BEXLEY – The Heidelberg University football team built a big lead early and never looked back for the second straight week, routing host Capital University on their homecoming. The Student Princes led 38-6 at the half and coasted to a 52-21 victory at Bernlohr Stadium in Bexley.
With Veteran's day coming up next Tuesday, Andy Sieving had himself a big day, recovering two fumbles and finishing the day with three tackles. The senior linebacker served in the United States armed forces, including tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Michael Mees had a very versatile day on offense, completing 14 of 19 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for 107 yards and two scores.
Cartel Brooks continued the offensive tear that he is accustomed to, running 14 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns, marking the 26th game in his career to go for 100+ yards.
It did not take long for the Student Princes to move the ball down the field, as Nick DeLisa took the opening kickoff all the way to the Capital 25 yard line. On the very first offensive play of the game, Dye got behind the secondary and was found by Mees in the end zone for the score.
The Crusaders responded with a scoring drive of their own, but the PAT hit off of the upright and was no good. On the ensuing Heidelberg drive, Mees completed a pass for 16 yards on 3rd down to his brother, James Mees, but James fumbled and Capital recovered.
After the Crusaders moved the ball for a pair of first downs, the Berg defense stood tall and forced an incomplete pass on a fourth down, getting the turnover on downs.
Heidelberg made quick work of the Capital defense yet again after getting the ball when Brooks ran for a 54-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive, moving the score to 14-6 after a PAT by Stephen Smith.
The Student Princes held the triple-option attack of Capital in check on the next drive, forcing a three-and-out. On the ensuing drive, Mees found Dye again, this time for a 27-yard touchdown.
After Capital took over possession, their drive ended abruptly when they fumbled the ball on a pitch, which was recovered by Andy Sieving.
The Student Princes cashed in on the turnover when Smith converted on a 25-yard field goal, moving the score to 24-6 in favor of Heidelberg.
Another three-and-out by the Berg defense gave Heidelberg another opportunity. Bryan Lacey ran for 45 yards on the drive, setting up the Student Princes in the red zone. Mees then scrambled seven yards for a touchdown to add on to the lead.
The next three drives ended without scores, as on the next Capital drive, they fumbled with another recovery by Sieving. After the Berg punted on the ensuing drive, the Crusaders fumbled yet again, this time recovered by Will Lance.
Heidleberg turned that turnover into points again when Brooks pounded into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown, giving the Berg a 38-6 halftime advantage.
On the opening drive of the second half, Capital marched down the field, capping their drive with a 47-yard touchdown run by freshman Cory Heeter. An offensive pass interference call on the first attempt on the two-point conversion was followed up by defensive pass interference on the second attempt, ultimately leading to a good two-point conversion by the Crusaders, moving the score to 38-14 in favor of the Berg.
Heidelberg answered very quickly on the next drive when Mees threw a 71-yard bomb to Christian Dominguez for a touchdown on the first play.
The Student Prince defense stood tall yet again on the next Capital drive, holding on a fourth-and-goal for a turnover on downs. The ensuing Heidelberg drive saw them work their way down the field yet again, capping it off when Mees kept the ball himself, this time finding room around the left end to make his way into the end zone for the seven-yard score.
Capital took their next drive and had a very laborious drive to work themselves down the field finishing it with a 22-yard touchdown pass, a rarity for the Crusaders as that was just their sixth touchdown pass of the year.
After a Heidelberg fumble, Capital cashed in again late in the fourth quarter to make the score 52-28. It would be too little, too late, however, as Heidelberg ran out the clock and finished with yet another convincing victory.
Heidelberg head coach Mike Hallett on his team's overall play: "The first half I thought we played very well ... I think in the second half, the offense got sloppy – we turned the ball over, penalties, gave up a couple of sacks –things that put our defense in a tough spot and led to some points late in the game ... We're a better football team than the way we played today. We're going to get back to work to get ready for Baldwin Wallace."
Hallett on Mees: "I think Mike played very well ... he was probably as efficient as he could be."
Hallett on Lance: "It was a design by our defense to deal with Capital's option offense ... Will was our best option to play that 'Monster Back,' that was playing a little deeper and he could trace downhill at everything ... he did exactly what we hoped he would do. "
Hallett on looking toward Baldwin Wallace: "As of today, they became the winningest senior class in Heidelberg history with 32 wins. They have an opportunity to earn win 33 next week if they play to their potential."
With the win, Heidelberg improves to 7-2 on the season including a 6-2 mark in the OAC. They will wrap up the regular season next week, November 15, when they come back to the friendly confines of Hoernemann Stadium for senior day against Baldwin Wallace. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Tiffin.