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2013-11-02 ONU gives up chance at winning streak in 17-13 loss to William Penn
2013 Andrew Muzljakovich (3)

Senior kicker Andrew Muzljakovich made two more field goals Saturday, he leads the team with 47 points this season

ONU gives up chance at winning streak in 17-13 loss to William Penn

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Sunday, November 03, 2013 at 11:40 AM

OSKALOOSA, Iowa — The ONU football team was on the way to the first winning streak of the 2013 season on Saturday, Nov. 2, when they took a 13-0 lead with 8:07 left in the second quarter. Michael Ho-Lewis (Boise, Idaho) ran it in from two yards, capping off a 50-yard drive. However, the home team, William Penn University (Iowa), had other ideas. They allowed the Tigers only 18 yards of offense  in the second half and scored 17 unanswered points. In a game full of Tiger turnovers — one interception, six fumbles — the Statesmen won with 47 seconds remaining when Shawn Davis ran it in from three yards.

Immediately the Tiger (2-7, 0-4) special teams made a difference in the game, like they have all year. They caused a fumble on punt coverage when Chris Crawford fumbled and John Litrenta (Orland Park, Ill.) recovered it to give the Tigers the ball for the second time. The Tigers would cash in, scoring on an Andrew Muzljakovich (Vicksburg, Mich.) field goal from 25 yards after a 25-yard drive.

Two possessions and two punts later, one by each team, the Statesmen (4-4, 2-2) looked to punt again from their own 44-yard line, but this time they tried a fake when Marcus Kerrigan took the ball himself. However, he was tackled for a 15-yard loss and fumbled, recovering it himself. The Tigers only gained five yards, but Muzjlakovich managed a 40-yard field goal to put ONU up 6-0. The field goal was his seventh 40-yard plus field goal of the year.

In the second quarter, neither team was able to get anything going offensively until the Tigers’ drive that started at 9:45. ONU took the ball at the 50-yard line and drove it in four plays in 1:38. Ho-Lewis scored to give the Tigers a two-score lead. It was his sixth touchdown of the year. A possession later by Ryan Sample (Manteno, Ill.) was sacked by Nick DiMarco and fumbled. The Statesmen took the ball, went 27 yards and made a 13-7 game. On the Tigers’ next drive, William Penn was able to take it away from the Tigers again when Jacob Batterson intercepted Sample. However, William Penn wasn’t able to score as time ran out.

The second half started like the first half was played, Mark Kosrow (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) forced a fumble on the second play, and Ben Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.) recovered. However, the Tigers only managed seven yards and punted. This would be the first of Muzljakovich’s three punts in the half. On William Penn’s next drive, Marcus Kerrigan capped off a 50-yard drive and made a 47-yard field goal to make it 13-10. The Tigers fumbled again on their next drive, and Sample gave it up when Kevin Shrauger sacked him. On the next play, Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) got the ball back when he stripped William Penn’s quarterback, Tyler Hafner.

William Penn got the ball back with 14:22 to go in the fourth quarter after a four and out for the Tigers. They took it down to the ONU 16-yard line. Ryan Smith (Belleville, Ill.) took it from Shawn Davis, and Ben Backstrom (Chicago, Ill.) recovered it. The Tigers were unable to take advantage of their fourth fumble recovery by punting again. The Statesmen tried something new on their next drive. Punter Marcus Kerrigan faked a punt on his own 28, and the pass was complete. ONU was again unable to convert a first down and gave it back to the home team. This time, William Penn took it 85 yards in 2:17 for the game-winning drive. Shawn Davis ran it in from three yards. Ryan Sample threw three incomplete passes from his own 44 to end the game.

For the Tigers' offense, freshman quarterback Ryan Sample led the Tigers to only 173 total yards of offense (third lowest total this season). He went 9-for-25 for 92 yards and one interception. Junior Michael Ho-Lewis rushed 22 times for 59 yards and a touchdown, scoring for the third straight time this season. Zach Gross (Elgin, Ill.) finished with 28 yards on seven carries.

ONU’s defense allowed only 266 total yards (third lowest total of season) and 20 first downs. They allowed 171 rushing yards and 95 through the air. They finished with six tackles for loss (19 yards), two forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. Freshman Derrick Hosselton (Manteno, Ill.) led the Tigers with 12 tackles. Junior Brandon Ruemler finished with eight tackles, two tackles for loss (nine yards) and one fumble recovery. Sophomore Ryan Smith had six tackles, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.

In addition, kicker/punter Andrew Muzljakovich continues to rewrite the record books. With 214 punting yards against WPU, he now has 4,617 for his career — good for fifth on the Tigers' all-time list. He is now 278 yards shy of fourth all-time (Jordan Thompson, 2005-08). He has accumulated 4,617 yards in 117 attempts and averages 39.5 per kick. Also, he is now only seven points (187) shy of fifth all-time in scoring (Corey Bell, 1988-91 with 194). He scored seven points on Saturday with two fields and one PAT. During his career, he is 39-of-62 (62.9%) and has made 70 PATs.

Statesmen quarterback Tyler Hafner was 8 for 13 for 99 yards, rushing for 40 yards on 15 carries. Shawn Davis rushed 19 times for 56 yards and a touchdown. Chris Crawford caught three balls for 45 yards.

The Tigers will be back on the field at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at home against Waldorf College (Iowa) for the Homecoming 2013 game.