Yeomen End Season on a High Note
Meadville, Pa. – Oberlin College scored two second-half touchdowns and the defense came up big down the stretch allowing the Yeomen to come away with a 14-13 victory over Allegheny College in what was the season finale for both teams.
After six punts and a fumble on seven out of their first eight possessions, the Yeomen offense finally came alive in the third quarter. Trailing 13-0, Oberlin was able to get on the board with 8:21 left in the quarter as quarterback Josh Mandel capped off a 4-play, 43-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Robin Witjes. The drive, which was setup by a 33-yard kickoff return by Witjes, also featured a 17-yard pass play to Danny Enright. However, the point after was blocked so the Yeomen still trailed by seven, 13-6.
The momentum continued on the ensuing Gators' drive as Clay Eaton forced a fumble that was scooped up by Kirby Livingston at the Allegheny 26-yardline. The Yeomen would quickly capitalize on the great field position. Following a pass interference call, Mandel would connect with Adam Niec on an 11-yard scoring strike to make it a 13-12 game. Instead of electing to kick the point after, Head Jeff Ramsey kept the offense out on the field to try and take the lead with a two-point conversion. It proved to be the right decision as Mandel found Drew Mixter in the endzone to give Oberlin the lead.
On the Gators next possession they would miss a 39-yard field goal, but would end the quarter by intercepting Mandel.
To start the final period, it was déjà vu for Allegheny, as once again kicker Ryan Zipf would miss a field goal – this one from 37 yards out. The miscue was preceded by a 13—play, 55-yard drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock.
With the game still in the balance the two teams would trade punts on their next two possessions each. Oberlin would regain control with 4:08 to play and looking to add more points. However, after marching 57 yards on seven plays, Erickson Andrews hooked his 33-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Allegheny took over at its own 20-yardline with 1:45 to play, but after a nine-yard sack by Livingston, it was sophomore Zach Kisley who would come through with an interception to preserve the win for the Yeomen.
The victory snapped a six-game skid for the Yeomen, who end their season at 3-7 overall and 2-4 in the NCAC. It was also the first time Oberlin has beaten Allegheny since 2007.
Mandel finished 24-of-38 for 209 yards to go along with the two touchdowns and one INT. His top target on the day was Witjes, as he finished with 10 catches for 115 yards and a score. In the process, Mandel also set the single-season touchdowns record with 20 TD passes, overtaking Willie Martinez who had 19 TD tosses in 1974. Furthermore, the Plantation, Florida, native threw for 2,048 yards on the year which is good for fourth all-time.
Playing in his final game in the crimson and gold, senior Derrick Dennis had 12 tackles. Junior David Kalgren contributed with a 11 stops of his own.
Oberlin will now look ahead to its non-traditional spring season coming later in 2012.