Bexley, Ohio – September 19, 2009 – Junior quarterback Andrew Miller (Dalton, Ohio / Dalton) threw for a career-best 381 yards, but it was not enough as the Heidelberg University football team could not overcome an early deficit and suffered a 46-32 setback to host Capital University today, Sept. 19, in the 2009 Ohio Athletic Conference opener for both institutions. The win improves Capital to 2-0 overall, while the Berg stands at 1-1.
Miller completed 25-of-42 passes and had four touchdowns to mark his second 300-yard outing of his career. His 25 completions were to eight different receivers led by Mitch White (Wadsworth, Ohio / Wadsworth) and Mike Preston (Maple Heights, Ohio / Euclid) eight catches apiece. White had a career-high 147 yards, while Preston eclipsed 100 yards for the second-straight outing with 127 yards. Both White and Preston finished with eight catches apiece.
Capital got the scoring started in the game with a touchdown in each of its last two possessions of the opening quarter. Marty Assman found Matt White for an 18-yard scoring reception and Matt Merritt ran for a four-yard score.
Heidelberg reached the scoreboard on a 27-yard field goal from Jesse Hawkins (Georgetown, Ky. / Scott County) with 8:46 left before the half. Hawkins’ field goal was set up by two completions from Miller to White.
The Crusaders extended its lead to 21-3 with a five-yard run by Dominic D’Andre on its ensuing possession. But the Berg responded with a drive that consisted of 12 plays for 70 yards and ended with a White 11-yard touchdown reception. White’s touchdown is his first on the year, and second of his career.
As time was expiring in the opening half of action, Capital converted a 25-yard field goal to hold a 24-10 advantage at the intermission.
The third quarter saw Capital register nine points in its final two possessions of the quarter to hold a 23-10 lead.
The Berg rectified its scoring drought in the third with a 51-yard scoring drive to open the final quarter of action. Seven plays, and 2:01 off the clock, Preston hauled in a catch and drug his feet in the in the front corner of the end zone for a touchdown. A failed two-point conversion left the score in favor of Capital at 40-16.
The fourth quarter continued to offer a new life for the Berg, as its defense forced Capital’s third turnover of the game to regain possession. Vaughn Klein (Galloway, Ohio / Central Crossing) forced a fumble that he recovered. Miller and Preston immediately got to work and teamed up to cover 54 yards, in two receptions, to score Heidelberg’s third touchdown of the game. The duo added a two-point conversion to pull the Berg within 14 at 40-26.
After another Capital scoring drive was followed by Heidelberg making it a perfect 3-for-3 in scoring drives in the final quarter when freshman Mike Amos (Beverly Hills, Mich. / Birmingham Groves) registered his first collegiate touchdown with an 18-yard catch. Fellow newcomer Mike Berardinis (North Olmsted, Ohio / Lutheran West) connected with Miller for the two-point conversion to move the final score to 46-32.
For the game, Capital held a 530-399 advantage in total offense. Through the air, Heidelberg picked up 401 yards, while the Crusaders racked up the bulk of its offense on the ground, picking up 316 yards.
Klein led the defense with nine tackles, followed by Matt Grieves (Huron, Ohio / Huron) with eight. As a team, Heidelberg forced three Capital fumbles, recovering one and had two interceptions, one apiece by Fran Cavotta (North Olmsted, Ohio / North Olmsted) and Julius Higginbotham (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria).