Carry on to victory

Donteea Dye said that if it were needed, he’d be ready to carry his team on his back.

The junior receiver knows it’s not needed. No. 12 Heidelberg had a 300-yard passer, two 100-yard rushers, and a dominating defense in Saturday’s 55-27 win over Ohio Northern at Mayer Field.

So for now, Dye will settle for carrying defenders on his back.

He did that in the third quarter, when he caught a Michael Mees pass, but was flanked by Polar Bear defensive back Josh Bryan. Dye, listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, ran 10 yards with Bryan on his back before shedding him. From there, it was an easy run to the end zone.

“It was just like a little adrenaline rush,” said Dye, who caught two passes – both touchdowns – for a total of 126 yards.

“That was pretty impressive,” Heidelberg coach Mike Hallett said. “The second effort on that second catch of his where he broke out of it and scored, that was special. We haven’t seen that very often around here.”

What Hallett did see plenty of was scoring. Mees threw four touchdowns, while Cartel Brooks and Bryan Lacey each ran for a pair. Brooks’ two scoring runs were for 73 and 57 yards, respectively, and he ran for 143 yards in the game. Lacey ran for 104, while Mees threw for 304.

All of it was made possible by an offensive line that consistently took it to the ONU defense.

“Their offensive line did a great job, you’ve got to give them credit,” said Ohio Northern coach Dean Paul. “Two of our top interior players were not able to play today, and we were concerned about that, our ability to get pressure on the quarterback. We had to pick and choose our moments to blitz.”

Like two weeks ago against Alma, Mees had all day to throw. He lost yardage once, on what appeared to be a botched play. Other than that, he was practically untouched.

“Once we got it going, we were able to find our groove,” said HU left tackle Quentin Rembert. “We knew it was gonna be a dogfight, because [Ohio Northern] had a really good game [in Week 1].”

Early on, that’s exactly what the game looked like it would be. On the game’s opening possession, Mees was picked by Ohio Northern corner Zach Runzo, who returned the ball to the HU 14.

The Polar Bear offense proceeded to run three plays. It lost lost two yards in that span and settled for an Andrew DiMario field goal.

Heidelberg’s offense was forced to punt on its next possession. Because of a personal foul, the Polar Bears against started in Student Prince territory, this time at the 44.

ONU ran three plays, gained no yards, and punted.

“It’s a definite sudden change, and I think our defense stepped up to the challenge,” said Heidelberg nose guard Ben Poirier, who had six tackles, a pass breakup and one of his team’s three sacks.

Heidelberg’s first team defense allowed one third quarter touchdown. The Polar Bears added two scores in the fourth quarter, when the game was well out of reach.

“Defense set the tone today, no doubt about it,” Hallett said. “The first two series, we weren’t really sharp on offense. We weren’t settled in, and our defense slammed the door on two drives, and then we got going.

Linebacker Adam Cepik had two tackles for a loss for Heidelberg, while fellow linebacker Will Lance had a team-high nine tackles. Columbian graduate Austin Bentz, an HU corner, had six tackles.

Ethan Kindle and Josh Lynch also added TD receptions for the Student Princes.

Ohio Northern linebacker Dillon Kwiat, a Calvert graduate, had four stops. The Polar Bears fell to 1-1.