By: Tim Glon
BEXLEY — Sophomore Tyler Rue threw for career-highs of 245 yards and four touchdowns to lead Ohio Northern to a 38-20 victory at Capital in an Ohio Athletic Conference football game Saturday afternoon at Bernlohr Stadium.
The Polar Bears improve to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in OAC play, while the Crusaders fall to 2-3, 2-2.
Rue completed 20 of 31 passes to 11 different receivers and senior Chad Coward had two interceptions, blocked an extra point and had three tackles for ONU.
Coward's two interceptions give him 11 for his career, tying him for seventh all-time on ONU's career list.
Sophomore Justin Buenger carried the ball 11 times for 79 yards for Northern.
ONU has now won 20 consecutive games when scoring 20 or more points.
"This was a good win for us," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "We came out ready to play. Offensively, we played pretty well, even though we didn't finish some drives and did not take advantage of all of our scoring opportunities. We gave up a lot of yards on defense and had trouble getting off of the field at times, but still made enough plays to win the game.
"We had several starters go down with injuries that would not let them finish the game and our younger players stepped in and played well," Paul said. "I don't think they are season-ending injuries, but we had several players not be able to finish the game. So it was good to see the other guys play well when they had a chance."
The Polar Bears got on the board on their first possession when they marched 78 yards in nine plays and scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Rue to senior Jared Oehler.
Sophomore Luke Rice added the extra point and ONU led 7-0 just 4:49 into the contest.
Capital quickly responded, scoring on its next possession when Ryan Anderson dove over from one yard out on fourth and goal to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:40 left in the opening quarter.
Rue hit junior Frank Thien on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 13:17 left in the first half to put the Polar Bears back up 14-7.
Junior Eric Mitchell forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and junior Eric Mitchell recovered the ball at the Crusader 20-yard line.
It only took one play for ONU to find the end zone as Rue hit Buenger on a 20-yard scoring strike to make it 21-7 with 13:02 left in the second quarter.
Northern them marched 55 yards in six plays and went up 24-7 on a 22-yard field goal by Rice with 7:29 left before intermission.
Anderson raced in from 47 yards out to pull CU within 24-14 with 5:38 left in the second period.
After senior Chad Coward returned an interception 34 yards to the CU 23-yard line, Rue hit junior Justin Wilson on a 21-yard touchdown pass to give the Polar Bears a 31-14 lead with 8:10 left in the third.
Capital trimmed the lead to 31-20 as the Crusaders marched 96 yards in 16 plays and scored on a pass from Chase Carris to Ryan Williams on a fourth and goal play from the ONU 12-yard line.
Coward blocked the extra point and ONU's lead remained 31-20.
Junior DeMarqus Payne capped the scoring by running in from 13 yards out with 3:04 left in the game.
Ryan Kremcheck completed 19 of 39 passes for 258 yards and Matt White had a school record 16 receptions for 189 yards to lead Capital.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday with a 2 pm contest at Baldwin-Wallace.