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Halftime Adjustments Lead to Victory Over Southwest Baptist

Halftime Adjustments Lead to Victory Over Southwest Baptist

Box Score

Comments from Coach Allen – 88.3 WLFC

Findlay, Ohio – Victory. On Saturday, Sep. 17 in Findlay, Ohio, the Findlay Oilers football team picked up their debut win of the 2022 season, an impressive 52-35 victory over the Southwest Baptist University Bearcats, members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. With the victory, the Oilers are now 1-2 on the year while Southwest Baptist falls to 1-2.

This was just the second time that the Oilers and Bearcats have met on the gridiron. Last season the Oilers won a shootout, scoring 62 points en route to a victory in Bolivar, Missouri. On Saturday, Findlay again used a high-powered offense, combined with solid defense in the second half, to pick up the victory, the first under the tutelage of first-year head coach Kory Allen.

Going up against one of the best quarterbacks in the country in SBU's Cooper Callis, the two-time defending GLVC Offensive Player of the Year, the Oilers' defense struggled to make stops in the first half. Thankfully for the Orange and Black, the offense consistently had the answer.

Both teams traded touchdowns for the entirety of the first half as neither team committing a turnover or being forced to punt. One of the many offensive highlights of the half for Findlay came with around six minutes left in the first half when, coming out of a timeout, the Oilers completed a double-pass. Senior Jeremy Hunt threw the ball to his left to Tanner Schroeder. Schroeder, a quarterback in high school, threw the ball downfield to a wide-open Derek Lynch for a 48-yard score, tying the game at 21-21. By the end of the half, the score was knotted at 28-28.

Coming out of the half it was clear that the Oilers had made the necessary adjustments to stop the Bearcats offense.

The Oilers received the ball to begin the half and, for the first time, were forced to punt. That was no issue as Findlay's defense, after allowing four touchdowns in the first half, picked up a big time three-and-out, forcing a punt of their own.

On the second play of Findlay's ensuing drive, J. Hunt threw a dime to the front left corner of the endzone towards freshman Bryan Hunt who made an over-the-shoulder catch and fell into the endzone for a touchdown, his second touchdown reception of the game. That score, plus the extra-point, gave the Oilers a 35-28 lead.

Southwest Baptist used a 69-yard rush by standout tailback Abel Carter to springboard a touchdown drive that tied the game at 35, but for the Bearcats, that would be their final score of the game.

With 4:29 to play in the third quarter, sophomore Garret Clark picked up 46 yards, his longest run of the season, which led to a touchdown two plays later by the tailback out of Strongsville, Ohio.

After forcing another punt, Findlay took over with 1:35 remaining in the third and drove the ball to their own 41-yard line. On the first play of the fourth, J. Hunt found tight end Mike Rigerman up the middle for a 44-yard touchdown. The score gave the Oilers a two-score lead, the biggest lead of the game to that point.

A 41-yard field goal by sophomore Austin Snyder with four-and-a-half minutes remaining gave Findlay 52 points, but more importantly, it finally felt like the game was well within the Oilers' control, giving fans of the Orange and Black a chance to catch the breath and celebrate their first victory of the season.

In the game, Findlay picked up 25 first downs and ran 66 plays for 534 yards, the most yards in a game since week five of last season and just the third time in three seasons that the Oilers put up 500+ yards of offense.

For the Findlay defense, Southwest Baptist was able to put up 486 yards of offense, however the major takeaway is the halftime adjustments. The Bearcats could not be stopped in the first half, scoring four touchdowns and picking up 317 yards of offense. After the midway point, Findlay's defensive unit allowed just one score and 169 total yards.

Jeremy Hunt had his best game as a starting quarterback for the Oilers as he completed 16-of-25 passes for 232 yards and four touchdowns.

His favorite target was the versatile tight end Mike Rigerman who hauled in five passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Bryan Hunt had two catches, both of which were touchdowns, for 45 yards while Tanner Schroeder had four catches for 36 yards.

Garret Clark had a big game on the ground, carrying the ball 19 times for 136 yards and a score while Jayden Farmer had 13 carries for 65 yards. Derek Lynch had 41 yards and a touchdown on five carries and also had one catch for 48 yards and a touchdown.

The Oilers defense was led by Grey Brancifort who had nine tackles including a half-tackle-for-loss in the game. Johnny Harris made his presences felt as he picked up eight tackles including a sack. Defensive lineman Charles Omameh picked up five stops. The one turnover of the game belonged to Jeremiah Jackson who made four tackles and had an interception towards the end of the third quarter, ultimately setting up the 49-yard run and later touchdown by Garret Clark.

Findlay will head south to take on the North Greenville University Crusaders on Saturday, Sep. 24 in Greenville, North Carolina. It will be the first matchup between the two squads.