On the first play from scrimmage, Bowling Green forced an Ohio fumble and returned the ball to the Bobcat three yard line. But the Falcon’s good fortune would end there.
Ohio’s defense stopped Bowling Green on fourth and inches on the ensuing drive and didn’t look back as the Bobcats dominated all facets of the game and defeated the Falcons 49-25.
Whether on the ground or through the air, Bowling Green had no answer for Ohio’s pair of quarterbacks as the two combined for 323 yards of total offense.
Ohio quarterback Phil Bates led all rushers with 114 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns including a 62-yard touchdown scamper in which Bates eluded two defenders in the backfield, cut towards the sideline and then followed a block back towards the center of the field.
“I beat the defender to the outside, then I got some great blocks,” Bates said. “They were moving people down and I just happened to run past them.”
Click the link to hear Bates speak about his long run: http://www.talkshoe.com/resources/talkshoe/images/swf/lastEpisodePlayer.swf?fileUrl=http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-90625/TS-419359.mp3
Despite his big day on the ground, Bates gave most of the credit to the offensive line.
“Those were truck holes,” he said. “They did an outstanding job. They studied and knew what they needed to do and they executed.”
Boo Jackson took the majority of snaps under center and completed nine of 14 passing attempts for 76 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson also added 56 yards on the ground.
Bowling Green opened the scoring with a 22-yard field goal with 9:22 remaining in the first quarter. But the Bobcats would quickly answer.
The score was the 14th of McCrae’s career, putting him in second place on the Bobcats’ all-time touchdown receptions list.
Running back Vince Davidson capped off a five-play, 26-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to extend Ohio’s lead to 14-3.
With a bus-load of friends and family members in the stands, Ohio sophomore tight end Jordan Thompson caught his first career touchdown pass on a ball that was not even intended for him.
“It’s been a time coming, it was a little unconventional on how I scored, it just fell into my hands, I just saw the end zone and tried to get it,” Thompson said. “I think there’s a hundred of them out there from back home, to be able have all those people from back home and to score, it was a pretty neat feeling.”
But Thompson wasn’t done. With 11 seconds remaining in the first half, Jackson again connected with Thompson, this time for a six-yard score.
The Bobcat defense also dominated.
Bowling Green had first and goal from inside the six on each of their first two drives but came up with only three points.
“It was huge. As an offense you never want to go down 7-0,” Bates said. “It was a big stop in the red zone. It was a momentum swinger.”
The Bobcats also won the turnover battle for the second straight week.
“We gave up too many points so we’re going to go back to drawing board with that, but it was good to get the turnovers,” safety Donovan Fletcher said.
On the first drive of the third quarter, Fletcher intercepted a Matt Schilz pass and returned it 55 yards for Ohio’s first defensive touchdown of the year.
“With the offense rolling like that, we had to make sure we didn’t let them down,” Fletcher said. “Both the offense and special teams had it going so we just need to make sure we keep getting better.”
Head coach Frank Solich was pleased with his team’s effort.
“The defense did a great job to set the tone and offensively we just made big plays,” Solich said after the game. “The two-quarterback system we’re using seems to play out well for us. We’re still improving and we’re getting better week by week.”