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The Capital University football team recovered from a challenging first half with a strong second Saturday, but fell just short in a 28-14 defeat at Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference showdown in Ada, Ohio.Aaron Knisley action shot

Junior quarterback Alex Nydza (Cleveland, Ohio) posted 85 yards rushing and a touchdown to lead the Crusaders (1-2 overall, 1-1 OAC). Senior defensive lineman Aaron Knisley (Bexley, Ohio; at right) led the defense with 12 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss.

The contest was delayed for over an hour near the end of the second quarter due to inclement weather in the area.

After falling behind 21-0 in the first half, the Crusaders improved their play in the second half, putting together scoring drives of 40 and 61 yards while holding the Polar Bears (1-2, 1-1) to just 112 yards in the period.

After senior Alex Coleman (Columbus, Ohio) returned the opening kickoff of the second half 48 yards into ONU territory, sophomore running back Nolan Gill (Hilliard, Ohio) plunged in from two yards out with 10:44 to play in the third quarter.

Capital drew to within two scores on Nydza's two-yard touchdown run with 13:14 to play in the fourth quarter. The Crusaders forced Ohio Northern, which chewed over seven minutes off the clock, to punt, but were held on fourth down before the Polar Bears ran out the clock.

Capital was held to 72 total yards and four first downs in the opening half as Ohio Northern tallied 238, including 134 on the ground. Freshman running back Bo Hardy (Galloway, Ohio) continued his strong freshman season with 52 first-half yards, accounting for more than half of the team's total in the frame. 

Senior linebacker Tyler Dugan (Columbus, Ohio) recorded seven tackle and an interception, while senior defensive lineman Seth Nelson (Columbus, Ohio) added nine stops and two for a loss.

The Crusaders return home to continue conference play next Saturday, Sept. 29, against John Carroll. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Bernlohr Stadium.