Westerville, Ohio – October 3, 2009 – In a battle for the Rhine River Cup, Otterbein College topped visiting Heidelberg University, 49-20. Otterbein, ranked 13th in the latest national poll released by D3football.com, hosted the contest at Memorial Field in Westerville, Ohio. For the year, Heidelberg stands at 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the OAC, while Otterbein is 4-0, 3-0.
Heidelberg and Otterbein have been battling for the Rhine River Cup ever since the two teams played the first-ever collegiate football game in Frankfurt, Germany in 1992, which ended in a 7-7 tie. The Cardinals hold a 12-5-1 lead in the Rhine River series, having won the last seven meetings.
Heidelberg’s Jemar Lewis (Bedford Heights, Ohio / Bedford) had a quick start out of the gate. On the opening drive Lewis and Andrew Miller (Dalton, Ohio / Dalton) combined to cover 76 yards and put the Berg up 6-0 early. Lewis gained 24 yards on the ground in two carries and then came out of the backfield to connect with Miller for a 31-yard score. Jesse Hawkins (Georgetown, Ky. / Scott County) converted on the point after to extend Heidelberg’s score to seven.
Otterbein responded with a touchdown in each of its first five possessions and at the midway point of the second quarter held a 28-7 lead.
Mario Walton (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) connected with Miller for a 57-yard reception to set up an eventual two-yard rushing touchdown for Lewis with 14:16 left in the second quarter. Following Lewis’ second touchdown of the game, a failed point after attempt left Otterbein on top 28-13.
The Cardinals charted two more drives that ended on the scoreboard to push its halftime lead to 35-13.
In the second half, Otterbein picked up right where they left off and scored on their first two possessions to extend its lead to 49-13 after three quarters of action.
Heidelberg went 89 yards in seven plays over 3:22 to record a 27-yard TD reception by Mike Amos (Beverly Hills, Mich. / Birmingham Groves) in the fourth quarter. Hawkins added the point after to send the final score to 49-20.
Otterbein held a 503-308 advantage in total offense. For the Berg Miller threw for 171 yards, completing 9-of-24 passes and had two touchdowns. Leading the receivers was Mitch White (Wadsworth, Ohio / Wadsworth) with three catches, while Walton had 57 yards. On the ground, Lewis finished with 74 yards in 15 carries.
Defensively, Heidelberg had three players registering double digit tackles led by Julius Higginbotham (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) with a career-high 11 tackles. Backing Higginbotham was Andy Fadenholz (Lorain, Ohio / Keystone) with a career-best 10 tackles, as did Jared Ruffing (Bellevue, Ohio / Seneca East).