Last week, senior wide receiver Frank Ross set a school record for catches in a game with 17. This time they were on the receiving end of a historic day in their 35-14 loss against No. 20, Ohio Northern University, on Saturday afternoon in Ada, Ohio.
It was a one-man-show as ONU junior running back Brent Donley carried the ball a school-record 44 times for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
The Polar Bears opened up the scoring with a seven play, 61-yard drive over that ended with Donley’s first touchdown. Donley carried the ball on all seven plays.
They followed up that effort with a 47-yard march down the field, capped off by Donley’s second score of the opening quarter.
JCU’s offense would not enter the ONU red zone until halfway through the third quarter. That drive resulted in a score when redshirt freshman Aaron Schecter finished off an impressive 14-play, 81-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run, the first of his collegiate career.
JCU was able to gain over 350 yards of total offense, but once again turnovers halted crucial drives, and set up their opponent with outstanding field position. Four turnovers – two interceptions, two fumbles – were their undoing in the upset bid.
The Blue Streaks were never able to get within 14 points of ONU during the contest and dropped their second straight Ohio Athletic Conference match-up.
The ground attack for ONU was the story of the game as JCU could not stop the run. Play calling for the Polar Bears surely reflected the tempo of the game as they ran the ball 57 times while only going to the air on 17 occasions. ONU was able to connect on three passing touchdowns however, out of their seven completions.
“Their big offensive line and the field conditions led to them having a pretty good day on the ground,” said senior defensive lineman Matt Hodges. “We were physically outplayed.”
Senior Frank Ross was able to keep his solid play going as he snagged 11 balls for 131 yards. While the defense was led by redshirt freshman Emmett Lydon, junior Jon Cooley and senior defensive lineman Zac Hesketh, all who had nine tackles in the game.
JCU fell to 3-4 overall and 3-3 in the OAC.
They must shift their focus to national power, and d3football.com No. 1 ranked team in the country Mount Union College.
The Purple Raiders, currently undefeated, will be coming into town for a Halloween showdown with the Blue Streaks.
“The game this Saturday will be in the hands of the team that plays disciplined football,” said senior wide receiver Chris Esparza. “We have to pressure them into making mistakes and eliminate our own errors.”
Mount Union has been unstoppable this year as they have run their record to 7-0 and 6-0 in conference play. They have outscored their opponents 285 to 69 through their first seven games.
Mount Union has captured six national titles since 2000.