By Tim Glon
ADA — When Ohio Northern and Heidelberg square off against each other for the 79th time on the gridion at 2:15 pm on Saturday at Dial-Roberson Stadium, they will be celebrating much more than just a football game.
The Polar Bears and the Student Princes will square off on Veterans Appreciation Day and will battle for the annual Bendekovic Bowl trophy.
An F-16 flyover immediately following the national anthem and other ceremonies honoring American veterans from all branches of the US armed forces will highlight the day's activities.
All veterans of the United States Armed Forces and their families will be admitted into the game for free and will have the opportunity to be honored on the field prior to the game.
Tickets, priced at $5 for adults and $3 for students, will be available at the gate.
The Ohio Northern players will be wearing special camouflage jerseys in the game. Those game-worn jerseys will be available for purchase at the game with all profits going to the Ohio Veterans of Foreign Wars Veterans Services Fund.
The Polar Bears (0-1) are led through the air and on the ground by quarterback Tyler Rue, who was 26-of-37 passing for 215 yards and a score and ran 16 times for 60 yards and a second TD in Northern's 16-13 overtime loss at North Carolina Wesleyan on Sept. 1.
Heidelberg opened its 2012 season with an impressive 45-0 win over Alma (Mich.) on Sept. 1.
Cartel Brooks rushed 20 times for 155 yards and 2 TDs and Michael Mees was 9 of 12 passing for 111 yards and 2 TDs for HU.
The Student Princes raced out of the gate, scoring on each of their four first quarter possessions and led 45-0 at halftime. HU out-gained Alma 449-231 in total offense, including a 253-59 advantage in rushing.
Chadd Williamson had 9 tackles to lead HU.
Last year, Heidelberg snapped a 16-game losing streak in the series with a 48-21 win in Tiffin in the inaugural Bendekovic Bowl.
The Bendekovic Bowl honors the late Ronnie and Jason Bendekovic, who served as assistants at ONU and Heidelberg, respectively.
Ohio Northern leads the all-time series between the two schools by a 43-30-5 margin.
Live stats and audio can be found online at ONUSports.com.