Quentin Rembert was a sophomore when Heidelberg offensive line coach Jason Bendekovic died in 2010.
Bendekovic, who also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, formed bonds with a number of Heidelberg players, particularly on the offensive line.
Rembert, a left tackle, was one of those players.
Beginning last year, the Heidelberg-Ohio Northern game has been called the "Bendo Bowl," also honoring Jason's brother, Ron, a former Polar Bears assistant who died in 2005.
For Rembert, today's Ohio Athletic Conference game in Ada has special meaning.
"I'm really concerned about, for me, it being the Bendo Bowl," Rembert said. "I want to go out there, get a W for that, because me and Bendo were pretty close."
It's the first OAC game for either team since last November, when Heidelberg wrapped its season with 48-21 victory over the Polar Bears.
This will be the second regular season game for each team, and neither squad has played in two weeks. Heidelberg buried Alma, 48-0, while the Polar Bears slipped against N.C. Wesleyan, 16-13, in overtime.
"We're both very familiar with each other; our programs are very familiar with each other," said Heidelberg coach Mike Hallett, a former Mount Union teammate of Polar Bears' coach Dean Paul. "In some ways we feel like we just played against them, just prepared for them, so a lot of the stuff is still fresh in your mind."
Not that Hallett isn't anticipating changes from ONU.
"There's certain things we did in that game that I'm sure they're making adjustments on, and certain things they did in the game that we're making adjustments on," Hallett said. "But we're going to have to play them at some point, and now's as good a time as any. We'll go over to their place and see what happens."
Last year was the first time in Hallett's tenure that Heidelberg had beaten ONU. Actually, that was true of a few opponents, and HU wracked up an 8-2 record in 2011.
Rembert said HU has every reason to be confident as it enters OAC play.
"I think we can be toe-to-toe with anybody in the nation," Rembert said. "Our defense has been playing really, really good, and our offense has been good. I think if we come out and perform to the best of our abilities, we can go toe-to-toe with anybody in the nation."
Hallett said the key to today is for Heidelberg to focus on its own execution.
"We gotta play against Ohio Northern, but we're looking at ourselves internally," he said, "in terms of, 'here's where we've been, here's where we get to.' This is a great benchmark game for us."
Kickoff is at 2:15 p.m.