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May 26, 2020

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Late touchdown lifts ONU to 20-19 victory over Muskingum

By Tim Glon
Senior Anthony Fletcher caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from senior Tate Humphrey with 33 seconds left to lift Ohio Northern to a 20-19 football victory over Muskingum Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium.

The Polar Bears improve to 3-5 overall and are 3-4 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Muskies fall to 1-7, 1-6.

Facing a 4th and goal from the 5-yard line, Humphrey rolled to his right and couldn't find an open receiver. He then looked back to his left and found Fletcher wide open in the corner of the end zone for the score.

Fletcher made a nifty catch as the throw was high, but he was able to come down with both feet cleanly in the end zone for the winning score.

Humphrey completed 14 of 23 passes for 208 yards and three TDs, senior Justin Wilson caught five passes for 116 yards and two scores and senior Carter Paul rushed 20 times for 73 yards to lead the Polar Bear offense.

C.J. Snider completed 14 of 27 passes for 205 yards and three TDs and ran 21 times for 75 yards to lead the Muskies.

All three of Snider's touchdown passes came in the first half as Muskingum led 19-7 at intermission.

"I thought out defense did a solid job of containing Snider in the second half," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "We made some adjustments and were much better as the game went on. Offensively, I was proud of the way we kept battling. We made some plays at the end of the game and got the job done. We have had several close games this year and it is nice to have one to go our way."

Trailing 19-14 early in the fourth quarter, ONU marched 71 yards in 13 plays and took 6:39 off of the clock, but gave the ball up on the MU 9-yard line after a fumble with 7:24 left in the game.

The Polar Bear defense forced a 3-and-out and ONU got the ball back at the MU 32-yard line after a short Muskie punt.

Three rushes by senior DeMarqus Payne moved the ball 23 yards to the Muskingum 9 and an 8-yard run by Carter Paul gave ONU a 2nd and goal at the MU 1.

But Humphrey was stuffed for a loss of 1 on a quarterback draw and Paul lost three more yards on third down, setting up Humphrey's fourth down TD pass to Fletcher.

The Muskies scored the first 13 points of the game when Snider hit James Washington on TD passes of 32 and 28 yards.

MU missed the extra point on its first score and that would play an important factor late in the game.

Humphrey hit Wilson on a 13-yard touchdown pass to pull ONU within 13-7 with four minutes left in the half.

But Snider completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Morris on the last play of the half to give the Muskies a 19-7 lead.

Snider's 2-point conversion pass failed and Muskingum's lead remained at just 12.

Humphrey connected on a 51-yard TD pass to Wilson with 5:13 left in the third period to pull ONU within 19-14.

After the teams traded punts, the Muskies then drove to the ONU 15-yard line, but a 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left and the MU lead remained within one touchdown at 19-14.

The Muskies' final drive was stopped when sophomore Jeff Podolsky forced a fumble that was recovered by senior Chance Moore at the MU 32-yard line with six seconds left.

Muskingum out-gained ONU 347-325 in total offense and held the ball for 32:20 to 27:40 for ONU.

Defensively, sophomore Steven Kenny had a game-high 11 tackles and senior Joe Powell had 10 tackles for Ohio Northern.

The polar Bears will return to action next Saturday with a 1:30 pm home contest with Wilmington on Senior Day.

Final                        1   2  3  4  T
Muskingum (1-7)     6 13 0  0 19
Ohio Northern (3-5) 0 7   7  6 20