Strong Rushing Attack Grounds Cap Football

Pictured: David Barnett making a touchdown grab. (Photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: David Barnett making a touchdown grab. (Photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director

ADA, Ohio – Amid severe rain and wind that flowed through Ada, Ohio, the Polar Bears of Ohio Northern University delivered Capital University Football a 51-21 defeat at Dial-Roberson Stadium on Saturday night. Capital was unable to stop Christiaan Williams and the ONU running game while the offense took too long to get going in order to slow down the hosts.

While Capital's defense was able to stop Ohio Northern on its first possession, the Polar Bears' offense was next to unstoppable from that point on. Following their opening drive, the Polar Bears scored touchdowns on three straight drives and added a field goal to make for four consecutive scoring drives before the end of the first half.

Capital went three-and-out on its first touch of the ball, but then mounted a 52-yard drive to place them just inside the red zone. Freshman Blake Middleton lined up for a 37-yard field goal to get Capital on the board, but the kick hit the left upright.

ONU running back Christiaan Williams served as the workhorse of the first half, touching the ball on 19 of the Polar Bears' 36 offense plays. He ran the ball 18 times for 218 yards in the first half and scored two touchdowns. Anthony McFadden added the other rushing touchdown of the first half, scoring on his lone carry from seven yards away.

On the other side, Capital struggled to move the ball with regularity, especially on the ground. Though junior quarterback Thomas Wibbeler (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) completed 17-of-26 pass attempts in the first half, he tallied just 108 yards (15.4 ypc) and was under consistent pressure from the ONU defensive line. That same line limited Capital running backs to just 21 first half yards.

The Polar Bears took a 24-0 lead into halftime, and came right back out scoring in the third. Williams added 47 more yards to his total line, setting up a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Will Freed and Caleb Saalfled.

After ONU went up 31-0, Capital's pass game opened up as did the skies in Ada. Capital found paydirt three times, twice by way of a Thomas Wibbeler touchdown pass. David Barnett (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) caught his fifth touchdown pass of the season, a 19-yard reception in the third quarter. Senior Nick Waters (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) caught his first touchdown pass of the season, a nine-yard catch from Wibbeler.

In between Capital's two passing touchdowns, Nateshawn Hargove (Columbus, Ohio/Northland) found the end zone for the third time this season after breaking off a nine-yard scoring scamper. He served as the top back for Capital, rushing 16 times for 92 yards, both career highs.

Wibbeler ended the night with 28 completions on 45 attempts for 243 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Dartavious Stanford served as Wibbeler's favorite target, hauling in a career-high 10 catches for 118 yards. This marked his third 100-plus yard game receiving, but also the first time he was held without a touchdown catch after making at least one in each of his first four games as a Crusader.

The defense had a rough night, allowing 51 points, 643 total yards and 470 rushing yards. Kayon Perkins, Austin White and Kane Murray all shared the team lead with seven tackles.

ONU's Christiaan Williams finished the night with a school record 407 rushing yards and scored three times. Five of the Polar Bears seven touchdowns were on the ground.

Capital (1-4, 1-3 OAC) will bounce back into action with another road contest next Saturday. They will travel to Alliance, Ohio to take on No. 2 University of Mount Union at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 14.