Late drive lets ONU edge ‘Berg in Bendo Bowl
ADA — Anthony McFadden capped a 95-yard drive with a 12-yard run with 38 seconds left and Ohio Northern survived Heidelberg’s try for an answer Saturday as the Polar Bears claimed a 34-28 win in the ninth annual Bendo Bowl.
The game between the Ohio Athletic Conference foes is known as the Bendekovic Bowl, or Bendo Bowl. It is played in memory of brothers Ronnie and Jason Bendekovic. Ronnie was an assistant coach at ONU at the time of his death in 2005, and Jason worked at Heidelberg when he died in 2010. Heidelberg holds a 7-2 edge in the series.
It nearly went to 8-1.
Heidelberg (6-4, 5-4 OAC) took its only lead at 28-21 on Jimmy Gephart’s 69-yard strike to Maceo Matthews — their second TD hookup in the game — with 10:28 left in the third quarter.
Ohio Northern (6-4, 6-3) tied the game less than 6 1/2 minutes later on a 24-yard McFadden run.
It stayed knotted at 28 until late in the fourth.
Heidelberg punter Parker Smith buried ONU at its own 5 with a 57-yard punt with 2:57 to go, but the Polar Bears quickly moved down field, aided by a Heidelberg holding penalty, McFadden’s 36-yard throw to Austin Eick and Seneca East graduate Brock Martin’s 16-yard run for a first down at the Heidelberg 23.
An 8-yard toss to Jack DiMario and Martin’s 3-yard plunge brought a first down. After a timeout, McFadden sprinted in from the 12 for the go-ahead touchdown with 38 seconds left.
The Polar Bears missed the extra-point attempt.
Tramon Wiley’s 21-yard kickoff return and a personal foul on ONU set Heidelberg up at its own 45 with 33 seconds to go.
Gephart passes of 18 and 20 yards to Matthews got the Student Princes to the ONU 17. Following a 1-yard scramble and a timeout with three seconds to go, a pressured Gephart fired the ball toward Keivon Belcher in the front right corner of the end zone, but the ball hit the turf.
McFadden threw two TD passes to Austin Eick for ONU. The first covered 10 yards for the game’s first score and the second went for 51 yards for a 21-14 lead with 10:56 to go in the second quarter.
Christiaan Williams added an 8-yard scoring run for ONU in the first quarter. That was part of a 103-yard rushing day, helping him set an ONU career rushing record of 4,197 yards. That topped the previous record of 4,169 yards set by All-American and former NFL standout Jamal Robertson from 1997-2000.
Heidelberg also had a school record topped in the game.
Gephart finished with three touchdown passes to give him 29 this year, breaking the single-season mark of 28 set by Michael Mees in 2014.
Along with the go-ahead TD toss to Mathews, Gephart also threw a 72-yard scoring strike to Dimitri Penick in the first quarter and connected with Matthews on a 14-yard toss in the second. Gephart ended 24 for 45 passing for 356 yards.
Montavious Yearby gave Heidelberg its first score with a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter.
Matthews caught TD passes in all nine games he played this year, hauling in seven passes for 146 yards Saturday and finishing the year with 895 receiving yards.
Yearby ended with 18 carries for 65 yards. He capped his freshman year with 11 TDs and 926 yards rushing, the most rushing yards by a Heidelberg freshman since Germany Woods ran for 1,034 in 2010.
Penick caught eight passes for 132 yards and Belcher had six catches for 58 yards.
McFadden went 17 for 27 through the air for 346 yards for ONU.
Eick caught six passes for 184 yards and Ryan Rockwell added five catches for 90 yards.
Dragons hold off Salem for third-straight win
SALEM, W.Va. — Aarion Nichols hit a jumper with 3 seconds left Saturday to counter a comeback by Salem University and give Tiffin an 82-80 win.
The win was the third in a row for the Dragons (3-2), who had three players score in double digits. Jessica Chase led the way with 12 points, Nichols tallied 11 points and seven rebounds, and Bellevue graduate Payton Vogel added 10 points and six boards.
Jasmine Watts backed them with nine rebounds, seven points, two blocks and two steals.
Tiffin had the decisive edge from deep in the contest, going 9 of 20 on 3-pointers (45%) compared to 10 of 27 (37%) for Salem. The Dragons also got to the free throw line a whopping 35 times, converting 27 of those attempts.
TU also out-rebounded Salem 48-31, including 22-10 on the offensive end.
The Tigers (0-2) got off to a fast start, taking a 5-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Seven straight TU points, including a triple and layup by Savannah Richards, quickly turned things in the Dragons’ favor. Tiffin battled to 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter after Chase nailed a 3.
Chase hit two more triples back-to-back to begin the second quarter, giving the Dragons a seven-point lead. Tiffin extended that lead to as much as nine during the first half, but a late Salem run cut it to 37-34 at the break.
The teams battled back and forth to begin the third, but a late run by TU capped by a Kara Gealy 3 gave the Dragons their biggest lead of the game at 11 (60-49) with 1:30 to go in the quarter.
Tiffin still led by nine entering the fourth, but Salem slowly chipped away throughout the frame before finally knotting the game at 80 with just 13 seconds to play.
Nichols stepped up to be the hero for Tiffin, hitting a jumper with 3 seconds remaining to thwart the Tiger comeback and send Tiffin to victory.
‘Berg women roll to first win
ERIE, Pa. — Twin 18-point performances by Brittanie Ulmer and Maddy Crawford helped lift the Heidelberg University women’s basketball team to an 84-60 win over Cazenovia College Saturday. Along with her 18 points, Crawford had a game-high 13 rebounds — notching the 25th double-double of her illustrious career.
While Ulmer and Crawford drew the most attention, junior Alli Adelsperger, and Old Fort graduate, amassed career highs with 15 points and four steals in the victory for the Student Princes (1-1).
Neither team came out hot at the outset, but HU built an 11-3 lead over the first six minutes of the first quarter. The Student Princes led 19-11 at the end of the period.
Adelsperger scored nine of her 15 points in the second quarter as The ‘Berg extended its lead out to 38-21 at the intermission.
Crawford took over in the third quarter. The homecoming queen scored 10 points and grabbed five boards in the frame.
The large lead allowed coach Morgan Harrigan to find playing time for a total of 16 players in the final period alone. Ulmer had eight points, including two 3-pointers.
The Wildcats got an 18-point effort by guard Sydney Smith.