Junior quarterback Dominick Orsini (Massillon/Archbishop Hoban) fired a pair of 37-yard touchdown passes as Ohio Wesleyan raced to a 27-0 first-quarter lead, and the Bishops went on to outscore Oberlin 55-42 in North Coast Athletic Conference action on Saturday night at Selby Stadium.
The Bishops scored less than a minute into the game, with freshman running back Jesse Beachy (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) breaking loose on a 40-yard scoring run on the fourth play from scrimmage.
After the Ohio Wesleyan defense held Oberlin on a fourth-down conversion attempt from just inside the midfield stripe, the Bishops struck quickly for another score, with Orsini connecting with junior wide receiver Tim Shadoan (Dublin/Scioto) on a 37-yard pass play to cap a 5-play scoring drive that increased the Bishop lead to 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Oberlin’s Jabari Clemons fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and senior kicker Nolan Kovach (Avon Lake) recovered for Ohio Wesleyan on the Oberlin 37-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Orsini went deep and found junior wide receiver Eugene Coleman (Northfield/Nordonia) for a 37-yard scoring play. Shadoan’s conversion attempt hit the left upright, leaving the Bishop lead at 20-0 with 7:49 left in the first quarter.
Ohio Wesleyan struck for one more score in the quarter when sophomore linebacker Jacob Kleinhenz (Columbia Station/Columbia) blocked an Oberlin punt and junior linebacker Mason Tomblin (Wooster) scooped up the ball and raced 25 yards for a score that gave the Bishops a 27-0 lead with 2:10 to play in the quarter.
The Yeomen threatened early in the second quarter, with Lucas Poggiali connecting with Robby Reinheimer for a 48-yard gain that put the ball at the Bishop 16-yard line, but on second-and-goal from the OWU 5, Poggiali’s pass was tipped and senior safety Zane Kieffer (Findlay/Van Buren) intercepted in the end zone.
Oberlin got the ball back after Anthony Allen sacked Orsini and forced a fumble at the Bishop 10-yard line, with Michael Pruchnicki recovering at the Bishop 7. Facing a fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Poggiali found Clemons on a slant for the touchdown to make it 27-6 with 9:23 left in the half. The Yeomen added a score on their next possession, with Poggiali running a quarterback sneak to convert a fourth-and-1 call from the 2-yard line to keep the drive going, then calling his own number again to score and make it a 27-12 game.
The Bishops answered with an efficient march down the field, getting an 11-yard run by Orsini for one first down and an Orsini-to-junior wide receiver Adrian Bishop (San Diego, Calif./Madison) connection for another. Beachy picked up another first down, then burst free for 13 yards and a first down at the Oberlin 2, from where Orsini scored on a quarterback draw to give Ohio Wesleyan a 34-12 lead.
After Oberlin’s Fletcher Quigley fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, with freshman cornerback Layne Coffey (Franklin) recovering for Ohio Wesleyan at the Oberlin 23, Orsini hit Beachy for 21 yards and a first down at the Oberlin 2 before Beachy covered the final 2 yards for a score that gave the Bishops a 41-12 lead at the half.
Freshman running back Rob Harnais (Braintree, Mass./Boston College) scored on a 21-yard run late in the third quarter to increase the Bishop lead to 48-12.
After Khalil Rivers scored on a 2-yard run, Poggiali tossed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes for the Yeomen, hitting Reinheimer on a 22-yard play and connecting with Clemons on a 10-yard strike to bring the visitors within 48-34 with 1:10 left in regulation time.
Looking to make it a one-score game, Yeomen went for an onside kick, but Shadoan fielded the kick and raced 39 yards up the left sideline for a score that made it 55-34 with 1:03 to play.
Orsini completed 11 of 17 passes for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for 45 yards on 12 carries. Beachy led Bishop rushers with 61 yards and 2 scores on 14 carries, and Bishop had a team-high 4 catches for 28 yards.
Defensive leaders for the Bishops included junior linebacker Keaton Leppla (Millersburg/West Holmes), who finished with 9 stops; senior linebacker Brad Dotson (Piqua), who had 8 tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss; senior cornerback Roemello Cook (Akron/Buchtel), who made 6 tackles; and junior end Gary Brodek (Parma/Valley Forge), who recorded 6 tackles.
Poggiali completed 27 of 44 throws for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns. Clemons caught 7 passes for 73 yards and 2 scores. Justin Williams led the Yeomen with 48 yards on 12 carries. Gabe Edwards recorded 8 tackles, including 1 for loss, and broke up a pass.
Ohio Wesleyan 3, Marietta 0; Ohio Wesleyan 3, Wilmington 0.
Ohio Wesleyan 1, Denison 1.
Denison 5, Ohio Wesleyan 0.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.