The Crimson Thunder roared against the Wooster Scots, not allowing any scores in the entire second half of the game leading to Oberlin's narrowest defeat of the season with a loss 31-13. Scoring their four touchdowns and a field goal in the first half of the game gave Wooster a 31-0 lead at the half.
Oberlin defense lit up in the second half of the game, allowing Wooster only four first downs, and highlighting the game with a defensive score by sophomore Gilbert Saenz. Oberlin had a 13-0 victory in the second half; unfortunately that half came after the team had racked up a big deficit.
Saenz scored Oberlin's first points of the game in the third quarter with a 44 yard run after recovering a Wooster fumble. For Saenz, it was his first touchdown since high school football, and it was also Oberlin's first defensive score of the season. "It felt good to score again," Saenz said.
With defense led by Saenz, first-year Jabari Spruill, first-year Luke Richter, senior Terry Halter and junior Brian Salter, the Scots got off with a mere 41 yards from passing, compared to 139 in the first half. "We forced the team to run [the ball] a lot [in the second half]," said Saenz. Oberlin passed for 108 yards in the third and fourth quarters, well more than double their passing in the first two quarters.
The second score for the Thunder came from a 17 yard pass in the fourth quarter from junior quarterback James Parker to sophomore wide receiver Felix Brooks-Church. "[The defense] gave the offense lots of chances to move the ball," said junior defensive lineman Chris Lavin.
The catch was one of an NCAC season-high 12 for Brooks-Church in the game. Brooks-Church is also the conference's most prolific receiver with 53 catches during the season.
And Parker moved into second place among conference quarterbacks in completions with 117 for the season.
"The defense played a great game for all four quarters," Lavin said. "We were plagued by turnovers in the first half, and ended up giving them 24 points [due to] turnovers."
The Crimson Thunder play the NCAC's eighth place team, Earlham, at home next Saturday. It's ninth-place Oberlin's final home game of the season. "The defensive line stepped it up and did a lot better [in the second half]," Saenz said. "If we play like we did in the second half we could pull off an upset."
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 8; November 8, 1996
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