November 10, 2012

Blocked Kicks Propel Heidelberg to 35-34 Win Over BW

More news about: Heidelberg

TIFFIN, Ohio – Enough about the high-powered Heidelberg University offense, which will finish the season as one of the most potent in the nation. 

Enough about the resurgent 'Berg defense, among the nation's leaders in sacks, interceptions and points allowed. 

It's time to give some love to the Heidelberg's special teams.  After all, they just might have vaulted the Student Princes into the postseason for the first time since 1972.  

In the fourth quarter of the 35-34 win against Baldwin Wallace University, Heidelberg blocked an extra point and a would-be game-winning 35-yard field goal. 

On the game's final play, BW kicker Chris Mohler lined up for the kick on the right hash.  A low snap was handled by holder Andrew Dziak, but Quentin Rembert (Euclid) dove through the line and deflected the kick which came to rest in the end zone.  Heidelberg fans stormed the field in celebration

The win propelled Heidelberg to their first nine-win season since the historic 1972 Stagg Bowl Champion team. 

Whether Heidelberg's season will extend into the playoffs is up the NCAA Division III Football Selection Committee.  The Student Princes hope to be one of seven schools to receive an at-large berth into the 32-team tournament.  The tournament field will be announced on Sunday at 6 p.m. 

Lost in the excitement surrounding the games conclusion were several outstanding performances by Heidelberg's student-athletes.  Freshman running back Bryan Lacey (South Euclid/Benedictine), thrust into a starting role because of an injury to Cartel Brooks (Kokomo, IN/Galion), ran for 201 yards.  Senior linebacker Craig Sykes (Centerburg) led the Student Princes with a career-high 19 tackles. 

Heidelberg (9-1, 8-1 OAC) scored first, as a 5-yard rush by Dontez Smith (Avon Lake) capped a four-play 68-yard drive. Dan Kilger (Novi, MI) connected on the first of five extra points on the day to give Heidelberg a 7-0 lead. 

Two possessions later, Baldwin Wallace (7-3, 6-3 OAC) answered when Tyler Lohr had his own five-yard touchdown rush.  Mohler's extra point tied the game. 

Momentum quickly returned to the Heidelberg sideline.  Robert Gray (Cincinnati/North College Hill) returned the ensuing kickoff in to Yellow Jacket territory.  Two plays later, Heidelberg regained the lead on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Michael Mees (North Ridgeville) to Mario Escalante (Highland Hts., KY/Newport Central Catholic). 

Mees finished 13-for-25 passing for 193 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown. 

On the next BW possession, the Yellow Jackets used two unusual plays to tie the game at 14.  With the ball on the Heidelberg 48, tight end Josh Masters took a lateral from quarterback Ryan O'Rourke and launched it to a wide-open Aaron Manders, who was tackled at the five.  Three plays later, Lohr took a handoff from O'Rourke and completed a jump-throw touchdown pass to Masters in the back of the end zone. 

After an interception thrown by Heidelberg, BW took their first lead of the game when Nolan Sordyl punched it in from the one. 

Heidelberg answered when Mees scored his first of three touchdowns.  His first touchdown capped a seven-play 66-yard drive. 

Undeterred, the Yellow Jackets regained the lead when Sebastian Zuluaga broke a 31-yard touchdown rush on 3rd-and-1.  The Yellow Jackets would be penalized for excessive celebration on the play. 

Leading 28-21 with 0:42 seconds left in the first half, BW chose to squib the kickoff from their 20 due to the penalty on the touchdown.  Austin Bentz (Tiffin/Columbian) returned the bouncing ball back to the BW 48. 

Using a defensive pass interference penalty and a 20-yard completion to Donteea Dye (Fairfield), Heidelberg faced 1st-and-10 from the BW 13 with 0:27 in the half.  Following a timeout, Mees dropped back to pass, but wisely scrambled forward for a touchdown, faking several BW defenders on the way.

Tied at 28 in the third, both defenses stiffened and forced several punts.  Late in the third, BW's Tim Goebel intercepted his second pass of the game.  O'Rourke found the end zone on a two-yard rush to give Baldwin Wallace a 34-28 lead.  On the point after try, senior Stephen Fejedelem (Ravenna) batted down the kick. 

Trailing in the fourth quarter for only the second time all season, Heidelberg's offense responded with a seven-play 63-yard touchdown drive.  The drive, which featured a heavy dose of rushes by Lacey, was capped by Mees' third touchdown rush of the contest.  Kilger put Heidelberg on top 35-34 with the extra point.  

On the year, Kilger is a perfect 48-of-48 on extra points, a Heidelberg record for extra points in a single season.

Baldwin Wallace, trailing by a point, drove to the Heidelberg 19 yard line.  Faced with 4th-and-4, BW head coach John Snell elected to go for it, rather than attempt a 36-yard field goal.  O'Rourke's pass, intended for Gabe Adams, was broken up by Tim Littles (Swartz Creek, MI). 

With the ball and a one-point lead, Heidelberg's offense ate nearly four minutes off of the clock before being forced to punt.  The punt from Colin Bultinck (Lafayette, IN/Jefferson) was fair-caught by BW at their 13 yard line with 1:53 left to play. 

O'Rourke completed three straight passes, scrambled for seven, and then completed another pass to move the ball into Heidelberg territory. Following a face-mask penalty against Student Princes, Baldwin Wallace had the ball on the Heidelberg 18.  Sykes sacked O'Rourke on first down for a modest two-yard loss.  Zuluaga rushed ahead for a two-yard gain, which set up the field goal attempt that ended the game. 

"I'm proud of my team, with how we've stepped up this season and at the end of this game," said Sykes.  "We've built this program over the past four years and we made It through some strife." 

When head coach Mike Hallett took over the Heidelberg program, the team was on a 36-game losing streak.  Now, six years later, his team is on the cusp of the NCAA Playoffs. 

"I can think of nothing more fitting than seeing this group of guys, with the character and attitude they have, become the greatest of Heidelberg's teams," said Hallett, as he addressed a crowd of Heidelberg players and fans gathered in front of University Hall for the ringing of the victory bell.

Baldwin Wallace finished with 502 yards of total offense, compared to 451 for Heidelberg. 

Heidelberg set two offensive team records in the victory.  With 4,745 yards of total offense for the season, Heidelberg eclipsed the old record of 4,598 yards set in 2010.  On the final touchdown of the game, the 2012 team moved ahead of the 1949 squad for points in a season.  The 2012 club has 374 points, while the 1949 team had 368. 

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 31, at N.C. Wesleyan 28
Box Score
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Framingham State 29, at Fitchburg State 26
Box Score Recap
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
RPI 41, at Castleton State 13
Box Score
Final - 2OT
at Massachusetts Maritime 26, Maine Maritime 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Rochester 30, Gallaudet 2
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Husson 34, Alfred State 28
Box Score
Final
at Randolph-Macon 34, Sewanee 20
Box Score
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 20, Frostburg State 12
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Alfred 29, at Buffalo State 21
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Catholic 31, Newport News Apprentice 24
Box Score
Final
at Nichols 10, Becker 3
Box Score
Final
Wesleyan 22, at Middlebury 14
Box Score
Final
Bridgewater State 51, at Worcester State 27
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 24, Hamilton 17
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Amherst 14, Bates 6
Box Score Photos
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 32, Colby 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at William Paterson 36, Salve Regina 32
Box Score
Final
at Stevenson 20, Lebanon Valley 14
Box Score
Final
Allegheny 24, at Hiram 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Merchant Marine 34, SUNY-Maritime 17
Box Score
Final
at St. Vincent 23, Case Western Reserve 20
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 66, at Thiel 27
Box Score Recap
Final
Ursinus 31, at Franklin and Marshall 24
Box Score
Final
Endicott 41, at Kean 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 40, at Averett 17
Box Score
Final
at Widener 41, Albright 23
Final
Hobart 43, at Curry 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Greensboro 37, LaGrange 35
Box Score
Final
at Dickinson 29, Susquehanna 28
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Lawrence 31, Morrisville State 14
Box Score
Final
at Misericordia 35, FDU-Florham 0
Final
at Gettysburg 31, Juniata 17
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 27, Lincoln (Pa.) 14
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
Box Score
Final - OT
Bethany 21, at Westminster (Pa.) 14
Final
at Springfield 47, Mount Ida 16
Box Score
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Box Score
Final
at Norwich 10, WPI 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Iowa Wesleyan 13, at Minnesota-Morris 7
Box Score
Final
at Methodist 41, Huntingdon 34
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 37, at Baldwin Wallace 35
Box Score
Final
at Capital 34, Wilmington 21
Box Score
Final
Franklin 62, at Anderson 14
Box Score
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 48, Carnegie Mellon 30
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 43, Heidelberg 16
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Lycoming 28, King's 13
Final - 2OT
at Waynesburg 44, Geneva 38
Final
Mount Union 62, at Muskingum 6
Box Score
Final
Mount St. Joseph 24, at Defiance 21
Box Score
Final
at Manchester 55, Earlham 7
Box Score
Final
at Williams 36, Bowdoin 0
Box Score Photos
Final
Muhlenberg 59, at McDaniel 10
Box Score
Final
UW-Whitewater 48, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Otterbein 20, Marietta 0
Final
Hope 25, at Lakeland 22
Box Score
Final
Olivet 49, at Aurora 20
Box Score Recap
Final
Albion 57, at Concordia (Wis.) 20
Box Score
Final
at Washington U. 24, North Park 19
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wisconsin Lutheran 32, Kalamazoo 20
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 17, UW-Eau Claire 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 23, at St. John's 14
Box Score
Final
at Bethel 40, St. Olaf 0
Box Score
Final
Augsburg 42, at Carleton 14
Box Score
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 48, Hamline 19
Box Score
Final
Stetson 37, at Birmingham-Southern 19
Box Score
HALF
14 Trinity (Texas)
0 Sul Ross State
Preview Live Stats Audio
Final
at Austin 21, Occidental 12
Box Score Recap Recap
2:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
Live Stats Audio
Final
at Central 65, Maranatha Baptist 12
Final
at Luther 49, Grinnell 21
Box Score
Final
UW-Stevens Point 37, at Coe 21
Final
at Greenville 30, Eureka 27
Box Score
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 27, at MacMurray 21
Box Score
Final
Texas Lutheran 38, at Louisiana College 32
Final
at Simpson 13, Illinois Wesleyan 3
Box Score
Final
Trine 27, at Rockford 7
Box Score
Final
Rose-Hulman 48, at Hanover 42
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Western Connecticut 45, Plymouth State 7
Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 37, at Wayland Baptist 23
Box Score
Final
at Whittier 23, Lewis and Clark 10
Box Score
Final
Willamette 42, at Cal Lutheran 24
Box Score
Final
Alma 24, at Concordia-Chicago 21
Box Score
Final
Carroll 28, at Lake Forest 7
Box Score
Final
Whitworth 50, at La Verne 48
Box Score
Final
Westfield State 14, at Mass-Dartmouth 13
Box Score
Final
at St. Scholastica 48, Crown 14
Box Score
8:44 3rd
17 DePauw
20 Wittenberg
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
Halftime
23 St. John Fisher
0 Brockport State
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
UW-River Falls at South Dakota Mines
2nd - 10:51
14 Guilford
7 Southern Virginia
@ Salem Stadium
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video Video
7:00 PM
Wooster at Oberlin
Live Stats Video Audio
2nd - 04:29
7 Ferrum
21 Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2nd - 01:48
14 Centre
14 Washington and Lee
Live Stats Video Audio
11:22 2nd
3 Kenyon
14 Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Wilkes at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Loras at Augustana
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Pacific at Dubuque
Live Stats Video Audio
End 1Q
0 UW-Platteville
21 North Central (Ill.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2nd Quarter
10 Chicago
3 Elmhurst
Preview Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1st - 13:32
0 Adrian
0 Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Martin Luther at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Southwestern at East Texas Baptist
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Halftime
23 St. John Fisher
0 Brockport State
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
8:44 3rd
17 DePauw
20 Wittenberg
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
End 1Q
0 UW-Platteville
21 North Central (Ill.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Final
UW-Whitewater 48, at TCNJ 0
Final
Mount Union 62, at Muskingum 6
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 43, Heidelberg 16
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Lycoming 28, King's 13
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 66, at Thiel 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Box Score
Final
Hobart 43, at Curry 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 40, St. Olaf 0
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 17, UW-Eau Claire 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Simpson 13, Illinois Wesleyan 3
Box Score

What We're Reading