Non-Conference NCAA Football
#17 SUNY Cortland at Heidelberg
Saturday, September 3, 2016 | Noon
Hoernemann Stadium | Tiffin, Ohio
ENTERING WEEK ONE...
Looking for a new head football coach for the first time in nearly a decade, the Heidelberg University administration did not have to look very far. Scott Donaldson – whose tenure at HU began as a graduate assistant in 2004 – was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach. And though almost all of the coaches and players remain the same, the new era for Heidelberg Football feels fresh and distinct.
"My goal is to keep pushing this program forward. We don't want to become complacent," said Donaldson. "Last year's 5-5 record is not where we want to be ... and I believe we have the right coaches and student-athletes in place to make another stride forward."
The high-octane Heidelberg offense will be centered around All-OAC back Bryan Lacey, who returns for his final season of eligibility. Lacey will team up with Cam Vocke in the backfield for a dangerous 1-2 punch. Under center, emerging star Tyler Stoyle is back after an impressive run in the second half of 2015. Receivers Nick DeLisa, Demetrius Magee and Tony Morris are back. The offensive line will be anchored by seasoned veterans Jake Hankish and Tyler Hunter.
A dynamic front will be called upon to lead the defense. Junior All-OAC performer Austin Crow is poised for a breakout year, flanked by a group of second year players. The linebackers, though thin in varsity experience, bring a wealth of athleticism to the mix of the 4-2-5 formation. The defensive backfield will be led by Jarett Wasson, Erik Hagedorn, Dominique Scott and Shawn Beltz – all of whom played a vital role in 2015.
Kicker A.J. Morrison returns for the special teams unit.
Heidelberg opens the season with SUNY-Cortland at home on September 3 – looking to avenge last year's Hail Mary loss at the horn. OAC action opens up with Ohio Northern on September 17. It will be Heidelberg's first-ever on-campus night game.
LOOKING BACK AT 2015...
A last-second Hail Mary from Cortland State's Steven Ferreira to Jon Mannix spoiled the 2015 Heidelberg Football team's hopes for an opening day victory. Bryan Lacey found the end zone with just over a minute to play, giving the Berg a 24-20 lead. The host Red Dragons answered back with a 29-yard completion at the horn, edging out the Student Princes 26-24.
An opening drive touchdown from Jon Sandwisch to Demetrius Magee helped the Berg jump out to an early 7-0 lead. Both teams traded pairs of touchdowns, but a failed kick by Cortland State left the Tricolor clinging to a 14-13 lead. A 23-yard field goal by Stephen Smith gave the Student Princes a four point advantage at the half. After a scoreless quarter, Cortland State pulled ahead 20-17 early in the fourth quarter. The Berg was kept off the scoreboard until Lacey's touchdown run late in the game that was set up when the Red Dragons jumped offsides on a field goal attempt. The possession started when Joey Wooley tallied a strip-sack of Ferreira.
Sandwisch threw for 135 yards, the third time in his career he has thrown for over 100 yards. Lacey led the way with 96 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Cameron Vocke chipped in with 79 rushing yards.
Despite the loss, Heidelberg's offense put up a total of 370 yards to Cortland State's 321.
Overall: CORT, 1-0
Streak: CORT, 1
Last 10: CORT leads, 1-0
Scott Donaldson vs. Cortland: 0-0
Dan MacNeill vs. Heidelberg: 1-0
LAST TEN YEARS
TYLER, THE CREATOR
- QB Tyler Stoyle, a second team All-OAC selection in 2015, played in eight games as a sophomore
- Stoyle started seven games, but played one snap in the season-opening loss to Cortland because Jon Sandwisch's helmet was ripped off
- Dividing Stoyle's 2011 yards by the more-accurate seven games, he averaged 287.3 yards per game -- good for 17th in Division III, slightly ahead of Cortland's Steven Ferreira
- His first start -- 388 yards on 30-of-45 passing with five touchdowns and no interceptions in a 49-31 win over Otterbein -- is believed to one of the best debuts in OAC history
- RB Bryan Lacey amassed 1,273 yards in his first season as the featured back
- Lacey, who missed most of his sophomore season with an injury, had 2,613 career rushing yards and 24 rushing TDs
- He has played in 32 games over his career
LIVE AND LET DONTEEA DYE
- Alum Donteea Dye had one preseason catch with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before being waived due to injury
- Dye's primary role had been as a kickoff returner
- Head coach Scott Donaldson, an assistant at Heidelberg since 2004, was named the successor for Mike Hallett
- Hallett, 55-36 in nine seasons at HU, took an offensive coaching position at Division I Toledo in December
- Donaldson is the 33rd head coach in program history
- First-time head coaches throughout HU history have not fared well in their debut, compiling a 9-21-2 record (.312)
NEW FACES ON THE SIDELINES
- In the off-season, the Heidelberg coaching staff welcomed four new faces -- full-time assistant Brian Fox (Baldwin Wallace '10) and graduate assistants Ryan Finck (Heidelberg '16), Ethan Nichol (Wooster '16) and Bryan Bing (Methodist '16)
THE MUSIC MAN
- The Heidelberg Athletic band has new leadership for the start of the 2016 campaign
- Director Jon Waters, whose tenure began in August, has made several significant changes with the band, including the new pregame show
- Together, Waters and Donaldson decided that it was important to have the football team on the field for the playing of the national anthem
- Following victories, the band will lead players, coaches and fans to the Victory Bell near University Hall