Oiler Football finishes strong

UF finishes 6-5 overall, 5-5 in GLIAC

By Kevin Schrock

Fall 2015 saw plenty of highs and lows for the Findlay Oiler football squad, but in their final game last Saturday they ended it all with a last second field goal to claim a 45-42 victory over the Northern Michigan Wildcats. The win not only meant ending their season on a high note, but it also meant that they would finish above .500.

After touchdown passes from Rhys Gervais to Jason Moore and Tim Szabo evened the score at 14 to end the first quarter, the Northern Michigan offense started to take control of the game. On the first play of the second quarter the Wildcats scored on a 32-yard pass play and then four minutes later were back in the end zone thanks to a Jake Mayon 7-yard rushing touchdown.

After falling behind 28-14 the defense stepped up with multiple stops to give the Findlay offense a chance to come back. Dylan Blunk capped off a 75-yard drive with a 13-yard reception later in the quarter and then with a minute to go in the half Chauncy Bridges caught Gervais’s fourth touchdown pass of the half to score again and tie the game up at 28.

In the second half of the shootout the Oilers took the lead first on a Daiquone Ford touchdown run, but back to back Northern Michigan touchdowns started to put the Oilers winning season in jeopardy. However, one more time the defense stepped up.

“It was big for our defense to get those two three-and-outs late in the game to give us a chance,” said Keys. “We work on getting more consistent with our defense and they got better as the year went on.”

It was Szabo once again coming up with the big snag from Gervais to go 25-yards for the score to tie the game up with 6:35 to play. The senior seemed to make one clutch after another in the 2015 campaign.

“Tim (Szabo) is just so reliable and he has been all year,” said Keys. “It’s nice to see a big day like he had in his final game.”

With the defense getting the stop the Oilers had the ball with 4:52 to play in the tied game and they used every second of that. The final play of the 11-play 56-yard drive saw Tyler Bugeja knock home a 30-yard field goal to send the Oiler sideline into a frenzy and send the Oilers out winners.

“When he gets that close you get a pretty good feeling that he can knock it through,” added Keys. “It was a fun way to end the season.”

With the win the Oilers got to 6-5 to end the season, improving on a 5-6 mark a year ago, and they also managed to go 5-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“It was an important game because we wanted to go .500, it is hard to win in this league,” said Keys. “Also both teams were in the same situation record-wise so it was a good way to go out.”

Following the season Chris Reaper was tabbed GLIAC offensive lineman of the year while Ford was named to the second team as a running back. Dylan Blunk, Bobby Brown, Anthony Linnear, Szabo, and Gervais were all named honorable mention.

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