Local Sports

Monday, October 08, 2012

College football: Oilers crush Tiffin
By BRIAN LESTER

STAFF WRITER

Lloyd Henry had an opportunity to make a play early in the first quarter of the University of Findlay's game Saturday afternoon against Tiffin University at Donnell Stadium.

Quarterback Clay Belton unleashed a deep throw to a streaking Henry. The ball barely missed his hands as he reached out to make the catch. It was a guaranteed touchdown if he had made the catch.

The Oilers did eventually score on the opening drive as Monterae Williams found the end zone from 2 yards out, giving UF the quick start it was searching for in this Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tilt.

But Henry had a chance to redeem himself later in the game, leaping over a defender and grabbing the ball in the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 16-yard pass from Belton.

The touchdown was part of a strong finish as the Oilers roughed up the Dragons 41-17 and kept their hopes intact for a GLIAC South Division title.

"Coach always tells us to get the ball over the guy defending you. We practice it all of the time," Henry said. "I was able to make a play. You have to take advantage of the opportunities when you get them."

Henry, one of eight receivers to make at least one catch, helped fuel an offensive effort that cranked out 514 yards against a Tiffin (1-5, 0-5) team stuck in a downward spiral.

Henry caught four passes for 37 yards, including his first career TD on a day when the Oilers (4-1, 4-1 GLIAC) handed the Dragons their 43rd consecutive conference loss.

Belton seemed to have plenty of time to throw as he went over the 200-yard mark for the ninth consecutive game dating back to 2011. He was 26 of 37 for 299 yards and three touchdown passes. He was picked off right before the half near the goal line, but the Dragons were unable to score as UF took a 27-9 lead into halftime.

Williams fueled the running attack, rushing for 138 yards on 25 carries despite sitting out of practice one day earlier because of a leg injury. The senior running back scored on runs of 4 and 15 yards.

"A game like this is a running back's dream because you can pick and choose where you want to run," Williams said. "I was a little banged up, but all I had to do was run. My front five did a heck of a job."

As for being just 169 yards away from passing Nelson Bolden (4,009 yards) as the all-time leading rusher in UF history, it's not a big deal.

"My focus is on winning. The only stat that matters today is that we won the game," Williams said.

The Oilers won by being more consistent than they have been recently. They were 5 of 6 in the red zone and 9 of 13 on third-down conversions.

UF's Seth White caught a 26-yard TD reception in stride for a 13-3 lead at the end of the first. Jaryd Brown (seven catches, 68 yards) cut up the middle of the field in the second quarter and caught a 16-yard TD pass from Belton that stretched the UF lead.

Defensively, Findlay held the Dragons to 318 yards and kept the pressure on Tiffin quarterback Dan Pitts, who was 24 of 39 for 174 yards as he filled in for injured starter James Capello.

Despite the win, Findlay head coach Rob Keys said there is room for improvement. Dropped passes, missed TD opportunities, including one on a fake punt and missed sacks and tackles were things Keys was not happy about.

"I keep waiting for the day where we play a great game. If we ever do that, look out," Keys said. "We have to quit missing plays on both sides of the ball. We have improved but there are a lot of things we still need to clean up."

For a moment, the Dragons had a sliver of hope for a comeback. Pitts shook off a potential sack and hooked up with Jeremy Armstrong on a 10-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter. Logan Snell's two-point conversion pass to Tyler Jones cut the gap to 27-17 with 12:28 to go.

The Findlay defense, anchored by the efforts of Feraris Golden (10 tackles) and Brandon Butler (eight tackles) made sure Tiffin never threatened again.

Former Pandora-Gilboa standout Josh Lee thought the defense made strides.

"We felt like we let up a little bit in the first half, but we came out in the second half more fired up," Lee said. "We had a lot more fight in us. We played a lot better than what we have shown lately."

But UF will have to be even better next weekend.

The Oilers will face Ohio Dominican (3-3, 2-3) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Donnell in a South Division showdown on homecoming. The Panthers, picked to finish second in the division but considered by some to be the favorite in the South, were beaten 44-21 by No. 9 Ashland on Saturday after leading 21-20.

"The last two teams we played were trying to find their identity," Keys said. "(ODU) has an identity and goals they are working for. They are well-coached and disciplined. We need to play much better next week or the outcome won't be good."



Tiffin 3 6 0 8 -- 17

Findlay 13 14 0 14 -- 41

First Quarter

UF -- M. Williams 2 run (Rode kick)

TU -- FG Pekoe 33

UF -- White 29 pass from Belton (kick failed)

Second Quarter

UF -- M. Williams 4 run (White kick)

UF -- Brown 16 pass from Belton (White kick)

TU -- White 18 run (Pekoe kick)

Fourth Quarter

TU -- Armstrong 10 pass from Pitts (Snell pass)

UF -- Henry 16 pass from Belton (White kick)

UF -- M. Williams 15 run (White kick)

TU UF

First Downs 21 33

Rushes-yards 29-144 43-209

Passing Yards 174 305

Comp-Att-Int 24-39-0 27-39-1

Punts-Avg. 4-38.8 2-30.5

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0

Penalties-Yards 2-10 1-5

individual statistics

rushing -- Tiffin, White 14-109, Hall 4-13, Jones 4-11, Nicholson 2-5, Pitts 4-5, Bowers 1-1. Findlay, M. Williams 25-138, Trapps 5-25, Van Arsdale 5-19, Ford 6-13, Belton 1-11, Brown 1-3.

passing -- Tiffin, Pitts 24-39-0-174. Findlay, Belton 26-27-1-299, Faine 1-1-0-6, White 0-1-0-0.

receiving -- Tiffin, Armstrong 4-46, Jones 4-37, Correa 4-32, Marks 3-24, Lofton 4-20, Beaurem 4-11, Hall 1-4. Findlay, Brown 7-68, Morris 3-66, White 4-58, Jones-Quartey 3-40, Henry 4-37, M. Williams 4-20, Marrah 1-10, Koepp 1-6.

Lester: 419-422-5151,

brianlester@thecourier.com


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