OSKALOOSA, Iowa – Following a bye week, the Olivet Nazarene University football team embarked on their first of 4 straight road games Saturday, Sept, 29 with a visit to No. 7 ranked William Penn University (Iowa) from Oskaloosa, Iowa. The Tigers played their 5th straight NAIA Top-20 opponent to open the 2012 season. After a tough defensive affair early, Olivet failed to muster enough offense, falling 27-3.
The Statesmen (5-0, 3-0) looked poised to score early after taking over at midfield following an ONU )0-5, 0-3) punt, but key tackles-for-losses by senior Will Cummings (Flint, Mich.) and sophomore Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) forced William Penn to take a field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The teams would trade punts, but near the end of the first quarter ONU knotted the score at 3. A pair of long runs by sophomores David Payne (Chebanse, Ill.) and Michael Ho-Lewis (Boise, Idaho) set up a career-long 45-yard field goal by junior Andrew Muzljakovich (Vicksburg, Mich.).
Neither team would score for the remainder of the first half. The Tiger defense held their own until the 6:20 mark of the 3rd quarter, when the Statesmen scored a 12-yard touchdown run, finishing an 80 yard drive. The Tigers could not find any more offense, and William Penn scored 17 more in the 4th quarter.
Defensively, the Tigers had several contributors. Junior defensive lineman James Banks (Kankakee, Ill.) had one sack for an eight-yard loss, and Brandon Ruemler ended up with 2.5 tackles for a loss, totaling -six yards. Sophomore defensive lineman Myles Toney (Dolton, Ill.) had a fumble recovery.
Olivet was out-gained in yardage by a margin of 359-185, and finished with eight first downs, compared to William Penn's 22. Ho-Lewis led the Tiger's rushing attack with 85 yards, followed by sophomore quarterback Rico Prestia (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) with 37.
The statesman had three rushers with at least 65 yards, led by running back Shawn Davis who had 79 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Taylor Parsons was 7-13 passing for 109 yards, and also ran for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Olivet's continues continues play next weekend on Saturday, October 6 with a road game at Siena Heights University (Mich.). Game time is set for 1 p.m. (EST).