COLUMBUS - The Capital University football team picked up its second straight victory to begin the season, defeating Wilmington, 34-21, in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup at Bernlohr Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Capital (2-0 overall) gained over 400 yards for its second straight game, helping to aid a 21-14 first half lead.
Freshman defensive back Joe Rodriguez (Miami Spring, Fla.) posted the Crusaders' initial touchdown of the contest just over a minute into the first frame, intercepting a Quakers pass and returning it 93 yards for the score.
With a one touchdown advantage for Capital, Wilmington began its next drive at its own 15-yard line, driving the ball down the field in a 16-play, 85-yard drive in just under eight minutes of action to even the score at seven points apiece.
Sophomore slot back Brenden Doyle (Pickerington, Ohio) capped off an eight-play, 51-yard drive for the Crusaders, crossing the goal line for Capital's first offensive touchdown on the afternoon.
The Quakers again responded with their own eight-play, 51-yard drive, maintaining possession for over eight minutes of play to tie the game at 14 points apiece.
Just before halftime, sophomore running back Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio) pushed the Crusaders back into the lead at 21-14, recording an extended run for the score.
As the second half of play unfolded, Capital tallied the lone touchdown of the third quarter, as Walton helped add to the Crusaders advantage, posting his second touchdown of the game on a 49 yard run.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Crusaders again moved the ball effectively on offense with a 13-point lead, compiling an eight-play, 59-yard drive in just under four minutes, as freshman running back Oshton Armstrong (South Miami, Fla.) scored the first touchdown of his Capital career.
Wilmington posted a late touchdown in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 58-yard catch and run to narrow its deficit to 34-21. The Quakers then attempted an onside kick, which Capital recovered and proceeded to run the ball one additional time for the final play of the game.
Leading the Crusaders on offense was Walton, who compiled a game-high 295 yards on 23 carries with a pair of scores.
Sophomore quarterbacks Chase Longwell (Hilliard, Ohio) and Nick Iske (Hilliard, Ohio) combined to complete four-of-eight passes for 79 yards on the afternoon. Iske also rushed for 23 yards on seven carries.
Doyle led the Crusaders receiving, catching one pass for 27 yards, while classmate Nick Waters (Hilliard, Ohio) caught a pair of passes for 22 yards.
Defensively, Capital was led by an array of tacklers, as senior linebacker TJ Langermeier (West Jefferson, Ohio) tied with fellow linebacker in sophomore R.J. Heins (Sidney, Ohio) for the Crusader lead in total tackles (8). Langermeier led the team with 2.5 tackles for a loss, as well as a forced and recovered fumble.
In addition, freshman defensive back Logan Mahar (Amherst, Ohio) recovered a pair of fumbles and four tackles. Rodriguez posted the lone interception for Capital in the game, opening the first quarter scoring for the Crusaders.
A total of 13 Capital players checked in with at least three tackles on the afternoon.
Freshman punter Tanner Gillum (Pickerington, Ohio) aided the Crusaders' field position battle, punting the ball twice inside the Quakers own 20 yard line.
With the win, Capital is now set to return the road for its second OAC contest of the season, as the Crusaders travel to Muskingum on Sept. 27. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in New Concord, Ohio.