TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University football team will look get back on the winning track Saturday, Oct. 22 when it travels to Marietta, Ohio to face Marietta College in an Ohio Athletic Conference game at Don Drumm Stadium at 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the ‘Berg Athletics Network (http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/heidelberg.portal) beginning with the pregame show at 1:15. Jeff Garvin will have the call.
In addition, live stats will be available at (http://www.sidearmstats.com/marietta/football/).
The Student Princes, under the direction of fifth-year head coach Mike Hallett, enter the game 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the OAC following a setback to No. 2 Mount Union last Saturday (Oct. 15), a loss which snapped a three-game winning streak. Hallett’s offensive attack is one of the most explosive in the conference, averaging 408.2 yards of total offense and 29.0 points per game to rank second and third in the league, respectively.
Marietta, under fourth-year head coach Jeff Filkovski, is 2-4 and 1-4 in the OAC after defeating Wilmington College, 31-6, last weekend to snap a four-game losing streak.
Sophomore second-team All-OAC running back Germany Woods (Cleveland/Lakewood St. Edward) will anchor a Student Prince ground attack that averages 208.8 rushing yards per game, third in the OAC. Woods ranks second in the league and 25th nationally by rushing for 114.5 yards per game, and has rushed for 100 or more yards in eight of his last 10 games dating back to last season, including in four contests in 2011. He has totaled 687 yards in 137 attempts for a 5.0 yards-per-carry average and has scored three touchdowns.
Freshman quarterback Michael Mees (North Ridgeville) will direct the passing game, which averages 200.2 yards per outing. Mees has completed 49.1 percent (80-of-163) of his passes to date for 1,154 yards and 12 TDs against only six interceptions, and has gone over 200 yards passing twice this season. His 192.3 passing yards per game rank him third in the OAC.
Among Mees’ favorite targets has been junior wide receiver Mario Escalante (Highland Heights, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) with team highs of 17 catches and 337 yards. His 56.2 receiving yards per game are ninth in the league. Senior wide receiver CJ Powell (Detroit, Mich./Bishop Foley) will provide the downfield threat, having caught a team-high five TD passes this season, including three for 20 or more yards.
The Pioneer defense allows 349.5 yards of total offense and 30.0 points per game, including 215.3 rushing yards and 134.2 passing yards per game, second in the OAC and 18th nationally. Linebacker Dan Starr has totaled a team-high 38 tackles, including five for loss and two sacks. Jake Green leads the secondary with 35 tackles and an OAC-best four INTs, while Steve Perrin leads the defensive front with 29 stops and a team-high seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Marietta’s offense averages 280.7 yards of total offense and 19.8 points per game and will be directed by Andrew Keller. Keller has completed 58.6 percent (80-of-140) of his passes for 1,003 yards, has thrown eight TDs and five INTs, and tallies 200.6 passing yards per game to rank second in the league. On the receiving end of most of his passes is Kirby Harris. Harris’ 35 receptions and 529 receiving yards both rank fourth in the OAC. Tevin Dones will get most of the carries out of the backfield. Dones averages 42.2 yards per game and 3.1 yards per rush and has scored one TD.
The Heidelberg defensive unit is allowing 394.7 yards and 24.8 points per game and is anchored by junior linebacker Craig Sykes (Centerburg), who leads the team and is fourth in the OAC with 59 total tackles and is tied for second in the conference with junior defensive back Tyler Levanduski (Elyria/Amherst Steele) with three INTs. Sophomore linebacker Dawson Gore (Bellevue), who recorded a career-high 15 stops last week against Mount Union, is second with 54 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, while senior linebacker Andy Fadenholz (Grafton/Keystone) leads the team and is tied for third in the league with four sacks. Sophomore defensive back Chadd Williamson (Land ‘O Lakes, Fla./Land ‘O Lakes), with 30 tackles, an INT and two pass break-ups, will anchor the secondary.
Heidelberg has won the last three games in the series, including a 42-40 edging of the Pioneers in 2008, when the series was last played in Marietta. The Student Princes also hold a 6-4 advantage in the last 10 meetings and are 28-20 all-time against Marietta in a series that dates back to 1917.
Following Saturday’s game, the Berg returns home to host Wilmington College on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Mayer Field.