By Kevin Schrock
It was a long game that came down to two plays. It was a botched fake field goal, and a converted two point conversion that gave the Walsh University Cavaliers a 39-38 victory over the University of Findlay Oilers in double overtime Saturday in North Canton. It was the Cavaliers first win of the year.
Walsh made an obvious effort to stop the Oiler pass game which has been one of the best in the country all year. A lot of the credit for that goes to quarterback Rhys Gervais who has already broken Findlay records and still ranks seventh in division two in passing yards.
After the Oilers pulled ahead 24-14 early in the third quarter Coach Rob Keys knew it was a crucial drive for the Cavaliers.
“If we could have gotten a stop there it would have been huge,” said Keys. “Once you go up 10 you need your defense to step up and they couldn’t do it there.”
Walsh marched down the field and punched the ball into the end zone on a 6-yard run to bring the score back to 24-21.
The Oilers couldn’t answer on their next drive or even for the rest of regulation for that matter. The Findlay offense was silenced by Walsh giving them plenty of chances to win or tie the game. Finally the Cavaliers took advantage by knocking a 26-yard field goal right down the middle with six minutes to play.
After that came key play of the game number one. The Oilers had the ball on the Walsh seven yard line with 1:20 to play and were facing a fourth and goal situation. With the game tied the Oilers lined up to kick the field goal. Almost shockingly, the ball was snapped to Evan Rinke who got up looking to pass the ball. It was a fake field goal but Rinke’s pass attempt to Dylan Hirzel fell incomplete.
“We had a chance to win the game there with the fake but we couldn’t convert,” said Keys. “The way you have to look at it after that though is that at the start of overtime the score is 0-0 and it’s a clean slate.”
After each team traded touchdowns on their first possesion the Oilers had the ball first in overtime number two. On six carries, five of them by Daiquone Ford, the Oilers got the touchdown and converted the extra point to force the Cavaliers into another must score scenario. Walsh proved that would not be too much of a problem after they completed their first pass for 25-yards and a touchdown.
Then came key play number two. After scoring the touchdown the Cavaliers decided they were going for all the marbles right then and there. They went for two and the Oilers couldn’t get the stop. The Cavaliers got the win 39-38.
“It’s frustrating for the game to come down to that one play and not be able to get the stop,” said Keys. “That being said there were some mistakes by players and coaches that contributed to getting to that point.”
After the loss the Oilers fall to 3-3 and have dropped three in a row. They will take on Northwood at home this Saturday in their homecoming game at Donnell field looking to get back on track.
Despite having his worst passing performance of the year against Walsh, quarterback Rhys Gervais still remains ranked number seven in division two in passing yards leading the Oilers to being the number 9 passing offense in the country.