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2013-10-05 ONU falls short in comeback effort against TIU, lose 20-17
2013 Michael Ho-Lewis (2)

Junior Michael Ho-Lewis scored twice for the Tigers in a 20-17 loss to TIU on Saturday

ONU falls short in comeback effort against TIU, lose 20-17

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2013 at 12:05 PM

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 yards.

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 yards.

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).