Baldwin Wallace ended its season by falling to No. 13 Heidelberg University, 35-34, in an Ohio Athletic Conference game at Mayer Field. BW had a chance to win the game as time expired but the 35-yard go-ahead field goal was blocked.
With the loss, the Yellow Jackets closed out the season with a record of 7-3 overall and 6-3 in the OAC. The Student Princes improved to 9-1 overall and 8-1 in the OAC and will now wait to see if they receive at-large bid in the NCAA Division III playoffs set to begin on Saturday, November 17.
Offensively, BW used seven ball carriers and had game-highs of 59 carries and 292 yards. Sophomore running back Sebastian Zuluaga (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) led the way with a career-high 133 yards on a career-best 22 carries with one touchdown. Junior All-OAC wide receiver Josiah Holt (Elyria/Grafton Midview) carried the ball a career-high 15 times for a career-best 111 yards and led the receiving corps with three catches for 35 yards. Senior Capital One Academic All-District 7 quarterback Ryan O'Rourke (Avon) completed 11-of-18 passes for 165 yards and he carried the ball eight times for 17 yards with a touchdown. The defense was led by junior defensive back Zach Barley (Hudson) with eight tackles while seniors Brandon Russo(Olmsted Falls) and Tom Goebel (Parma/Padua Franciscan) along with junior David Flegal (Akron/Revere) all added seven tackles. Goebelalso recorded two interceptions.
Offensively for Heidelberg, sophomore quarterback Michael Mees accounted for four touchdowns as he rushed for three and passed for one. Mees had 29 yards on six carries and completed 13-of-25 passes for 193 yards. In addition, freshman running back Bryan Lacey carried the ball 29 times for a game-high 201 yards. Senior wide receiver C.J.. Powell led the receiving corps with six catches for 85 yards. The defense was led by linebacker Craig Sykes with 19 tackles, including 16 solos.
In the first quarter, the Student Princes opened the scoring at 7-0 when freshman running back Dontez Smith scored on a five-yard run at the 7:00 minute mark. Placekicker Dan Kilger added the extra-point to cap off a four-play and 68-yard scoring drive.
After a Heidelberg punt, the Yellow Jackets tied the game at 7-7 when senior running back Tyler Lohr (Kent/Roosevelt) answered with a five-yard touchdown run of his own and junior placekicker Chris Mohler (Kent/Roosevelt) tacked on the point after at 2:23 to end a three-play and 55-yard drive. The scoring drive was set up by a 50-yard rush from Holt.
The Student Princes would quickly respond with a two-play and 46-yard drive to take a 14-7 lead when Mees connected with senior wide receiver Mario Escalante on a 42-yard touchdown pass at 1:40. Kilger added the extra-point.
In the second quarter, BW would once again tie the game at 14-14 when Lohr threw a two-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Josh Masters (Akron/Archbishop Hoban). Mohler closed out the seven-play and 58-yard drive with the PAT at the 13:11 mark. The key play on the drive was a 43-yard pass from Masters to senior tight end Aaron Manders (Toledo/Cardinal Stritch).
The Yellow Jackets took their first lead of the game at 21-14 when sophomore running back Nolan Sordyl (Gurnee, Ill. /Warren Township) leaped over the pile for the one-yard score at 7:45. Mohler added his third extra-point to close out the 10 play and 52 yard drive. O'Rourke kept the drive alive when he connected on a 21-yard pass play with Masters on fourth and five.
Heidelberg tied the game at 21-21 when Mees scored on the one-yard quarterback sneak and Kilger added the extra-point at 5:12. The scoring drive covered 66-yards on seven plays.
BW regained the lead with just 48 seconds remaining in the first half at 28-21 when Zuluaga scored on a 31 yard rush. Mohler capped off the nine-play and 92-yard drive when he tacked on the PAT.
The Student Princes needed just 23 seconds to tied the game once again at 28-28 when Mees scored on a 13-yard run. Kilger added the extra-point to end the two-play and 48-yard drive with 19 seconds remaining in the opening half.
The score would remain tied at 28 after three quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets scored the first points of the second half when O'Rourke called his own number and rushed for a two-yard touchdown score to cap off a 48-yard and eight play drive at 11:43 of the final period. The extra-point was blocked.
Mees scored the game winning touchdown for Heidelberg at 35-34 as he rushed 1 yard at the 9:20 mark. Kilger added the extra-point to close the seven-play and 63-yard drive.