By: Drake Facione
The Findlay Oilers took on the William Jewell Cardinals for their home opener Saturday at Donnell Stadium. Coming after a rough week in which the ranked Oilers fell to Ferris State, Findlay knew they had to bounce back against Jewell. They showed up, executed, and the game was pretty much over within the first few minutes. The Oilers dominated all game, and came out with a 58-17 victory.
Carter Blakeney recovered William Jewell’s fumble on the opening kickoff, and scored 34 straight before the Cardinals put up any points on the board. The Oiler offense was electric all day, scoring five touchdowns in their first five possessions. Running the ball into the end zone was no problem for Findlay’s backfield, as Michael Campbell, Chauncey Bridges, and Richard Wilson had the first three touchdowns of the game. Quarterback Rhys Gervais threw for 250 yards in the first half alone. He finished 16-21 for 311 total yards. He also had two touchdown throws, linking up with Nate Slagel and Peter Norris. Richard Wilson found the end zone again in the second half on a 2 yard run.
Leading the Oilers receiving core was Norris, Kijana Caldwell, and Nate Slagel who all had at least 75 yards or more. The offensive line was also solid for the Oilers, giving up zero sacks and very little negative plays. William Jewell’s only first half points came on an 82-yard interception return touchdown by Donte Colum.
The Oilers defensive effort was phenomenal from start to finish. The starters did not let up a single point in the first half, and had control of William Jewell’s offense all day. The Cardinals slippery Quarterback, Will Schneider, gave the Oiler defense a test with his scrambling ability, however they stepped up to the test and kept him quiet for the most part. The rest of William Jewell’s points came late in the fourth quarter. Safety Myles Ross had a great game, leading the Oilers with seven tackles, two for loss of yeards. Freshman Reggie Micheaux also had a sack and five tackles. Seniors Cyle Skidmore and Justice Jenkins also had five tackles each.
The Oilers dominated the Cardinals in nearly every stat line. Total offensive yards were 592-298 in favor of Findlay, as well as the Oilers averaging 8.3 yards per play. The running game is where the biggest margin was with Findlay out running William Jewell 255-88. The Cardinals had possession for 31:04, a few minutes longer than Findlay’s 28:56.
Saturday’s win was the 50th for UF Coach Rob Keys. The Oilers move to 2-1 on the season, and will take on #12 ranked Ohio Dominican Saturday at Donnell Stadium. The game, which will be broadcasted on ESPN, starts at 7:05 p.m. The Oilers are looking to get revenge following ODU’s conference title win last season. The stakes are high and it will be a great game to watch.