OWU falls to Wooster in NCAC opener


Senior quarterback Brian Berry (Parma/Valley Forge) tossed a pair of second-half touchdown passes as Ohio Wesleyan looked to come back from a halftime deficit, but Wooster withstood the threat and went on to a win 38-20 in the Bishops’ North Coast Athletic Conference opener on Saturday in Wooster.

Early in the third quarter, Ohio Wesleyan took over on the Wooster 25-yard line when junior linebacker Jordan King (Littlerock, Calif.) forced a fumble and senior defensive end Jermaine Frazer-Phillips (New London, Conn./Suffield Academy) recovered for the Bishops.

It took the Bishops just one play to find the Wooster end zone, with Berry connecting with sophomore wide receiver Mher Tcholokian (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) for 25 yards and a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

Later in the quarter, Berry connected with senior wide receiver Hunter Baker (Chagrin Falls/St. Ignatius) twice for 16 yards and with sophomore wide receiver Sasoun Tcholakian (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) twice more for 24 yards to move the ball to the Wooster 15-yard line. On third down from the 9, a face mask penalty gave the Bishops a first down, and on the first play from scrimmage, junior running back Jesse Beachy (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) covered the final 7 yards for the touchdown.

Senior safety Ben Rubel (Toledo/St. John’s) recovered a fumble at the Bishop 7-yard line on Wooster’s ensuing possession, and the Ohio Wesleyan offense went to work, with Berry completing 8 consecutive passes during one stretch. A Wooster personal foul and the final completion, a 27-yard strike to Sasoun Tcholokian, gave Ohio Wesleyan a first down at the Wooster 2, and on fourth down from the Fighting Scot 4, Berry found Baker for a 4-yard scoring play to bring the Bishops within 38-20 with 3:49 left in regulation time.

Wooster recovered an onside kick, and looking to run out the clock, the Scots found themselves in a fourth-and-2 situation from the Ohio Wesleyan 27-yard line. Antonio Bailey got the ball and picked up 7 yards, and the hosts were able to run out the clock.

The Fighting Scots had taken a first-quarter lead on a pair of touchdown passes from Gary Muntean to Connor Allan, the first covering 36 yards to cap a 77-yard, 10-play drive, and the second good for 8 yards to end a 14-play, 63-yard drive. Wooster scored on the first play of the second quarter, with Bailey’s 2-yard run extending the lead to 21-0, before the Muntean-to-Allan connection clicked again for an 8-yard scoring play that helped the hosts to a 28-0 lead. Midway through the second quarter, Muntean found Nick Strausbaugh on a 68-yard scoring play that made it 35-0.

Berry completed 29 of 44 passes for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sasoun Tcholokian caught 7 passes for 68 yards and Baker had 7 catches for 57 yards. Beachy led Ohio Wesleyan rushers with 42 yards on 11 carries.

Senior safety Brad Brodek (Parma/Valley Forge) led the Bishops with 19 tackles and forced a fumble, while freshman linebacker Cody Streit (Griffin, Ga.) and Rubel finished with 8 apiece.

Muntean completed 25 of 34 passes for 362 yards and 4 scores. Strausbaugh had 6 receptions for 171 yards and Allan caught 6 passes for 87 yards. Bailey gained 90 yards on 25 carries. Beau Greenwood led Wooster with 8 tackles.

Staff Report

OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.