Yellow Jackets sting football in season finale

Yellow Jackets sting football in season finale

BEREA, Ohio --   The Heidelberg University football team wrapped up their 2015 campaign with a 44-31 loss to Baldwin Wallace University. The Student Princes end their season at the 5-5 mark (5-4 OAC) while the Yellow Jackets finish at 7-3 (7-2 OAC). This year's senior class tied for third all-time with most wins for a class in Heidelberg history.  Their careers at the Berg culminate with a 30-11 record.

KEY STATS

Sophomore Tyler Stoyle was 23-38 for 342 yards. He threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Stoyle finished the season with 2,011 yards, which ranks third in the conference and 25 touchdowns, good for second most in the OAC.

Heidelberg had the slight edge in total yards with 608 compared to BW's 546. Time of possession was almost equal, but the Yellow Jackets were 5-5 on red zone opportunities to the Berg's 4-5.

Bryan Lacey dominated the running game for the Berg with 182 yards and a touchdown. Demetrius Magee led all Heidelberg receivers with seven catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side, Austin Crow led the way for the Student Princes with eight tackles while Chris Jones chipped in with six.

Baldwin Wallace's Robbie Plagens got the nod at quarterback for the injured Tyler Moeglin. Plagens was 23-37 during his 300-yard day with two touchdowns and an interception.

FIRST QUARTER

Penalties haunted the Student Princes in the opening quarter. Brian Lacey ignited the Heidelberg offense with a 31-yard kickoff return. On their first play from scrimmage, Tyler Stoyle found Demetrius Magee for a 37-yard reception, putting the Berg in good field position. On 4th down, Stoyle connected with junior Nick DeLisa which would have put them inside the Baldwin Wallace 5-yard line. The play was whistled back due to a Heidelberg penalty, forcing a punt.

After both teams traded three and outs, the Yellow Jackets stormed into Heidelberg territory. Berg junior Shawn Beltz would have ended the BW drive with an interception inside his own 5 yard line. Again, a sparkling play was called back because of a Heidelberg penalty. Just a few plays later, Baldwin Wallace's Isaac Reed got the Yellow Jackets on the board first with a 10-yard touchdown run. A converted PAT gave Baldwin Wallace a 7-0 lead.

Following another Heidelberg three and out, the Yellow Jackets began their drive inside Berg territory. The Student Princes appeared to stop the BW offense, but on a 4th-and-6 the Berg was flagged for encroachment. The 5 yard penalty allowed the Yellow Jackets to convert the 4th-and-1 play. The period ended with the Yellow Jackets inside the Berg 5.

SECOND QUARTER

The converted 4th-and-1 from the first quarter set up a 21-yard Baldwin Wallace field goal, pushing their lead to 10-0. The Berg's offense got going, highlighted by a 21-yard run by Jose Sanchez that put them in the red zone. The 11-play, 74-yard drive was capped off with a 23-yard field goal by senior Stephen Smith.

Baldwin Wallace's offense picked up where they left off. On a 1st-and-10, Tommy Fuller caught a short pass and raced down the sideline for a 42-yard reception. The completion uplifted the Yellow Jacket offense, but on the next play Heidelberg's Jarett Wasson intercepted Plagens at his own 10-yard line. Wasson's pick set up a long drive for the Student Princes where they eventually found themselves inside the BW 25. The Yellow Jackets forced a field goal attempt, however Smith's 22-yard attempt hit the right post and bounced away, resulting in a scoreless drive for the Tricolor.

Heidelberg's defense proved reliable again, forcing the Yellow Jackets to punt on their next drive. With the offense back on the field, a 66-yard drive allowed the Tricolor to tie up the game at 10-10. It ended when Stoyle connected with a wide open Magee, this time in the corner of the end zone. Smith's point after sailed through the upright and tied the game with 1:32 in the half.

The Yellow Jacket offense answered to the Heidelberg score with a 72-yard scoring drive of their own. With just eight seconds remaining until halftime, Plagens' pass was batted around by the Berg defense and found the hands of Baldwin Wallace's Mike Waggoner inside the end zone. The 24-yard catch and point after gave BW a 17-10 lead at the half.

THIRD QUARTER

The Student Prince defense came out to a strong start in the second half by forcing the Yellow Jackets to punt away their opening drive. The snap was bobbled, leaving Baldwin Wallace no choice but to jump on the football, giving the Berg great field position for their next drive. Starting on the BW 30-yard line, Heidelberg was seeking a score on their first drive of the half. Faced with a 4th and 13 after a sack by the Yellow Jacket defense, Stoyle and Magee teamed up again for a big completion giving Heidelberg a first down. A few plays later, Stoyle found Zach Hogya for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Once again, Smith completed the PAT tying the game at 17.

It didn't take long for Baldwin Wallace for respond. A 7-play, 85 yard drive by the Yellow Jackets resulted in a touchdown, giving them the lead. BW scored on a trick play, where wide receiver Tommy Fuller connected with Waggoner for a 25-yard touchdown reception. Baldwin Wallace successfully converted the point after moving the score to 24-17.

On their next drive, the Berg once again cut into the BW lead. The Berg took advantage of their possession after only five plays. Lacey danced through the Yellow Jacket defense and into the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown run. However, they were unable to tie the game as Smith's PAT attempt ricocheted off the post, with the score remaining at 24-23 in favor of BW.

Once more the Yellow Jackets answered back, thanks to Reed's 45 yard run before being tackled deep into Berg territory. He then ran for a 6-yard score two plays later increasing their lead to 31-23 with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER

Hogya opened the fourth quarter with an explosive touchdown for the Berg. The senior made the catch, then bounced off a BW defender and ran a few extra yards for the score. A two-point conversion pass from Stoyle to Braden Jerome knotted the score again, this time at 31. Baldwin Wallace came storming back with a long kickoff return following the touchdown. The Yellow Jackets capitalized on the short field, putting together an 8-play, 40-yard drive, resulting in a touchdown. Plagens found Tyler Wolf in the far corner of the end zone, and with a PAT the Yellow Jackets pulled ahead 38-31.

Unable to score on their next drive, the Student Princes turned the ball over on downs. The BW offense ignited again as Plagens found Waggoner for a 59-yard completion and was brought down inside the 2 yard line. On the next play, Reed ran up the gut and scored once more. The point after was not converted, but the Yellow Jackets had their biggest lead of the day at 44-31.

The Berg had two more drives in BW territory. Both resulted in turnovers on downs, the second coming with just over a minute to play, ultimately sealing the victory for Baldwin Wallace.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Stoyle finished the season with 25 passing touchdowns, finishing 4th all time for the most in a season. The sophomore only started seven games, seeing action in one snap against Cortland State after Jon Sandwisch's helmet came off.

Junior kicker AJ Morrison set a new record for the longest field goal in school history with a 49-yard kick. The record breaker happened in week two against John Carroll.

Bryan Lacey's season came to a close with 1,273 yards this season, pushing his career total to 2,613. He finished second in the Ohio Athletic Conference in rushing yards and second with 13 rushing touchdowns. His career total is now 24 touchdowns.

Senior Will Lance capped off his career with a team-high 65 tackles in 2015. That moved his career total to 211. Clay Staib recorded 56 tackles of his own this season and will leave the Berg with 183 tackles.

The potent Heidelberg offense tied for fifth all-time in total yards for a season. They tie the 2011 squad with 4,572 yards. The Tricolor also racked up 361 points this season.

QUOTES

Heidelberg head coach Mike Hallett about season finale: "We had a lot of good moments, we just weren't consistent enough…if you make mistakes against good teams they capitalize on them."

Hallett on the senior class: "Outstanding group of guys…they've been great stewards of the program over the four years they've been here and left a great example on how to operate this program for the guys that are going to be returning and the guys who are coming in next year….they have a lot to be proud of."

UP NEXT

With the season over, the Student Princes will prepare for final exams which start after Thanksgiving.  The All-OAC teams and other postseason accolades will be announced in the coming weeks.