By Tim Glon
WESTERVILLE — Head coach Dean Paul picked up his 100th career coaching victory at Ohio Northern on Saturday in a hard-fought 13-7 Ohio Athletic Conference football victory at Otterbein on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The Polar Bears improve to 4-0 overall and are 3-0 in the OAC, while the Cardinals fall to 0-4, 0-3.
In his 15 seasons as head coach at ONU, Paul is now 100-48, a winning percentage of .675. He is 140-60 overall in 20 seasons as a head coach.
"Anytime you reach a milestone like this, it makes you reflect on all of the coaches and players that have been through the program," Paul said. "Devin Russell and Glenn Scheutzow have been here for at least 90 of those 100 wins and that type of continuity is a big part of the success. We had a large contingent of coaches and alumni at the game today and that was special. It is truly a team effort and I am just so grateful that we have had such tremendous people in our program over the years."
ONU got on the board on its first possession on a 30-yard field goal by senior Chase Watson (Lima/Elida) with 5:16 gone in the contest.
The Cardinals closed to within 10-7 early in the fourth quarter on a 15-play, 70-yard drive.
After an exchange of punts, Ohio Northern took over at its 9-yard line with 6:30 left in the contest.
The Polar Bears marched 72 yards in 10 plays, taking 3:05 off the clock, and extended the lead to 13-7 with a 36-yard field goal by Watson with 3:25 to play.
Otterbein managed one first down on its ensuing drive before turning the ball over on downs at its own 37.
Three tough runs by freshman Brock Martin (Attica/Seneca East) were good enough for 16 yards and a first down and ONU was able to run out the clock.
"That last drive was huge for us," Paul said. "We were backed up into our own end and were struggling on offense. It was big to flip the field, burn some clock and get some points to make it a 6-point lead. We knew Otterbein had an outstanding defense, but we found a way to win today."
Sophomore A.J. Marks (Guysville/Alexander) ran 13 times for 77 yards, Martin ran for 56 yards on 14 carries and McFadden completed 19-of-31 passes for 181 yards and a score.
Ohio Northern's defense limited Otterbein to just 223 yards of total offense and just 25:37 of possession time. The ONU offense held the ball for 34:33 and gained 328 yards of offense.
Defensively, junior Mark Niles (Miramar, Fla.) had 14 tackles .5 TFL, forced a fumble and had a PBU for ONU.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday with a 1:30 pm contest at Marietta.