By Tim Glon
ALLIANCE — The Ohio Northern football team dropped a 43-14 decision at No. 2-ranked Mount Union on Saturday afternoon at Mount Union Stadium.
The Polar Bears fall to 2-2 overall and are 1-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Purple Raiders improve to 4-0, 3-0.
Trailing 3-0 late in the first quarter, Northern drove deep into Mount Union territory. But an 89-yard pick-6 turned the momentum of the game and gave the hosts a 10-0 lead with 49 seconds left in the first period.
Mount then drove 81 and 69 yards for touchdowns on its next two possessions and took advantage of a fumble deep inside ONU territory to take a 27-0 lead at halftime.
"The interception was a big play in the game, no doubt," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "We did not respond to the play quickly enough. Mistakes are going to happen, and good teams like Mount Union will make you pay for them. But we needed to do a better job of responding to the adversity. By the time we had regained our composure, the game was 27-0 and had gotten away from us."
The Polar Bears got on the board when junior Will Freed (Carlsbad, Calif,/San marcos) hit senior Malachi Nolletti (Jeromesville/Northwestern) on a 13-yard TD pass with 7:13 left in the third quarter to make it 27-7.
Later in the game, Freed hit Nolletti on an 8-yard TD pass with 3:07 left to play to complete the scoring.
Freed finished the day 19-for-38 passing for 197 yards and two TDs and sophomore Christiaan Williams (Anna) carried the ball 17 times for 49 yards for ONU. Nolletti caught six passes for 54 yards and his two scores.
Mount Union out-gained Ohio Northern 454-214 in total offense and controlled the ball for 34:31.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday when they host Capital in a 6 pm night game at Dial-Roberson Stadium.