Time of Poss.
ADA, Ohio — Ohio Northern University intercepted a Kyle McSweeney pass in the end zone to seal a 31-23 win over visiting Marietta College Saturday (Oct. 5) afternoon in Dial-Roberson Stadium. The loss drops Marietta to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Polar Bears improve to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in conference games.
"We struggled a little on both the offensive and defensive line of scrimmage," Marietta head coach Andy Waddle said. "When they get the push that they got with the quality of running back they have, it extended drives and put stress on us. On the flip side, we weren't able to get that same kind of push and I think that was the difference."
McSweeney connected with Austin Veatch on a 12-yard touchdown with 58 seconds left in the game. Marietta's two-point conversion pass was incomplete leaving the Pioneers with an eight-point deficit.
Pioneer head coach Andy Waddle called for the onside kick and Marietta executed it perfectly. Drake Neuberger came out of the pile with ball setting Marietta up on the ONU 44-yard line.
"We had a chance at the end of the game and couldn't quite get it done," Waddle said. "I'm proud of our effort but we need to clean some things up and control the line of scrimmage."
The Navy Blue and White picked up one first down before the Polar Bears forced Marietta into a third and long at the ONU 30-yard line. McSweeney threw the ball into the end zone where it was picked off by a diving Drew Staczek for the Polar Bears with 14 seconds left in the game. With Marietta out of timeouts, ONU took a knee as time ran out.
Ohio Northern scored first and never trailed in the game. Anthony McFadden hit Chase Rose on a 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter to cap a 7-play, 80-yard drive for the Polar Bears.
Marietta answered with its best drive of the afternoon to tie the game, 7-7. Tanner Clark finished the drive with an 8-yard run for the first of two touchdowns for the senior. Clark added a 71-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and finished with 140 yards rushing on 25 carries.
The Polar Bears got another touchdown in the second period and the Pioneers added a 41-yard field goal from Jacob Griffin making it 14-10 in favor of ONU at halftime.
McFadden tossed his second touchdown of the game for the only points of the third quarter. McFadden hooked up with Austin Eick on a short 3-yard pass for a 21-10 Polar Bear lead. McFadden completed 12-of-20 passes for 194 yards and two scores.
Dom DiFalco extended the ONU lead with a 24-yard field goal in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. Marietta answered right back with Clark's 71-yard touchdown to get the Pioneers back within a touchdown, 24-17, with 12:56 left in the game.
Determined to eat up the clock, Ohio Northern kept the ball in the hands of running back Christian Williams. The All-American capped a 9-play, 76-yard drive when he dove in from a yard out with 6:11 left on the clock. Williams finished with 183 yards rushing on 30 carries.
Marietta kept its hopes alive with McSweeney's touchdown pass to Veatch and the ensuing recovery of the onside kick. But ONU sealed the win with the interception. McSweeney completed 20-of-31 passes for 174 yards.
Marietta welcomes Heidelberg University to Don Drumm Stadium next Saturday (Oct. 12) for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.