WHAT: Capital Crusaders (2-3, 2-2 OAC) at Ohio Northern Polar Bears (3-2, 2-2 OAC)
|The Craig Candeto Show - 10/15/2015|
|Getting to know Zak Sheridan - 10/15/2015|
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 17 | 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dial-Roberson Stadium | Ada, Ohio
SCOUTING THE POLAR BEARS
The Polar Bears have a new leader under center, and he has proven that despite his youth he is the team's future. Will Freed has racked up over 1,300 yards through the air and is averaging 271.8 yards passing per game. While his touchdown-to-interception ratio is near level (8:7), he also has a pair of rushing touchdowns and has led the Polar Bears to a respectable 3-2 overall record. His favorite target is one of the OAC and nation's best ... Devon Price. Price has 41 receptions and 422 yards (84.4 ypc) yet does not have a receiving touchdown yet. Junior wide out Reed Allen's numbers are intriguing, as he has four touchdown catches of his 17 total. Allen is just six yards off the pace of Price, but has 24 fewer catches, meaning his average gain per catch is far greater (24.5 ypc). Senior running back Justin Magazine is averaging more than 100 yards per game on the ground and has seven rushing touchdowns, this season.
Like the Crusaders, Ohio Northern has had trouble getting to the quarterback this season, registering just six sacks while surrendering 14. The defense is surrendering more than 400 yards per game and more than 200 both passing and rushing. Sophomore linebacker Zach Schmerge leads all Polar Bears with 51 tackles (10.2 tpg), 31 of them solo. Junior defensive back Dan Eller is just behind him with 49. Senior DB Darrell Bloom leads the backfield with five pass breakups.
HISTORY WITH OHIO NORTHERN
The series between the Polar Bears and Crusaders dates back to 1930 when ONU took the first of its 36 all-time wins from Capital. Ohio Northen has won seven straight, dating back to 2008. Capital's last victory came in 2007 when they defeated ONU by a 24-6 score. Each of the last three meetings have been decided by two scores or less.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET ...
... if you take out the big plays by Ohio Northern, the 2014 edition of this game ends very differently. Ohio Northern had three different scoring plays of 60 yards or more, all in consecutive possessions. A Patrick Angle led Polar Bear offense put up nearly 400 yards passing, though the Capital defense limited RB Justin Magazine to just 71 yards rushing. Capital posted two different 100-plus yard rushers in that game with QB Nick Iske going for 115 yards and three touchdowns while RB Brent Walton tallied 144 yards and one touchdown. Between the two of them, they combined for 46 rush attempts of the 80 total offensive plays. Down 38-24, Capital scored with 1:25 left on the clock to make it a one-touchdown game, but was unable to retain the ball for one last drive.
WALTON TIES CAP ALL-TIME RUSHING RECORD
Just starting his third season as the Crusaders' B-back, junior Brent Walton is quickly approaching Capital career rushing records. Last week against Otterbein, he tallied 23 yards on the ground to share the title of being Capital's all-time leading rusher. He shares that record holder with Rayshaun Gales (2000-02) at 2,287 yards. Walton was forced to leave the game due to injury and will be out of this weekend's matchup with Ohio Northern.
Walton is also creeping up on another single-season mark for rushing touchdowns. The junior currently has nine on the year after posting three in each of his first three games this season. The single-season record holder is Al White, who in 1959 found the endzone 14 times.
SHERIDAN PICKS UP REPS AND CAREER-HIGH
Sophomore quarterback Zak Sheridan (Zanesville, Ohio/Philo) has seen an increase in in-game reps over the last three games. After rushing a combined nine times in the first two games of the season, Sheridan has since had an average of 14 rushes per game over the last three games. He posted a career-high 19 rushes and 119 yards in last week's loss to Otterbein and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. He went 3-for-4 for 20 yards through the air in the loss, as well.
For complete Capital game notes, click here.