Andrew Woodley -- Otterbein Sports Information
MARIETTA, Ohio – The Cardinals scored 40 unanswered points and forced six turnovers in their 40-20 win over Marietta College Saturday afternoon at Don Drumm Stadium.
Otterbein University improves to 7-2 overall, 6-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). Meanwhile, the Pioneers fall to 0-8 in league play, 0-9 overall.
The Cardinals defense forced six Marietta turnovers, including five interceptions, and finished with five sacks in the victory. Senior defensive back Anthony Korpieski led the defense with a pair of interceptions to give him 14-career interceptions. He is now the Otterbein all-time interceptions leader, breaking the record that was held by Micheaux Robinson (2000-04) and former head coach Joe Loth (1986-90).
Up front, junior defensive end, and reigning OAC Defensive Player of the Week, Zack Grieves led the defense with seven tackles and a sack.
Junior quarterback Ben Sizemore returned to the lineup and finished the afternoon with 189 yards passing and two touchdowns on 12-of-19 attempts.
Senior Trey Fairchild led the Otterbein receivers with seven catches for 138 yards (both season-highs) and a touchdown.
Turnovers plagued the Cardinals early in the game. On Otterbein's first possession, Sizemore was intercepted for a touchdown and a muffed reverse on their second possession led to Marietta taking a 13-0 lead with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
Otterbein responded with 40 unanswered points. Korpieski got things started with a 70-yard kickoff return to the Marietta 10-yard line and sophomore running back Joey Robertson punched it in from five yards out to narrow the Pioneer lead to seven.
After a 30-yard field goal by sophomore Nick Ganus narrowed the lead to four, Otterbein took their first lead of the game when Sizemore connected with Fairchild for a 44-yard touchdown to put the Cardinals on top 16-13 with 11:26 left in the second quarter.
Turnovers would then plague the Pioneers as they fumbled the ensuing kickoff at their own 32 yard line to set up a 5-yard touchdown rush by Sizemore, giving Otterbein a 23-13 lead with 8:59 left in the first half.
Otterbein used interceptions by Grieves, junior Alex Cameron, and Korpieski to set up the Cardinals next 17 points to put Otterbein up 40-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ganus, who kicked a career-long 43-yard field goal against Capital, tied his career-long in the second quarter to finish the day 2-for-2 on attempts.
The Cardinals will conclude the 2012 regular season next Saturday, Nov. 10, when they host Ohio Northern University (4-5, 4-4 OAC). Prior to kickoff at 1:30 Otterbein will honor their football seniors.