Welcome back - Football greets alumni with 73-17 win
TIFFIN – It hasn't always been like this.
Many of the alumni that returned to campus for Homecoming remember Heidelberg football teams that struggled against the powerhouse teams in the OAC. In fact, less than 10 years ago, one squad only scored 72 points for the entire season.
On Saturday, the 2013 Heidelberg football team walloped Capital University, 73-17.
Times have certainly changed.
The No. 12/10 Student Princes scored on every possession, except the final drive of the game.
Cartel Brooks tied a school record with four touchdowns and freshman Nick DeLisa had 151 return yards, including a 92-yard touchdown on the game's opening kickoff.
Capital (1-4, 1-3) responded to DeLisa's score with a quick strike of their own. On the second play from scrimmage, Bo Hardy found a crease in the Heidelberg defense and scampered 69 yards for a touchdown.
Heidelberg regained the lead on a 9-yard touchdown carry by Brooks, who finished with 131 yards on 15 attempts.
After a Crusader fumble, Brooks scored again. The 2-yard score gave Heidelberg a 21-7 lead.
Early in the 2nd quarter, Capital's Joey Riley kicked a 30 yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-10.
Undeterred, Heidelberg converted on two 3rd down plays and scored on a 20 yard touchdown pass to Cameron Vocke from quarterback Michael Mees. Dan Kilger's extra point was wide.
The Crusaders lined up to put on their next possession, but the snap sailed over the head of Riley and out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
Leading 29-10, Heidelberg scored on the ensuing possession. Mees dropped a pass into the hands of Ryan Fischer in the left corner of the end zone.
On their next possession, Heidelberg lined up for a 34-yard field goal. On a designed fake, holder Nate Hasse bootlegged to the right and connected on a 12-yard first down pass to Ryan Malloy. Brooks punched it in from five yards out on the next play.
Heidelberg's Andy Sieving ended the first half with a pair of sacks on Capital's Chase Longwell.
Leading 43-10, the Berg forced a three-and-out on Capital's opening possession of the third quarter. Brooks broke free again, scoring from 38 yards out. Kilger's extra point hit the upright and Heidelberg led 49-10.
Fischer's big day continued, as he returned a Capital punt 33 yards into Crusader territory. He then scored on a 29-yard pass from Mees. Fischer finished with 183 all-purpose yards, 96 receiving and 87 on punt returns.
With Mees on the bench, backup quarterback Jon Sandwisch scored on an 8-yard scramble. Stephen Smith connected on the point after to push Heidelberg's lead to 63-10. Mees was 10-of-20 passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns.
The Crusaders found the end zone on another long run, a 55-yard rush by Alex Coleman.
Later in the third, Heidelberg broke the 70-point barrier for the first time in more than 60 years when Geoffrey Helms scored his first collegiate touchdown. Helms' 54-yard jaunt and the subsequent PAT by Smith pushed Heidelberg's lead to 70-17.
Both teams kept the ball on the ground in the fourth quarter. The only points came on a 29-yard field goal by Heidelberg's A.J. Morrison.
Mitchell Kelly led the Heidelberg defense with 11 tackles, including two for loss. The Student Princes forced four sacks against the triple-option offense of Capital.
The 73 points were the most by Heidelberg since 1950. Coach Paul Hoernemann's squad upended Capital 75-0 that season.
Heidelberg travels to Otterbein next weekend. The Cardinals and Student Princes will kick off at 7 p.m.