By Kevin Schrock
The University of Findlay football squad traveled to Hillsdale on Saturday and had no problem handing the Chargers a loss in their home opener. The final score was 45-34 but the Oilers took control of the game early and never really gave the Chargers a chance. Findlay totaled 587 yards of offense and only allowed 368 yards.
Although Rhys Gervais had never played in a college football game before last Saturday, the 21-year-old looked like a seasoned veteran firing passes that seemingly always found the hands of a Findlay receiver. He completed 27 of his 34 passes for 364 yards.
“I really didn’t know what to expect out of Rhys (Gervais) since it was his first college start,” said Findlay coach Rob Keys. “The one think about him though is that he is a tireless worker and his preparation is very detailed. What happened is all the preparation paid off and he did play an excellent first football game.”
His leading receiver also had never played in a college football game. After Jason Moore was redshirted his freshman year he injured his knee a year ago and was forced to sit out once again. Saturday he finally got a chance to show what he could do on the field and he didn’t disappoint. He made seven catches for a team high 114 yards.
“The great thing about Jason (Moore) is he is only going to get better,” added Keys. “He had a lot of anticipation leading up to this game but as the season goes on he will improve even more.”
For a defense that struggled to keep any kind of consistency a year ago, they looked solid early on in the 2015 opener. They only allowed 13 points through the first three quarters. By the time the fourth quarter even began the game was, for all intents and purposes, already decided. The score stood at 42-13, meaning the Chargers needed a minimum of four possessions to tie the game.
Maybe the defense realized this and relaxed a little bit or maybe it was fatigue but all of the sudden it started to almost become a game. The Chargers rattled off three fourth quarter touchdowns but even that was too little too late. The Oilers held on for the 45-34 victory.
“The defense really started out well,” said Keys. “They set the tempo and did a good job of allowing us to control the ball, which is something we always want to do. We had the ball 19 minutes in the first half. There were some lapses late but it was nothing we can’t fix.”
Now the Oilers will have to make a trip to Texas to take on their next opponent.
“We’ve got a really tough opponent next week in Tarleton State,” said Keys. “We’ve already talked about maybe tweaking a few minor things from the last game so were making some adjustments as we go.”
Tarleton State will play host to the Oilers at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5.