Bishops open season with win at Otterbein


Senior quarterback Kaden Buza and sophomore wide receiver Tyler Webb connected on a 62-yard touchdown pass that put the Ohio Wesleyan football team ahead to stay late in the third quarter, and the Bishops struck for 21 fourth-quarter points on the way to a 35-21 non-conference win over Otterbein on Saturday in Westerville.

Ohio Wesleyan took the lead late in the first quarter when junior free safety Drew Thornton blocked a Cardinal punt and senior wide receiver Bryan Benavente recovered the ball on the hosts’ 3-yard line. Sophomore running back Devon Haley (Granville) picked up 2 yards on first down, then scored on second down to put the Bishops on the scoreboard.

Otterbein evened the game late in the third quarter, with Cardinal linebacker Tayon Howard intercepting a Buza pass and returning it 51 yards to the Bishop 39-yard line. After the Cardinals converted a second-and-26 on a 35-yard strike from Eason Hardouin to Owen Menge, Hardoun found Jordan Bost-Floyd on a 9-yard scoring play to even the game at 7.

On the Bishops’ ensuing possession, Buza connected with Webb on the 62-yard scoring play, capping an 89-yard drive. Senior kicker Gabriel Chlebowski converted the point-after try for a 14-7 Bishop lead.

Senior running back Marquis Henry broke loose on a 73-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter, stretching the Ohio Wesleyan lead to 21-7, and the teams traded points from there, with a 60-yard strike from Buza to senior wide receiver Caden Calhoun and a 16-yard interception return by junior linebacker Charlie Hornacek countering a pair of Ahjay Cody scoring runs for Otterbein.

Henry led the Bishops with 80 yards on 6 rushes. Buza completed 11 of 30 throws for 257 yards and 2 scores. Calhoun caught 3 passes for 97 yards and a score, and senior wide receiver Jakii Alston had 3 receptions for 60 yards. Senior nose guard Chase Kelly led the Bishops with 9 tackles, including 2 for loss, and a pass breakup, while Hornacek, junior linebacker Bryar Ramey, junior linebacker Seth Anderson, and Thornton each added 8 stops, with Anderson adding 1½ tackles for loss, Ramey a tackle for loss, Hornacek half a tackle for loss and the interception, and Thornton the blocked punt.

OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.

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