Junior Michael Ho-Lewis scored twice for the Tigers in a 20-17 loss to TIU on Saturday
DEERFIELD, Ill. — In
their first MSFA Midwest League game of the season the ONU football team traveled
to play the much-improved (3-1) Trinity International University (Ill.)
Trojans. The Tigers managed to tie the game late in the fourth quarter before the Trojans Jeremiah Carter’s field
goal with 1:48 remaining won the game for TIU.
Trinity International (4-1, 1-0) started early scoring on
their first drive of the game after a 3:28 drive that lasted nine plays and 75
yards. Chris Elliott ran it in from nine yards. The Trojans successfully
tallied four first downs on the drive and only needed one completed pass. The
Tigers opening drive was cut short when Stephen Lockhart intercepted Ryan Sample (Manteno, Ill.) on the TIU
38 and ran it back 18 yards.
The Trojans used the turnover to their advantage scoring a
Jeremiah Carter 24-yard field goal capping off a five minute, 53-second drive
that went 51 yards. ONU (1-4, 0-1) had a chance at a 51-yard field goal of
their own on their next drive but Andrew
Muzljakovich (Vicksburg, Mich.) missed it left. The Tigers converted three
first downs on the drive that went four minutes. ONU caught a break later in
the quarter when Jeremiah Carter missed a field goal of his own from 42 yards
after another long Trojan drive.
The Tigers punted on their next drive and TIU took advantage
of good field position only needing 60 yards. They went five plays in 1:54 and
quarterback Stephen Anderson rushed eight yards for the score. However, the
Tigers wouldn’t end the half without a fight. They took the final drive of the half
and went 72 yards in 4:08 tallying four first downs and completing three passes
for 29 yards. Eventually Michael
Ho-Lewis (Boise, Idaho) ran it in from one yard to make it 17-7.
On the third drive of the second half ONU put together another
solid drive of 51 yards and finished with a Muzljakovich 46-yard field goal
after starting on their own 20-yard line. The Tigers forced TIU to punt and got
the ball back with 2:45 to go in the third quarter. Zach Gross (Elgin, Ill.) started the drive with a 51-yard run to
the TIU 29-yard line. However, a 23-yard pass to Aaron Salas (San Marcos, Calif.) that ended in a fumble recovery by
the Trojans ended the potential game tying drive. The Tigers forced the
Trojans to punt on their next possession and weren’t hurt by the turnover.
Ryan Sample took the ball for the Tigers to start the fourth
quarter with a chance to tie the game again but Stephen Lockhart picked him off
for a second time and ran it back 15 yards. TIU got the ball drove it down to the
ONU 12 and Carter tried a 29-yard field goal but was blocked by Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) and Ben
Backstrom (Chicago, Ill.) ran it back nine yards. The Tigers scored on the drive when Ho-Lewis ran it in
from five yards out to tie it at 17.
The Tigers needed a stop to get a chance to win it, but with
1:48 the Trojans ended a 4:28 drive with a Carter 28-yard field goal. The
Tigers had 1:45 to score but four incomplete passes ended ONU’s chances of a
come from behind win.
For the Tigers' offense, freshman quarterback Ryan Sample
threw for a career-high 192 yards (15-for-32) and two interceptions. Without
running back David Payne, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury, junior
Michael Ho-Lewis took over and ran
the ball 20 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Aaron Salas had six catches for 95 yards. Zach Gross had two runs for 51
ONU’s defense allowed 410 total yards and 24 first downs.
Junior Brandon Ruemler led the Tigers in tackles for the third straight week;
he had 12 against the Trojans and a blocked kick. Derrick Hosselton (Manteno, Ill.) had nine tackles and a half
tackle for loss. Junior John Litrenta (Orland Park, Ill.) had
eight tackles and had one tackles for loss (four yards).
Trojans’ quarterback Stephen Anderson was 18 for 27 for 181
yards, while running for 42 yards on eight carries, scoring once on the ground.
Chris Elliot rushed 31 times for 159 yards and one score. Cristian Robinson
caught seven balls for 96 yards and Patrick Alexander had seven catches for 57
The Tigers will be back in action at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday,
Oct. 12, at home against No. 4 Grand View University (Iowa).