Oilers have dropped three of the last four games
By Kevin Schrock
The University of Findlay’s gauntlet of a football schedule continues this Saturday. The Oilers are matched up against Wayne State University (4-1), which is riding a three game win streak and coming off a 41-30 win over Hillsdale.
The Oilers on the other hand have seen some struggles as of late. They have dropped three of their last four ballgames and their last two at Donnell Stadium. The most recent of those losses came last week in a 20-17 heartbreaker against the #13 Ferris State Bulldogs.
One of the keys for the team this week will be their ability to win the turnover battle. Currently Findlay has given the ball away 12 times and only managed to take it away seven times.
“I can’t tell you how much we’ve talked about it in the spring, the preseason camp and in practice everyday,” said Findlay coach Rob Keys. “We need to protect the football and we haven’t done a good job at it. We’re not protecting it and we’re not taking it away.”
The Warriors from Wayne State on the other hand are dead even in the take-away battle at nine. If the Oilers can scrap their way to a victory in that area they will greatly help their cause.
Despite the recent offensive struggles at protecting the ball, the defense has been great. Last week they held the Bulldogs to 20 points and the week before they stopped Lake Erie College at 13. Myles Alexander, a senior linebacker, leads the team with 45 tackles.
“The key to keeping our success is 11 guys doing 11 different jobs to accomplish one goal which is to get the win,” said Alexander. “It’s all about winning at the end of the day, and if the opposing team can’t score points they will not win.”
The challenge for the Oiler defense Saturday will be containing running back Romello Brown. He currently leads the Great lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, averaging 166.2 rushing yards a game. That’s almost 30 yards more than his closest competitor.
Capitalizing on offensive chances will a necessity for Findlay. A week ago they missed on a pair of field goals from inside 30 yards that could have helped propel them to a victory.
The Oilers, who are 9-9 all time against Wayne State, lost in Detroit to the Warriors, 31-26, a year ago. It was a game that saw Findlay turn the ball over three times in the first quarter and they were never able to recover. They will look to avenge that loss at home on Saturday.
One thing to keep an eye on will be Findlay Quarterback Rhys Gervais. Gervais is primed to break the University’s career passing yards record. The junior from Illinois currently sits at 4,815 yards, only 20 behind current record holder Bo Hurley who played between 1994-1997.
Kickoff for the GLIAC matchup is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Donnell Stadium.