By Tim Glon
MARIETTA — Marietta converted a 2-point conversion with 22 seconds left in the game to rally past Ohio Northern 43-42 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Don Drumm Stadium.
Junior Anthony McFadden (Chillicothe/Paint Valley) completed 18-of-29 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns and senior Chad Rex (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch) caught 10 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns for Ohio Northern (4-1 overall, 3-1 Ohio Athletic Conference).
Freshman Brock Martin (Attica/Seneca East) ran 12 times for 100 yards and two scores for ONU.
The Pioneers (4-0, 3-0) were led by Darrien Fields, who threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns, and Tanner Clark, who ran 34 times for 180 yards and two scores.
The two teams combined for 1,039 yards, including 569 in the first half.
With the score tied in the fourth quarter, the Polar Bears marched 87 yards in 14 plays, took 6:18 off the clock and went up 42-35 with 4:45 left to play on a 3-yard run by Martin.
Marietta marched 70 yards in 13 plays and scored with 22 seconds left to pull within 42-41. Fields then hit Clark on the 2-point conversion to make it 43-42.
Martin got ONU on the board first when he scored on an 19-yard touchdown run with 7:57 left in the first quarter. Martin got free at the line of scrimmage and bowled over a Marietta defender for the final three yards for the score.
Marietta tied the game at 7-all when Fields hit Andrew Barker on a 42-yard touchdown pass just 1:05 later.
After MC went up 14-7, ONU tied the game when McFadden hit senior Caleb Saalfeld (Modesto, Calif./Fred Beyer) on a 15-yard score with 12:38 left in the half.
McFadden connected with Anthony Amison (Holland/Rogers) on a 33-yard strike with 21 seconds left in the half to trim the deficit to 28-21 at intermission.
Marietta made it 35-21 with 8:25 left in the third quarter.
Northern immediately answered with a 22-yard TD pass from McFadden to Rex and it was 35-28 with 5:50 left in the third.
McFadden hit Rex on a 19-yard pass on the second play of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 35.
Ohio Northern wore white helmets for the first time since the 1980s.
Marietta out-gained ONU 531-508 in total offense.
The Polar Bears have a bye next week and will return to action Oct. 13 when they host John Carroll at Dial-Roberson Stadium.