.
After Otterbein put the opening kick out of bounds to give the Crusaders the ball at their 35-yard line, Coleman took a pitch on the first play from scrimmage and ran untouched before diving over the pile-on to give Capital the early lead. Junior kicker/punter Joey Riley (Twinsburg, Ohio) made it 7-0 with 14:45 left in the first quarter with the point after.
After a Cardinals touchdown leveled the score, each defense held the opposing offense in check. The Crusaders twice held Otterbein scoreless in the red zone.
The Cardinals broke the tie with 6:26 to play in the first half, taking advantage of a botched pitch play by Capital deep in its own territory to take a 13-7 lead.
The teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter before Otterbein capped an eight-minute, 37-second drive with a field goal to make it 16-7 early in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Crusaders drove 68 yards in nine plays, converting a pair of third downs en route to a six-yard touchdown run by Walton to cut the deficit to 16-14 with 9:36 left in the contest.
After a Cardinals field goal, Capital took over with 3:20 on the clock and picked up a pair of third downs in driving 38 yards into Otterbein territory, but was unable to take the lead.
The Crusaders host Muskingum next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Bernlohr Stadium.