WILMINGTON, Ohio – Sophomore quarterback Braden Black broke the single-game school records for touchdown passes (six) and total offensive yards (378), and tied the single-game passing yards record (349), as the Olivet College football beat Wilmington College, 48-27, in its season-opener this afternoon at Williams Stadium in Wilmington, Ohio.
The Quakers (0-1) received the ball to start the game and needed only seven plays to score the first touchdown for a 7-0 lead at the 12:35 mark. The Comets were forced to punt on their first possession. Wilmington was held to a three and out on its next series.
Olivet used a 4-play, 64-yard drive to tie the game at 7-7. Black threw a six-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Dominik Givens, and freshman Bryce Prudden made the PAT kick. The play preceding the touchdown was a 58-yard pass completion from Black to freshman Dan Hugan.
The Quakers marched down the field before fumbling at the Comet 5-yard line. The Comets capitalized on the turnover, covering 95 yards on 14 plays to score the go-ahead touchdown when Givens hauled in a seven-yard pass from Black.
After causing Wilmington to punt, Black threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Hugan on the third play of Olivet's ensuing drive. Black also completed the two-point conversion pass attempt to sophomore Kyle Bryson to make the score 21-7 with 5:05 left in the second stanza.
The Comets took only 30 seconds to score the last touchdown of the first half. Sophomore Jason Barbosa returned a punt 73 yards to the Quaker 25. On the fourth play of the drive, Black threw a one-yard touchdown pass to freshman Garrett Reid. Prudden converted the PAT kick to make the score 28-7 at halftime.
On just the second play of the second half, Black completed a 62-yard touchdown pass to Barbosa, and Prudden nailed the PAT kick to make the score 35-7. Olivet's defense recovered a fumble on the Quakers' next possession. After the turnover, the Comets covered the final 31 yards on three plays, capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Black to Hugan for a 42-7 lead.
Wilmington scored a touchdown late in the third quarter to trail 42-13. Sophomore Deonte Cooper intercepted a pass to set-up the Comets' final touchdown. Sophomore Chance Nightingale tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Trevor Wyman.
The Quakers put the final 14 points on the scoreboard. The touchdowns were 55- and 51-yard pass plays from Brandon Arehart to Kyle Akers.
Olivet finished the game with 535 yards of total offense to 454 for Wilmington. Black completed 16-of-19 passes for his 349 yards and six touchdowns. He also led the ground game with three rushes for 29 yards. Nightingale was 6-of-9 for 34 yards. Hugan caught five passes for 183 yards. Sophomore Curtis French topped the defense with six total tackles. Six other players each had four tackles.
For Wilmington, Arehart threw for 360 yards on 18-of-34 passing. Akers led the receivers with five catches for 161 yards, while Zak Kruer had 12 carries for 45 yards.
The Comets will host Wisconsin Lutheran College in their home-opener next Saturday, Sept. 14. Kickoff from the Cutler Athletic Complex is 1 p.m.
NOTES: The win snapped a 14-game losing streak for the Comets, and is the first for second-year Head Coach Dan Pifer. The previous records were five touchdown passes by Bob Kubiak against North Central (Ill.) College on Nov. 1, 1981. He also had 349 passing yards and 349 yards of total offense against Albion College on Oct. 17, 1981. The 48 points scored is the most in a game for Olivet since Sept. 20, 2008, when it had 59 against Concordia Chicago.