By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern scored on its first three possessions, then got a key fourth quarter stop to hang on for a 35-28 Ohio Athletic Conference football victory over Baldwin Wallace on a chilly and breezy Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium.
The Polar Bears improve to 5-4 overall and are 5-3 in the league, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 7-2, 6-2.
With the victory, ONU also clinched its 23rd upper division OAC finish in the past 25 seasons.
Senior Anthony McFadden (Chillicothe/Paint Valley) completed 12-of-17 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns and ran 16 times for 52 yards and a touchdown to lead the ONU offense.
Junior All-American Christiaan Williams (Sidney/Anna) ran 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, making him just the second player in Ohio Northern history to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark in his career.
In 28 career games, Williams has 4,090 rushing yards and is only 79 more yards to tie the school record by All-American and former NFL standout Jamal Robertson, who ran for 4,169 yards from 1997-2000.
Junior Chase Rose (Kenton/Upper Scioto Valley) had five receptions for 109 yards and two scores for ONU.
Keegan Armitage led the Yellow Jackets by completing 26-of-44 passes for 286 yards and a score.
Ohio Northern scored on its first possessions, marching 82 yards, 51 yards and 52 yards, to take a 21-7 second quarter lead.
McFadden hit Rose on a 70-yard touchdown pass on ONU's fourth play from scrimmage and it was 7-0 just 4:46 into the contest.
The ONU defense forced a 3-and-out and took over at its 49 yard line after a short BW punt into a hefty wind.
McFadden again hit Rose on an 8-yard TD pass to cap the 10-play drive and it was 14-0 with 3:17 left in the first.
BW drove 75 yards in seven plays to get within 14-7 with 13 seconds left before the end of the quarter.
McFadden did the scoring himself on the next drive, scampering in from 9 yards put and it was 21-7 with 10:44 left in the half.
The Yellow Jackets then went 72 yards in seven plays and made it 21-14 with 7:21 left in the half.
Sophomore Nate Dean (Euclid/Villa Angela-Saint Joseph) returned an interception to the BW 25-yard line, setting up a 10-yard pass from McFadeen to sophomore Austin Eick (Rossford) with 1:00 left in the half as ONU led 28-14 at intermission.
Northern took the second half kickoff and drove to the BW 4-yard line but the Yellow Jackets held on a 4th and 2.
Baldwin Wallace then marched 95 yards in 12 plays and got within 28-21 with 3:43 left in the third.
Junior Drew Staczek (Walbridge/Cardinal Stritch) intercpeted a BW pass and returned it 54 yards to the BW 10-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
It took just two Williams runs to give ONU a 35-21 lead with 10:33 left in the game.
Baldwin Wallace answered with another long drive, going 80 yards in 15 plays, and scored to make it 35-28 with 4:58 left in the game.
ONU picked up one first down, but was forced to punt on its next series.
Sophomore Aaron Everhart (Ada) pinned BW deep at its own 7 with a 49-yard punt with 2:12 left in the game.
The Polar Bear defense allowed one first down, but held on downs and the BW 24 with 37 seconds left to ice the game.
Senior David Haseleu (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) tied his career-high with 13 tackels to lead the ONU defense.
Baldwin Wallace out-gained Ohio Northern 429-328 in total offense.
The Polar Bears will wrap up their season next Saturday when they host Heidelberg in the annual Bendekovic Bowl at 1:30 pm at Dial-Roberson Stadium.