Box Score Season Statistics
ADA, Ohio – On a day that the Heidelberg University football team had over 600 yards of total offense, it was the ‘Berg’s stout defense that shined the brightest on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Ohio Northern University’s Dial-Roberson Stadium.
The ‘Berg defense forced five Polar Bear turnovers on the afternoon, led by junior linebacker Adam Cepik (Lodi/Cloverleaf), who returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown.
“Cepik seemed to be everywhere,” said Heidelberg head coach, Mike Hallett. “To hold Ohio Northern to seven points is a tremendous day for our guys.”
Leading 14-7 at halftime, the balanced Heidelberg offense erupted for 29 points in the second half.
A trio of sophomores paced the Student Prince offensive attack.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Mees (North Ridgeville) threw two touchdowns and two interceptions on 24-of-37 passing for a career-high 346 yards.
Sophomore receiver Donteea Dye (Fairfield) caught five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore tailback Cartel Brooks (Kokomo, IN/Galion) averaged 7.7 yards per carry and finished with 184 yards and two touchdowns.
Brooks started the scoring for Heidelberg in the first quarter when he broke a 34 yard run down the right sideline. Senior kicker Dan Kilger (Novi, MI) added the extra point to give Heidelberg a 7-0 lead.
The teams would trade possessions for the majority of the second quarter until Mees hit Dye for a 63 yard touchdown pass with 2:11 left to play.
Trailing 14-0, Ohio Northern quickly drove the ball 67 yards in five plays for their only touchdown of the game. The score came on a well-executed screen play, as ONU quarterback Tyler Rue connected with Devian McKinnie. A wall of blockers escorted McKinnie to paydirt from 35 yards out.
In the third quarter, Mees and Dye connected for their second touchdown of the game, a 28 yard completion.
On the next Heidelberg drive, Mees was intercepted by Ryan Reid.
Any momentum gained by ONU on the Reid interception quickly evaporated. On the next snap, Rue’s pass was intercepted by Cepik, who would return it 38 yards for a touchdown.
Heidelberg added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard scramble from Mees and a 51-yard rush from Brooks.
The final two Heidelberg points came off of a bad snap on the extra point attempt after the Brooks touchdown. Kilger scooped up the football, leapt and threw the ball into the end zone, where it landed in the arms of senior Stephen Fejedelem (Ravenna).
“We thought Ohio Northern would look to bottle up our run game, so we knew we would have to be efficient in our passing attack,” said Hallett. “Because of our success throwing the ball in the first half, our run game opened up in the second half.”
The Heidelberg defense held the potent Polar Bear offense to 320 yards. The Student Princes limited the Polar Bear rushing attack to only 2.5 yards per carry.
Senior Justin Suddeth (Warren/Howland) and sophomore Cale Sandridge (Upper Sandusky) each had an interception to go with the two from Cepik. Jarrod Wendorf (Hartville/Lake) recovered an Ohio Northern fumble.
“We had a lot of players make a lot of big time plays today,” said Hallett.
The win was the first OAC-opening win for Heidelberg since 1997 and the first win in Ada since 1993.
With the victory, Heidelberg will retain the Bendekovic Bowl trophy. The “Bendo Bowl” honors the late Ronnie and Jason Bendekovic, who served as assistants at Ohio Northern and Heidelberg at the time of their passing.
“Hopefully we can take this momentum and build on it as we go through the OAC schedule,” said Hallett.
Heidelberg returns to action on September 22 at Wilmington College. Kickoff for the Student Princes and the Quakers is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.