Football Doubled Up by Polar Bears in Season Opener, 34-17

Jerron McGaw (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Jerron McGaw (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADA, Ohio--Host Ohio Northern scored 20 of the 27 points in the decisive second quarter en route to a 34-17 non-conference victory Saturday over Adrian College in the season opener for both schools. 

= Final Score: Ohio Northern University 34; Adrian College 17 

= Location: Dial-Roberson Stadium; Weather: Sunny and Humid, 77 degrees, Wind south 5-15 mph

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs, 0-1 overall (0-0 MIAA); Ohio Northern Polar Bears, 1-0 overall (0-0 Ohio Athletic Conference)

TOP DAWGS
= Senior Jerron McGaw led all receivers with 98 yards on four catches

= Classmate Emmanuel Stewart rushed for game highs of 25 attempts and 92 yards, plus he caught four passes for 43 yards. He had a 12-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.

= Senior inside linebacker Tim McPhee led Adrian with 11 total tackles, including four solos, for a career best.

= Also chipping in on defense was senior ILB Nate Conner with eight tackles (2 solo, 1 TFL, 1 pass broken up), junior ILB Brandon Moody had seven stops and senior OLB Chris Adams (2 solo), senior DL Katron Denson with six each. 

THE OPPOSITION
= Brock Martin ran the ball 17 times for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

= Anthony McFadden was 9-for-18 passing for 132 yards and two TDs with an interception.

= Mark Niles (15 tackles), Greg Dennis (7 solo, 11 total) and David Haseleu (10 tackles) led the ONU defense.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= After the teams played to a scoreless first quarter, Adrian drew first blood by marching 75 yards on 12 yards in a scoring drive that resulted in a Colton Randle 2-yard run. The drive lasted 6 minutes and 3 seconds before Randle plunged into the end zone with 12:41 left in the second quarter. McGaw had a 37-yard reception to the ONU 38 for a key play in the drive.

= ONU didn't cross midfield until the second quarter on its third possession when it took advantage of a bad snap by the Adrian offense on fourth down, taking over on downs at its own 49. On back-to-back passing plays from McFadden to Caleb Saalfeld (3 catches, 52 yards), plus a 15-yard personal foul penalty assessed to Adrian, the Polar Bears found themselves just inside the AC 18. That set up a Martin 5-yard TD run to help even the score 7-7 at 5:26.

= The Polar Bears also scored on their next possession at the 1:35 mark of the second quarter as Chad Rex hauled in a 23-yard TD pass from McFadden.

= Ohio Northern gained more momentum by creating a score off an Adrian turnover on the Bulldogs ensuing possession. Jaymar Hines intercepted Hunter Hamm (12 completions, 181 yards) and ran 29 yards for the pick-six as ONU quickly went up 20-7 at the intermission.

= Adrian cut it to 20-10 on a field goal midway through the third quarter, but ONU outscored the visitors 14-7 the rest of the way to preserve the victory.

= The Bulldogs held advantages in time of possession (32:25-27:35), first downs (19-15), passing yards (181-132) and third-down efficiency (56% on 10-for-18 to 50% on 6-12). The Polar Bears led in total offense (321-306) and rushing yards (189-125) as well as return yardage (106-35).

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= Randle, a junior, finished with 59 yards on the ground for his highest total in a road contest. On Sep. 16 of last year, he rushed for a career-high 112 against Rockford.

= Adrian sophomore Joshua Saggio averaged 43.5 yards in his first two career punts and freshman Cooper West was perfect in three kicks (2/2 XP, 29-yard FG).

= Ohio Northern also won last year's meeting, but Adrian still leads the all-time series 6-4. The Bulldogs lost for the first time ever in four trips to Ada.

= Stewart added to his AC career rushing yardage at 3,948. 

= McGaw has 1,993 yards and 129 receptions in his career. He passed No. 2 Steve Kress (135-1971) who had 1971 receiving yards from 1999 to 2002 in school history.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will have its home opener next Saturday against first-time opponent Buffalo State out of the Empire 8 Conference. Kickoff at Docking Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. VIDEO l LIVE STATS

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