Bexley, Ohio – October 2, 2010 – Heidelberg University’s offense exploded for 652 yards behind the arm of senior signal caller Andrew Miller (Dalton, Ohio / Dalton), but its valiant effort fell just short of the win column at Capital University. At the final horn, the host Crusaders posted a 60-50 win. Heidelberg stands at 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Crusaders stand at 2-2 and 2-1.
Heidelberg’s offensive explosion came on the heels of a week full of adversity as it suddenly lost a member of its football family on Monday morning with the passing of assistant coach Jason Bendekovic. All the players donned a sticker on their helmets that read JB in honor of their coach.
The offensive line, which was guided by Coach Bendo, paved the way for Miller’s career outing. Miller completed 30-of-52 passes for 569 yards, both of which are career marks. His new career marks topped his previous best of 29 completions and 423 yards that he set a week prior. His 569 yards set a new single game record, topping Jim Newland’s mark of 487 set in 1994. The 30 completions ties the single game mark set by Shane Fulton in 1985.
Not to be outdone, Miller threw for seven touchdowns which topped his own single game mark of six which he threw for against Muskingum University in 2008. For his career Miller now has 57 passing touchdowns, which is a new Heidelberg record. Last week he threw for four to tie the mark of 50 held by Fulton (1983-86).
Within the OAC, Miller topped the single game record book today as well. His 569 yards topped Newland’s OAC record. Miller also picked up 18 yards on the ground, and combined with his passing, finished with 587 total offensive yards to set a new OAC single game record. He topped Newland’s record of 567 from 1994.
Leading Miller into the Heidelberg, and OAC annuals, was two 100-yard receivers. It was the second consecutive game that seniors Mike Preston (Euclid, Ohio / Euclid) and Mario Walton (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) topped the 100-yard receiving mark. Preston finished with 182 yards on 10 receptions with two touchdowns, while Walton had a career-high 154 yards in six catches with two scores.
On the ground, freshman Germany Woods (Cleveland, Ohio / St. Edward) led the way with 63 yards.
Senior place kicker Jesse Hawkins (Georgetown, Ky. / Scott County) was a perfect 6-for-6 in point afters to increase his Heidelberg career record to 98. A week ago Hawkins topped the career mark of 90 held by Rusty Bartley (1972-75).
In the end, Capital amassed 559 yards, recording 330 passing and 220 rushing. As a team, the Berg finished with 29 first downs, with 20 passing. Its 20 passing first downs set a new team single game record, topping its mark of 16 which the team threw for a week ago. Miller’s passing mark for completions tied the single game team record, while the team set a new passing record behind Miller’s arm.
On the opposite side of the ball, junior linebacker Andy Fadenholz (Grafton, Ohio / Keystone) had a career outing. He totaled 23 tackles for a new career high. Included in the mix were 17 solo stops. Backing Fadenholz was sophomore strong safety Justin Stewart (Maplewood, Ohio / Sidney) with a career-best nine tackles. Fellow classmate, and linebacker, Craig Sykes (Centerburg, Ohio / Centerburg) had a career day with nine tackles.
Picking off a pass apiece for the secondary for the second straight outing was the sophomore duo of Tyler Levanduski (Amherst, Ohio / Steele) and Travis Coates (Columbus, Ohio / Beechroft).
Capital and Heidelberg opened the game trading interceptions with a touchdown apiece sandwiched between to get things started. A first quarter that lasted nearly 45 minutes closed with the Crusaders finding the end zone twice more to hold a 12-7 lead. Scoring for Heidelberg in the first quarter was Preston on a 60-yard TD strike from Miller.
In the second quarter, Capital and Heidelberg scored on its first two possessions each. Heidelberg went 53 yards in 1:04 and capped the drive with Jozey Hill’s (Bloomington, Ind. / Bloomington North) first touchdown of the year. Miller found Hill in the back of the end zone for a one-yard TD reception. Hawkins followed with the PAT to make the score 18-14 in favor of Capital.
Capital scored yet again and connected on its first PAT of the day to take a 25-14 lead before Miller and Preston hooked up for the second time. Woods got things started with a 34 yard run. Walton and Mario Escalante (Highland Heights, Ky. / Newport Central Catholic) had receptions of 16 and 23 yards, respectively, with a Woods 11-yard run sandwiched between to set up a Preston 10-yard touchdown. Hawkins followed with the PAT to pull Heidelberg within four at 25-21.
Heidelberg’s Vaughn Klein (Galloway, Ohio / Central Crossing) forced a fumble on Capital’s next possession to lead to an eventual ’Berg score. Recovering the fumble was Sykes. Walton caught a pass across the middle and got loose from the secondary for a 50-yard touchdown reception to give the Berg control of the scoreboard, 28-25, with 6:10 left in the first half.
Capital closed out the scoring in the half with a two-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Gunnarson with 17 seconds left. The point after was good to give the host Crusaders a 32-28 lead at the intermission.
The second half started similar as the first 30 minutes of play. Both sides scored every time they had the ball in the quarter. Capital opened with a scoring drive to go ahead 39-28, but the Berg responded. Miller rolled out of the pocket on a fourth down in the red zone and scrambled for a first down before connecting with Walton for a 12-yard score. Hawkins’ PAT was good and Capital held a slim 39-35 lead.
Capital scored on an eight-yard run to extend its lead to 46-35 before James Sheahan (Painesville, Ohio / Lake Catholic) scored on a 35-yard reception from Miller. It was the second straight outing that Sheahan found the end zone, marking his first collegiate scores. Heidelberg pulled within a field goal, 46-43, following a two point conversion. Miller pitched the ball to Brad Jones (Lorain, Ohio / Southview) to complete the two-point conversion.
In the final quarter of play, Capital held a 14-7 advantage to pull away with the victory. Scoring for the Berg in the quarter was Josh Lynch (Dayton, Ohio / Meadowdale). The sophomore wide receiver had an 18-yard touchdown reception to mark his first trip to the end zone for his career.