Andrew Woodley -- Otterbein Sports Information
WESTERVILLE, OHIO -- The Otterbein Cardinals dropped another close game, falling to cross-town rival Capital 24-20, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
With their fifth consecutive loss, Otterbein University falls to 1-5 overall, 0-5 in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). The Cardinals have now lost four games by less than six points this season. Meanwhile, the Crusaders improve to 3-3, 3-2 in OAC play.
Otterbein held a 20-18 advantage late in the fourth quarter. Capital reclaimed the lead on a 17-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Chase Carris to senior wide receiver Matt White.
The Crusaders failed on the two-point conversion, making the score 24-20 with 1:08 left in the game.
On the ensuing possession, senior quarterback Austin Schlosser completed passes of 29 and 25 yards to senior wide receiver Trey Fairchild and sophomore wide receiver Steven Carpenter, respectively. The two completions put Otterbein on the Capital 12-yard line, but the Cardinals would only net three yards on the next three plays.
On fourth down from the Capital 9-yard line, Schlosser was intercepted by Crusader senior defensive back Kory Conley at the two-yard line to seal the victory for Capital.
Otterbein appeared to be in good shape following the first half. Aided by two rushing touchdowns from junior running back Cody Green and a receiving touchdown from senior wide receiver Steve Kuzyk, the Cardinals held a 20-12 lead at halftime.
After both teams went scoreless in the third quarter, Capital scored 12-unanswered points to claim the victory.
Otterbein was only 3 of 12 on third down conversions, while Capital's offense was able to stay on the field all afternoon, converting 14 of 20 third downs. As a result, the Crusaders ran 28 more plays on offense than the Cardinals (89 to 61).
Green, who entered the game with 256 rushing yards this season, ran for 162 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns (all career highs).
Trey Fairchild, who entered the game as the NCAA Division III leader in all-purpose yards, finished the afternoon with 61 receiving yards on five catches. He added 32 punt return yards and 83 kickoff return yards (176 all-purpose).
Schlosser finished 13 of 23 with 162 yards and one touchdown. Kuzyk, who was on the receiving end of Schlosser's touchdown pass, had four catches for 55 yards.
Senior Chad Pepper led the Cardinal defensive effort with 10 tackles, while senior defensive end Will Brown had a game-high 3.0 tackles for loss. Brown also had Otterbein's only sack.
Junior defensive back Rocco Pentello, who has transitioned from quarterback to safety, finished with six tackles and a game-high three pass break-ups.
Junior punter Aaron Kingcade established a new career long with a 74-yard punt and maintained a 44.5 yard average on eight punts.
The Cardinals converted two of their three point after tries (PATs), while the Crusaders failed to convert any of their PATs. Senior defensive back Shea Brintlinger blocked Capital's first PAT, and the Crusaders failed three-straight two-point conversion tries.
Otterbein heads to New Concord next Saturday, Oct. 22, where they look to rebound against OAC opponent Muskingum. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.