Written by Evan Meyer
YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN – The Ohio University Bobcats scored on both of their possessions in overtime to defeat the Eastern Michigan Eagles 27-20 on a warm Saturday afternoon at Rynearson Stadium in the Mid-American Conference opener for both schools.
With the win Ohio has won two straight and improved its record to 3-1 on the season while Eastern Michigan suffered its first loss of the season dropping their record to 2-1.
“It’s a resilient group, and toughness certainly played a key role in it,” Bobcats head coach Frank Solich said. “We found ourselves in a heck of a game and I’m just proud of the way the kids hung in there and found a way to make it work and to get it done. This is a tough bunch of kids and they have proven to me time and time again, they don’t have to prove it anymore, I just expect it out of them. It’s good to see them rise to this occasion and get this win.”
Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke connected with redshirt freshman WR Cameron Odom in the back of the end zone on the Cats second possession of overtime that proved to be the winning points in a game that was a defensive struggle for the 60 minutes.
Rourke completed 19-of-32 passes for 197 yards asnd two touchdowns. Both coming in in overtime to fifth-year senior wide receiver Brendan Cope. Junior A.J,. Ouellette rushed for 145 yards on 26 carries.
EMU was led by Brogan Roback who completed 28-of-47 passes for 271 yards and a 25 yard pass to Sergio bailey down the left sideline on the first play of overtime.
“It is heartbreaking” EMU head coach Chris Creighton said.
The first half was a battle of field goals and field position where just one touchdown scored just before halftime. That came late in the second quarter when Ohio’s fifth-year senior CB Bradd Ellis intercepted a Roback pass and went down the right sideline for a 10-6 Bobcats lead at Halftime.
After sophomore PK Louis Zervos hit a 44-yard field goal his second of the game in the third quarter to extend the Bobcats lead to 13-6, the home team tied the score early in the fourth quarter when junior RB Ian Eriksen went over the top from a yard out.
Ohio had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Zervos one of the top place kickers in the MAC, missed 47-yard attempt which was wide left and short.
It was a game of missed opportunities for the Eagles.
In the second quarter the offense faced a fourth down at the Cats 27. EMU decided to go for the first down rather than try a 44-yard field goal attept. The play resulted in an incomplete pass.
Another came late in the period when sophomore DB Brody Hoying forced an Ohio fumble following a pass completion then recovered the football returning it to the Ohio 30-yard line however EMU had to settle for a 31-yard field goal from sophomore Paulie Fricano giving them their first lead of the game 10-6.
Next week, the Bobcats head to Masscahusetts to take on the Minutemen to complete the non-conference portion of their schedule while EMU head to Kentucky to battle the Wildcats from the SEC.