Quakers fall in season finale'
Otterbein wins, 40-14
November 12, 2011
Standing behind head coach Ken Minor are, from left, seniors Ryan Krugh, Darian McGee, Nate Stierhoff, Antwoine Shelton and Brett McEvoy.
WESTERVILLE — The curtain fell on Wilmington College’s football season with a 40-14 Ohio Athletic Conference loss at Otterbein University Saturday afternoon.
The Quakers end play at 0-9 in the OAC, 0-10 overall. Otterbein finishes the season at 2-7 in the conference, 3-7 overall.
“It certainly wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but the effort was a good one,” Wilmington head coach Ken Minor said. “I think the world of the players on this team. We are a young team. We started seven freshmen offensively today, and this league doesn’t take too kindly to teams that are so young. This is a junior- and senior-oriented league, and we have to get to the point where we retain players and get the experience necessary to get where everybody else is. I thought our young guys did a nice job today and this season. I know the experience will benefit them as players and us as a team in the future.”
The Quakers’ bid for win No. 1 of the season was an uphill struggle, thanks to a pair of first-quarter Otterbein touchdowns that put the Cardinals up, 13-0.
Wilmington pulled within 13-7 early in the second quarter after defensive end Aaron Day (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) recovered a fumble at the Otterbein 27-yard line.
Brandon Arehart (Wilmington) led the Quakers across the short field and ran for the final 2 yards as Wilmington cut the deficit to six with 11:39 to play in the opening half.
After taking a 19-7 lead at the half, Otterbein broke things open with two third-quarter touchdowns to stretch its lead to 33-7.
The Quakers made it a 33-14 game when Arehart fired a 26-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Akers (Sabina/East Clinton) at 8:52 of the fourth quarter.
Otterbein closed out the scoring with a touchdown with 3:53 to play.
The Quakers took the ball away a season-high five times. Both touchdowns were set up by Wilmington takeaways. Devon Burton (Waynesville) recovered two fumbles and Donnie Ary (Jamestown/Greeneview) scooped up an Otterbein fumble. Joe Joe Knecht (Lancaster) had his team-leading second interception.
Arehart passed for 186 yards and a score with Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington) making game-high eight receptions for 79 yards.
“Malcolm had a great game with people hanging all over him,” Minor said. “He has progressed quite a bit since joining the team in the second week of the season. He’s really a good football player with a promising future.”
The only statistical disparity was provided by the rushing numbers. Otterbein gained 218 yards on the ground to Wilmington’s 77.
Wilmington’s defense was led by senior linebacker Antwoine Shelton (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville), who recorded career-high 14 tackles and a quarterback sack. Classmate Darian McGee (Dallas, Texas/Duncanville) finished with seven stops.
Also playing their final games for Wilmington were fullback Brett McEvoy (Pickerington/Pickerington North), quarterback Nate Stierhoff (Rushsylvania/Benjamin Logan) and center Ryan Krugh (South Vienna/Northeastern). McEvoy caught three passes for 63 yards and Stierhoff completed five passes for 64 yards.