Reynolds’ late touchdown pass to Jerome caps big ’Berg comeback

QB rallies team from 10-point deficit in fourth quarter of 1st start

PHOTO BY STEVE WILLIAMS Heidelberg’s Braden Jerome goes up for a touchdown catch in the first half against Olivet College at Hoernemann Stadium.

Down 10 points in the fourth quarter didn’t seem to bother Heidelberg’s Trace Reynolds.

The senior, making his first start, led his team on two late touchdown drives, and propelled the Student Princes to a stunning 21-17 season-opening win over Olivet.

Heidelberg jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, when Reynolds connected with Braden Jerome on a 17-yard TD completion.

But Heidelberg was held scoreless after that until deep into the fourth quarter, and the Comets — behind big plays from quarterback Lane Porter and receiver Jacob Jodway — put up 17 points.

Porter threw a first quarter touchdown pass to Chris Talbot from 13 yards out, and then with 4:13 left in the first half, Jamaul Martin added a 16-yard rushing touchdown.

Olivet pushed its lead to 10 when Douglas Pollard connected on a 33-yard field goal in the third, and Heidelberg went into the fourth down 17-7.

But Reynolds and the Heidelberg offense found some life.

First, Reynolds broke a 44-yard scramble to the end zone with 5:26 left, snipping the Comets’ edge to 17-14.

The Heidelberg defense then forced a three-and-out, and after a punt, Reynolds started on his own 36 with 3:41 left.

Again, Reynolds used his feet for a big gain. Facing a third-and-3 at the HU 43, the quarterback scrambled 29 yards to the Olivet 28. Four plays later, with 1:11 left and facing a second-and-10 from the 17, Reynolds found Jerome in the end zone again. The touchdown put Heidelberg — once Clyde graduate Austin Baker added the point after kick — up 21-17.

Olivet still had a chance, and Porter was able to drive the Comets to their own 32. But on a second-and-10, Porter was sacked by Aidan Ammons. The 6-yard loss proved the key defensive play of the drive, as the Comets failed to gain another yard before turning the ball over on downs.

Heidelberg had three sacks, with two belonging to Zach Blackiston.

Reynolds went 17 of 25 passing for 178 yards. He was intercepted twice. He was Heidelberg’s leading rusher, going for 159 yards on 17 carries.

Jerome finished with five catches for 101 yards.

Porter finished 15 of 30 passing for 231 yards and no interceptions. Comets tailback Matthew Ellis had 19 carries for 105 yards, and Jodway had three catches for 104.

It was coach Scott Donaldson’s second-consecutive Week 1 win over the Comets. The Student Princes will be off next week before opening Ohio Athletic Conference play at Capital Sept. 15.