For Oberlin football there is always next year

by Jacob Kramer-Duffield

So, Oberlin students, do you think you know frustration? Studying for eight hours and still getting a C on a test is pretty frustrating, right? Wrong. Frustration, gentle readers, is losing 71-0, on the road, in the last game of your college career, perhaps the last of your life. Frustration is losing every game in the season, is losing 40 games in a row. Frustration is breaking that streak and losing the next 19, and counting. That is frustration.

The football team lost the final game of its 1998 campaign last Saturday by the grisly count of 71-0 to powerhouse Allegheny. Allegheny's Gators, at 8-2, will not make the playoffs this year and seem to have vented their understandable frustration on their last three opponents, all of whom they shut out.

Conference rival Wittenberg, who earlier in the year beat the Yeomen 68-0 and Allegheny 25-0, finished the regular season at 10-0 and play their first-round playoff game tomorrow against Millikin.

The onslaught began early last Saturday at Robertson Field in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Allegheny capitalized on a Yeoman turnover in Oberlin's first drive and punched it across in three plays after starting at the 17, scoring on a two yard Chris Miller pass to Dave Buchanan.

The Yeoman offense was no more effective in the second drive of the day after receiving the kickoff. No turnover this time, but first-year Bob Montag came on to punt, and had his kick returned 64 yards to the end zone by the Gators' Tedd Gozur. With the extra point came an all-too familiar score at that point in the first quarter: 14-0 with only 2:36 subtracted from the clock.

With the aid of another Oberlin turnover and its own high-powered offense, Allegheny scored three more times in the first quarter, failing the point after on the last score. So after one quarter of play, the score stood at Allegheny 34, Oberlin 0.

The end of the first quarter saw an end to the Gators' scoring air attack, as all three of quarterback Miller's touchdown passes came in the first quarter; those three were also the only passing scores on the day for Allegheny as a team. Allegheny threw only 14 passes on the day, of which they completed 11 for 144 yards.

There was nothing lacking in the ground offensive, however. The Gators ran for 472 yards on 60 attempts, an average of 7.8 yards per carry. Allegheny's final five touchdowns were the result of an efficient rushing attack.

With the end of the first quarter approaching, out came another Gator scoring drive, this time two plays for 37 yards, capped by a 33 yard Sean Ream trot to the end zone, followed by a missed extra point. Ream finished the day with five carries for 56 yards with two touchdowns.

On Allegheny's next drive, the first of the second quarter, Buchanan scored his third touchdown of the day, this one on the ground from one yard out after two previous scoring catches; Allegheny again missed the point after. Buchanan had six carries for 68 yards total, and three catches for 28 yards.

Ream struck once again on the second drive of the second quarter, this time from three yards out, capping a 10 play 63 yard drive that put the score at 47-0.

With the first half winding down on their next possession, Matt Majocka ran across from 65 yards out and seven seconds left in the half. The score was Majocka's first of three on the day, as he went on to score the first two of the third quarter, both from five yards out. Majocka totaled seven carries for 89 yards to finish second among Gator rushers.

Dan Stanley, who did not score, led Allegheny with 114 yards on eight carries, both team highs in the respective categories.

Allegheny scored once more on a 42 yard field goal in the third quarter to set the game at its final resting, 71-0.

Oberlin's rushing offense was not quite as successful, totaling 91 yards on 34 rushes. Sophomore Adisa Chaney led with 19 carries for 51 yards, followed by first-year J.J. Gilmore, who gained 34 yards on eight carries.

Gilmore finished the year the leading rusher with 127 carries for 448 yards, a 3.5 yard per carry average. Chaney was second on the team with 103 carries for 247 yards, a 2.4 yard per carry average.

Oberlin rushed for 627 yards on 324 carries as a team, a 1.9 yard per carry average; the Yeomen did not score a touchdown on the ground this season.

The Yeomen could not get their passing attack going last Saturday, either. Quarterback sophomore Geno Walker was three of 19 for only 26 yards, and was picked off 4 times. The interception haunted Walker throughout the season, as he threw 21 in 293 passes; he completed 106 passes, a 36.2 percent rate, for 1047 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Montag, who saw limited action behind center to go with several fake punt passing attempts, was 17 of 46 for 229 yards, with 3 interceptions and 1 touchdown.

Two seniors, Felix Brooks-Church and Anthony Johnson, led the Oberlin receiving corps. Johnson, who started in a slump but got hot down the stretch, caught 37 passes for 428 yards and 5 touchdowns; he was the only Yeoman to score more than once this season. Brooks-Church, who earlier in the year set the NCAC all-time receptions record, finished with 44 catches for 425 yards and one touchdown.

Though Oberlin loses both Johnson, who last year set single-season school records for receptions and yards, and Brooks-Church, who holds the aforementioned NCAC record and had set the previous single-season school record for receptions during the 1996 campaign, the Yeomen retain many experienced underclassmen.

Gilmore and Montag, both in the first season with the Yeomen, saw significant playing time this season and figure to see more in the future. So, too, do sophomores Chaney and Walker, who gained much experience from this season with two stand-out wideouts in Johnson and Brooks-Church.

And so ends another season of Oberlin football. As previously mentioned, this year's 0-10 record runs the losing streak to 19 games since the 1997 season-opening victory over Thiel. That also puts the Yeomen's record at 1-59 over the last 6 years. And if that is not frustration, nothing is, to be sure.

Back // Sports Contents \\ Next

T H E   O B E R L I N   R E V I E W

Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 10, November 20, 1998

Contact us with your comments and suggestions.