Trample Terriers in 35-14 Football Win
By Colin Smith
third-quarter explosion sparked the Oberlin College football team
to its first victory of the season on Saturday as the Yeomen defeated
the hapless Hiram Terriers.
Oberlin scored four unanswered touchdowns on four consecutive drives
in the third, overcoming a 14-0 deficit to post a 35-14 win. The
Yeomen improved their record to 1-2 and 1-0 in the North Coast Athletic
Conference, while the Terriers fell to 0-4.
“I think that what we did as a team is we found a way to win,”
junior defensive back Mark Lengal said. “We fought back hard.”
Sophomore running back Chris Jordan, making his first start of the
season, led the charge for the Yeomen. Jordan racked up 181 yards
on 23 carries and the scored the first two of Oberlin’s four
touchdowns. His performance earned him honors as the North Coast
Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
Sophomore place-kicker Steve Willever had three field goals in the
game, putting his name in the Oberlin record book three times. His
three successful kicks tied him for the record for field goals in
a game. He is now six for seven on the season, breaking the previous
mark of five in a season. And in just his second year he has already
broken the career record for field goals with 10.
“It feels great,” Willever said of setting the records,
“but it’s kind of weird to think about. It’s so
early in my career. There’s still a long way to go.”
Willever also holds the records for PAT kicks in a game and a season
— six and 20, respectively — and with two PATs in Saturday’s
game, he needs only 10 more to tie the career mark of 32 set by
Alan Spiegelberg (OC ’62).
“That [record] means more than a lot of them,” Willever
said, “because that means we’re scoring touchdowns.”
Senior quarterback Chris Moffatt completed 11 of 18 passes for 186
yards and two touchdown passes. He struggled some in the first half,
throwing three interceptions. Sophomore Ryan Squatrito also took
snaps in the game, completing three of four passes.
Oberlin fell behind early, surrendering a three play touchdown drive
off the opening kickoff that included a 48-yard run by Terrier back
Tim Anderson, and then giving up an 83-yard touchdown run to Anderson
late in the first quarter. The two runs accounted for more than
half of Anderson’s 221 rushing yards for the game.
“Defensively, the first quarter we were a little passive,”
head coach Jeff Ramsey said. “[On the 83-yard run] we didn’t
attack the ball carrier. We’ve played pretty good run defense
[this year], but it’s the big plays — we can’t
let that happen.”
“If you subtract the big plays,” Lengal said, “our
defense is really holding teams down.”
The defense held Hiram down for the rest of the game, holding the
Terriers scoreless for the last three quarters. On the day, the
Yeoman defenders held Hiram to 67 passing yards and 274 yards of
total offense — their best performance of the season —
and they also forced seven turnovers.
The Yeomen just barely won the turnover battle, though, committing
six of their own. Turnovers have marked recent Oberlin-Hiram games,
as the two teams had combined for 14 giveaways in the previous two
meetings. The difference in Saturday’s game was that Oberlin
capitalized on the turnovers.
Willever hit two first-half field goals to get the Yeomen within
striking distance, and then Oberlin roared out of the gate in the
The Yeomen took the kickoff and drove for a touchdown in five plays,
keyed by a 37-yard reception by junior tight end Briane Senne.
The defense followed by forcing turnovers on each of Hiram’s
next three possessions, and the offense took advantage of each one.
The Yeomen needed only 11 plays to post three touchdowns and put
the game out of reach. Jordan gained 88 yards on nine carries and
Moffatt was two for two for 25 yards on the three drives.
Senne led the receiving core with four catches for 98 yards in the
game. Juniors Ben Franz and Lengel had two interceptions apiece,
while junior Quammie Semper led the team with seven tackles, and
sophomore Ryan Drews had three tackles for a loss.
The Yeomen took a loss even in the win, though, as sophomore wide
receiver Zach Lewis suffered a knee injury. Lewis will miss tomorrow’s
game for certain, and is likely out for the season. Lewis is currently
second in the conference in punt returning, averaging just over
10 yards per return.
team’s next opponents are the Bobcats of Frostburg State University
in Frostburg, Md., who come to Dill Field tomorrow for a 1 p.m.
“It’s a team we don’t know a lot about,”
Willever said, “but confidence is at its highpoint right now.
Frostburg replaces Pomona-Pitzer College on the Yeoman schedule.
After the Hens came to Oberlin last season, it would have been Oberlin’s
turn to make the trip to Claremont, Cal., but the game was nixed
because of the College’s budget cuts.
Ramsey said that he was in full support of the decision. “I
just want a game to play,” he said.
But in the wake of last year’s tough 25-21 loss — a
huge improvement after surrendering over 50 points to the Hens in
both 1999 and 2000 — Ramsey said, “With Pomona-Pitzer,
I felt we closed the gap on them enough to beat them this year.”
a member of the Atlantic Central Football Conference, comes in with
a 1-2 record. In their first game of the season, the Bobcats beat
up on the relatively new Newport News Apprentice School team. Since
then they have lost a nail biter to Montclair State University and
a triple overtime game to SUNY-Brockport. Brockport is 3-1 and likely
“They’re a pretty talented team,” Ramsey said
of Frostburg. “They tend to grind it out on you. Defensively
they like to take chances. If we keep the ball in front of us and
play good defense we’ll be okay.”
Oberlin will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first
time since 1989.