Heidelberg University faced Marietta College in an Ohio Athletic Conference showdown at Mayer Field, which marked the first football contest played on campus since the 1945 season. The outcome was significant for the Berg as it was a 42-14 victory, which marked its third-straight win to improve to 4-5 overall and 3-5 in the OAC. The Pioneers fall to 3-6, 2-6.
The game was played on campus in conjunction with the inauguration of Heidelberg’s 14th president Dr. Robert H. Huntington. Heidelberg’s season finale Nov. 14 against Muskingum University will also be played at Mayer Field.
The games mark the first contests played on campus in 64 years and are the first at Mayer Field. When the football team played on campus they called Armstrong Field home. Armstrong Field was located where Heidelberg’s Krammes Service Center currently sits. In 1946 the Berg moved its home games to Columbian Stadium, known today as Frost-Kalnow Stadium, but still practiced at Armstrong Field until the construction of Krammes Service Center in 1971.
Heidelberg’s offense dominated the ballgame from the onset. In the end, its ground game produced a season-high 301 yards courtesy of Jemar Lewis (Bedford Heights, Ohio / Bedford) and Kenny Sims (Garfield Heights, Ohio / Garfield Heights) 100-yard rushing performances. Lewis set a new career-high for the second-consecutive week, rushing for 169 yards in 18 carries and scored two touchdowns. Not to be outdone he added one catch for 33 yards to finish with a team-best 202 all-purpose yards. Sims registered 103 yards in 26 carries. It was the third-straight outing that the duo has run for over 100 yards apiece.
Through the air, Heidelberg’s junior signal caller Andrew Miller (Dalton, Ohio / Dalton) completed 9-of-15 passes for 168 yards to give the Berg a season-high 469 yards of total offense. It was the third game in a row that the team has racked up over 400 yards of total offense. Miller threw for two touchdowns which increased his season total to 19, which is one shy of the single-season record he set a season ago.
Miller connected with six different receivers led by two catches apiece from Chance Ferrell (Garfield Heights, Ohio / Garfield Heights), Mario Walton (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) and Mike Preston (Maple Heights, Ohio / Euclid). Walton and Preston each found the end zone.
Heidelberg’s defense limited Marietta to just 264 yards, which included 193 on the ground. Justin Dawson (Westminster, Calif. / Golden West JC) and Matt Grieves (Huron, Ohio / Huron) led the way with nine tackles apiece. Dawson had a pass break up and Grieves dropped four of his tackles for a loss of 15 yards.
The Berg wasted little time making a statement on its home turf and jumped out to a 28-0 lead. In its first possession the Berg marched 63 yards in eight plays. Miller connected with Preston from eight yards out for the first touchdown at Mayer Field. Jesse Hawkins (Georgetown, Ohio / Scott County) converted on the point after for the early 7-0 advantage.
Marietta was forced to turn the ball over on downs at Heidelberg’s 16-yard line in its opening drive.
After an exchange of possessions, Heidelberg’s Walton had a 40-yard touchdown reception with 2:36 to play in the opening quarter, followed by a Hawkins PAT, to extend the lead to 14.
Heidelberg’s special teams unit stepped up on the kick off, as Tim Haney (Eaton, Ohio / Arcanum) had a hard hit and forced a fumble that teammate Mike McMorrow (Orrville, Ohio / Orrville) recovered. The Berg went 23 yards in six plays and Miller rolled out of the pocket to his right and found the end zone. Hawkins added another point after to give the Berg a 21-0 lead not a minute into the second quarter.
The Berg defense forced a three and out by Marietta, which set up an eventual three-yard TD run by Sims and PAT from Hawkins to extend the lead to 28-0.
Marietta got on the board with 6:51 left in the second quarter following a seven-yard TD run by quarterback Andrew Keller and Kyle Cardwell had the point after.
Heidelberg carried its strong play on both sides of the ball over to the second half. Marietta was forced to punt in its first possession of the second half and the Berg followed with an eight play, 48 yard drive, which resulted in a Lewis two-yard score. Hawkins connected on fifth PAT to give the Berg a 35-7 advantage.
The visitor’s Lamar Hunter scored from two yards out with 2:46 left in the third quarter and Lewis added his second TD for the Berg in the fourth quarter on a seven-yard rushing touchdown to close out the scoring on the day. Hawkins would finish a perfect 6-for-6 in point after attempts.