By John Kocsis
Saturday Sept. 22-The tone of the game was set very early by the Norfolk State Spartans. On the opening kickoff the Spartans had two number sevens on the field, wide receiver Wilonte’ Roscoe and linebacker Lynden Trail, which resulted in a five-yard penalty. On the very next play, running back Brandon Riddick fumbled the ball, and Ohio recovered it on the 20-yard line.
The Bobcats’ possession started off slowly, but after a false start on third and goal, quarterback Derrius Vick completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to a fading Donte Foster in the right-hand corner of the end zone. Matt Weller tacked on the extra point to make the score 7-0 in favor of the Bobcats.
Norfolk State’s next possession ended in a three and out, resulting in no yards. After receiving a punt, Ohio’s offense started at the Spartan’s 30-yard line, resulting in Vick throwing screen out to running back Beau Blankenship, who ran in for a 24-yard touchdown with 9: 32 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans’ next possession also resulted in yet again, another three and out, while the Bobcat’s received the ball on Norfolk State’s side of the field. After gaining 10 yards, Weller drilled a 49-yard field goal through the uprights to make the score 17-0.
Ohio led 34-0 at the half, and Vick was 11-15 passing and threw for 149 yards and three touchdowns.
In the second half, Blankenship became the first Ohio running back to rush for at least 100 yards in four consecutive games since Kalvin McRae did in 2007. He finished the game with 109 yards rushing and one touchdown rushing as well as one receiving touchdown and an average of 4.4 yards per carry.
The Bobcats’ offense was on the field for 32:07 compared to the Spartans’ 27:53, they were also more efficient, converting on seven of their 16 third downs compared to Norfolk State’s three for 15. Ohio’s defense found ways to force turnovers, the Spartans turned the ball over five times, three of which were fumbles.
Norfolk State slowed down the Bobcats’ offense in the second half, only allowing 10 points, but they didn’t get on the board until running back Randy Maynes pounded the ball into the end zone from seven yards out with 4:28 left in the fourth quarter. Spartan kicker Everett Goldberg scored a 42-yard field goal with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter to make the final score 44-10, Ohio.
Matt Weller converted three of his six field goal attempts; all three of his misses were in the second half. The three he converted were for 49 yards, 40 yards and 31 yards. Derrius Vick filled Tyler Tettleton’s role at quarterback, completing 14 of his 20 passes for a total of 199 yards and four touchdowns. He didn’t throw any interceptions. Donte Foster led the team with five receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
Next Saturday at 3: 30, the 4-0 Bobcats will travel to Gillette Stadium to play the 0-4 University of Massachusetts Minutemen.