Lee Lukasevic's late field goal lifts Ohio Northern to 24-21 victory over John Carroll
ADA -- Junior Lee Lukasevic nailed a 29-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the game to lead Ohio Northern to a 24-21 victory over John Carroll on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium.
The Polar Bears improve to 4-3 overall and are 3-3 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Blue Streaks fall to 4-3, 4-2.
Northern built a 14-0 second quarter lead, then rallied with 10 straight points in the final 8:15 to grab its sixth consecutive win over JCU.
Sophomore Tyler Rue was stellar at quarterback for ONU, compleeting 22 of 26 passes for a career-high 273 yards and a TD.
Senior Seadrick Marshall ran 21 times for a career-high 92 yards and a TD and freshman linebacker Steven Kenny had 15 tackles in his first career start for Ohio Northern.
Rue hit junior Justin Wilson on a 35-yard touchdown pass with 8:15 left in the game to tie the score at 21-21.Wilson caught a pass over the middle and was sprung by a hard block by senior Andy Park.
The Polar Bear defense forced JCU into a three-and-out on its ensuing possession and Northern took over at its 26-yard line with 6:35 left in the game.
Marshall was the workhorse on the winning drive, carrying the ball eight times for 40 yards as ONU drove to the JCU 12-yard line, setting up Lukasevic's first career field goal.
"We had many players step up big today," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "This was probably the most complete of a game we have played this season. We were solid in all aspects and made plays when we needed to. John Carroll is a good, physical team and they ran the ball well on us at times, but we stepped up big in the fourth quarter and got the job done.
"We still need to finish drives better and be more successful on short yardage. But we've been working very hard as a team and we put together a solid effort today."
Northern took a 7-0 first period lead, marching 80 yards in eight plays. Junior Tate Humphrey scored on a 7-yard quarterback keeper out of the wildcat formation with 1:53 left in the opening period.
Marshall dove over from three yards out to put the Polar Bears ahead 14-0 with 11:29 left in the first half.
But the Blue Streaks would methodically pound away at Ohio Northern, with Domonic De La Riva scoring on touchdown runs of 2, 1 and 37 yards, to take a 21-14 lead with 12:00 left in the game.
His 2-yard run made it a 14-7 lead with 5:09 left in the first half and his 1-yard run tied the game at 14-14 with 6:48 left in the third period.
Northern drove into JCU territory on eight pf its nine possessions, but scored just four times, losing the ball on downs twice and having the clock running out at the end of each half.
Ohio Northern out-gained John Carroll 433-289 in total yardage and had a 273-80 advantage through the air.
De La Riva rushed 16 times for 107 yards and C.J. Seitzinger had a game-high 17 tackles to lead the Blue Streaks.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday in their final home game of the season with a 1:30 pm contest against Marietta.