Despite the Crusaders (2-7 overall, 1-7 OAC) nearly hitting 400 yards rushing as a team, Heidelberg (7-2 overall, 6-2 OAC) used multiple big plays and three turnovers to turn down enough Capital drives to capture the win. Capital finished the day eclipsing their season rushing average of 274 yards per game by finishing Saturday's loss with 390 yards on the ground. Senior Nolan Gill (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) led the Crusaders with 82 rushing yards on 16 carries, joining two teammates with 75 or more yards over the game.
Sophomore Brent Walton (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) led the team with 19 carries and accumulated 81 yards, while freshman Cory Heeter (Circleville, Ohio) had seven carries for 75 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.
Heidelberg displayed control early by scoring on their first play from scrimmage. Nick Delisa took the opening kickoff 64 yards, setting up a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Mees to wide receiver Donteea Dye.
Capital responded on its first attempt with the ball, scoring a touchdown following an eight-play, 56-yard drive. Heeter gave the Crusaders good starting field position and then freshman quarterback Nick Iske (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) aided in moving the ball down the field with four rushes and a 29-yard strike to junior Jake Skelton (Madison, Ohio). Iske finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown run, his seventh of the season. The point-after attempt was no good, leaving Capital behind 7-6.
Heidelberg scored two drives later, once again on a one-play drive that this time covered 54 yards. Running back Cartel Brooks took the handoff and found a hole in the Capital defense, leading a path all the way to the end zone.
The Student Princes scored three more touchdowns and added a field goal all before the close of the first half to take a 38-6 lead into the locker room. Mees found Dye from 27 yards away and also added a seven-yard scoring run to compliment a one-yard touchdown rush by Brooke and a 25-yard field goal by Stephen Smith.
Heeter scored his second touchdown of the season in the third quarter as part of a six-play, 71-yard drive than spanned 3:04. The freshman ripped a run down the sideline and broke multiple tackles to score from 47 yards away. After back-to-back two-point conversion attempts were penalized for pass interference, one on each side, Nick Waters (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) took a toss and turned the corner for a successful conversion.
The momentum did not last long. Mees and the Student Princes struck again and for the third time in the game scored on the first play of a drive when he connected with Christian Dominguez for a 71-yard touchdown pass. That score put Heidelberg up 45-14 midway through the third quarter.
Zak Sheridan (Zanesville, Ohio/Philo) made his first appearance under center for the Crusaders halfway through the third quarter and was responsible for two Capital touchdowns out of the three drives he led. The first was a 22-yard touchdown pass to fellow freshman Marcus Avery Jr., the first of both of their careers. The second touchdown drive was in the final minute of the game with he ran from 13 yards out and found the end zone, marking the first rushing touchdown of his career.
The Student Princes finished with two rushers with over 100 yards of work, while Mees finished 14-for-19 through the air with 262 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, sophomore Jimmy Curtis (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson) led the Crusaders with eight tackles, one pass broken up, and one forced fumbled. It was his third forced fumble in the last two games. RJ Heins (Sidney, Ohio) followed closely with seven tackles and one forced fumble.
Saturday also marked the final home game for five seniors on the Capital football team. Slotback Nolan Gill, offensive lineman Bradley Beck, special teamer Joseph Riley, and linebackers TJ Langermeier and Taylor Patterson were honored before the game for their commitment and contributions to the program.
Capital will conclude its season next Saturday, Nov. 15, on the road against Marietta College. Kickoff from Don Drumm Stadium is set for 1 p.m.