By BRIAN LESTER
Still a few hours before kickoff of the University of Findlay's game against Wayne State today at Donnell Stadium. I will be blogging live from the game, a game that is huge for the Oilers as they look to remain in contention for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.
A win puts the Oilers at 3-1 heading into next week's road tilt against Northwood. A loss knocks them to the .500 mark and they can't afford to let that happen if they hope to contend for a title in a league where a team rarely wins it with more than one setback.
I talked with senior running back Melvin Jackson the other day about the game and he said the Oilers are close to finally getting their run game going. That will have to happen today against a tough WSU defense. Going into this game, the Oilers are averaging just 70 yards on the ground.
"We are struggling but we feel like we are close to having that big game," Jackson said. "We had a tough loss last week to Ferris but we've worked hard in practice and all 11 of us on offense are working on getting on the same page. We're looking forward to seeing what we can do against Wayne State."
A year ago, the Oilers rushed for 398 yards in their win over Wayne State, a 35-28 overtime victory in Detroit. Former UF running back Joel McDaniel rushed for 229 yards in the win and scored the game-winning touchdown.
That is all for now but check back here later for updates on the game.
The game is about 12 minutes from kickoff. The sun is shining and its hot. A great day for football.
Check back here for scoring updates and my thoughts on the game as the night rolls on.
WSU just moved the ball down the field at will, mostly on the strength of Joique Bell, who ran into the end zone from 2 yards out to put the Warriors ahead 7-0 with 7:48 to go in the first.
The Oilers need a big offensive series after a 3-and-out on the first possession.
UF went 3-and-out again and WSU made the most of it as Kevin Smith hit Ed Sanders on a 41-yard TD pass to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead with 3:48 left. UF has only 10 yards on its first two drives.
UF fumbles the ball on its next drive and the Warriors turn it into a touchdown. They march down the field in eight plays and Bell caps the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone. The Warriors lead 21-0 with 12:48 to play in the second quarter.
He now has 2 TDs in the game. It is intersting to note that WSU had only one rushing TD coming into this tilt.
UF has yet to piece together any kind of a rally and has turned the ball over twice in the second quarter. Anthony Fields picked off his 3rd pass of the season for the Oilers but Anthony Lanzara threw a pick of his own as the Warriors killed off a potential UF scoring drive quickly.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the Warriors have struck again. Smith throws a 30-yard scoring strike to a wide open Aaron Higginbottom. UF is now in a 28-0 hole and has played by far one of the worst games I have covered in my seven years on the beat.
Halftime has arrived and the Oilers are down 28-0. They have already been shutout once this season. The Warriors have had success throwing and running the ball while the Oilers haven't been able to generate anything on the offensive side of the ball.
Lanzara has struggled to throw the ball and the Oilers still can't get their ground game going as they appear to be on the cusp of falling short of the century mark in rushing yards for the fourth consecutive game.
The Oilers have only 73 yards of offense. The Warriors have rolled up 286.
UF head coach Jon Wauford can't be happy about this. Especially with this game being Homecoming and a big conference game.
Stay tuned for the second half. It can't be any worse than the first half.
The Oilers are back in business. Sort of. Jordan Marshall recovered a fumble at the WSU 22-yard line and Anthony Lanzara scored on a 1-yard run to put the Oilers on the board. The score is 28-7 with 9:30 left in the third quarter. The key play was a 21-yard pass to Adam Snyder that put UF at the 1.
The Oilers are down 28-7 with 8:20 to go. It looks like UF will be at 2-2 on the year after this one. Its GLIAC championship dreams are over but that doesn't mean the season has to be a disappointment. The Oilers just need to focus on putting this one behind them and going forward into next week.
By the way, here is the kind of day it was for the Oilers. They had three straight cracks at the end zone from the 1 but were unable to get in. Another tough day for the offense to say the least.
It is official. The Oilers fall 28-7, falling to 2-2 overall and to 1-2 in the GLIAC.