Heidelberg hoping to contain Clark, Pioneers in OAC showdown

Heidelberg suffered a tough loss in the final seconds against Baldwin Wallace two weeks ago, then had a bye week.

It was a little bit different for coach Scott Donaldson. In year’s past, Heidelberg’s bye came after the first game.

But Donaldson said he liked the change.

“I loved it,” he said. “This week we really needed a bye week, we were banged up. The bye week was huge to get healthy again.”

Now, Heidelberg, which comes in 3-1, will face another 3-1 squad in Marietta. It will be the Student Princes’ second-consecutive road game.

A year ago, the Pioneers came to Tiffin and beat the Student Princes, 38-34. In that game, Heidelberg had no answer for tailback Tanner Clark, who rushed for 232 yards.

In order to win today, Donaldson said Heidelberg must find a way to slow the tailback.

“Biggest thing is we gotta contain the running,” Donaldson said. “They have a guy who’s still there that killed us last year. We gotta contain Tanner Clark.”

On offense, Heidelberg did plenty of good things in the loss to Baldwin Wallace, scoring 33 points. But there was a stretch in the second half where the offense struggled, and it was costly.

Today, Donaldson will be looking for more consistency.

“It’s about going back to fundamentals,” Donaldson said. “Get yourself in manageable third downs and things like that. we hadn’t seen a defense that good before that game.”

So far, the Pioneers have played well defensively, averaging less than 16 points a game.

Kickoff is at 2 p.m.