Cardinals Break Away from Crusaders in Second Half

(Photo credit: Capital University Athletics)
(Photo credit: Capital University Athletics)
WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Capital Football fought through the first half of Friday night's rivalry game against Otterbein University and took a one-score game into the half. However, the Cardinals broke away with 25 unanswered points in the second half to help lead to a 50-28 final score in Otterbein's favor.

Capital (2-3 overall, 1-3 OAC) started the game off on the right foot by scoring on its opening drive using a strong rush attack to get them inside the 10-yard line. Following a 29-yard rush by Nolan Gill, Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) ended the scoring drive by banging home a six-yard run to put the Crusaders up early.

The Crusaders nearly doubled up their lead after forcing Otterbein into a three-and-out, but was stopped on a fourth down chance to force a turnover on downs. Otterbein then scored on the its next drive when Brick Davis hit Drew Ervin for a 17-yard pass to tie the game.

Otterbein took its first lead after taking advantage of an interception thrown by Nick Iske (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson). After the turn of the quarter, Reid Hutchinson capped off the 11-play, 67-yard drive with a two-yard run to take a 14-7 lead.

Iske and the Crusaders tied the game back up when the freshman took in one of his three rushing touchdowns on the night. However, the Cardinals responded with a four-play, 74 yard scoring drive when Cole Benner found the end zone from 24 yards out to make the score 21-14.

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued when once again a Nolan Gill rush set up a short yardage run for the score. Iske hit paydirt for a second time with 9:11 remaining in the second quarter, this time for a two-yard score.

Otterbein quarterback Brick Davis answered that score with a short touchdown run of his own on the next drive, putting the hosts up 27-21 heading into the half.

The second half belonged to the Cardinals, who scored a trio of touchdowns to pull away from the Crusaders. After both teams failed to score with its first offensive possession of the second half, Otterbein used one play on its next attempt to up its lead to 13 points. Hutchinson rolled out a 61-yard touchdown run to score with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Crusaders struggled to get into a flow on the offensive side of the ball and were forced to punt on three straight possessions while Davis added his second rushing touchdown of the night. Capital's only score in the second half came from Iske who rushed for a third touchdown, but was not enough to mount a comeback.

Despite the three rushing touchdowns, Iske also threw three interceptions. He went 12-for-29 through the air for 133 yards and added 67 yards on the ground.

Gill led all Crusaders on the ground with a season-high nine rushes and 103 yards.  Walton nearly matched his production from last year's game with 80 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He added 33 yards receiving on a pair of catches.

Defensively, Jordan Blair led the team with nine tackles, two of those for a loss. Trevor Parker made eight stops.

The Cardinals (3-2 overall, 3-1 OAC) put together 544 yards of total offense, 256 of which came on the ground. Hutchinson led Otterbein with 149 yards on seven carries, getting into the end zone twice. Davis tossed for 288 yards through the air on 17-for-34 passing.

Capital has now lost three straight and will take the week to prepare for a home game against Ohio Northern University. Kickoff is set for Saturday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. from Bernlohr Stadium.