No. 24 Ohio Northern rallies late, but No. 2 Mount Union holds on for 14-6 victory
ADA, Ohio -- No. 24-ranked Ohio Northern got an outstanding defensive performance and had three long second half drives, but No. 2 Mount Union forced a late fumble and held on for a 14-6 victory on a muddy Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium.
The Polar Bears fall to 2-2 overall and are 1-2 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Purple Raiders improve to 4-0, 3-0.
Senior Chad Coward had 12 tackles, junior Joe Powell had 11 tackles and sophomore Malcolm Burrell added 10 tackles to lead the ONU defense.
Sophomore Tyler Rue came off the bench in the second half to complete 11 of 20 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown to spark the ONU offense on three long drives.
Trailing 14-0, Rue completed 5 of 8 passes for 56 yards and ran twice for 15 more yards on a drive that was capped on an 19-yard TD pass from Rue to junior Frank Thien to make it 14-6 with 6:33 left in the game.
The ONU defense held on downs at its 19-yard line with 2:17 left and Rue quickly went to work again.
He was a perfect 5 for 5 for 35 yards and had an 18-yard scramble to get Northern to the MtU 28-yard line with a minute to play.
But Charles Dieseul sacked Rue on a third and 10, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Arthur Smith, that iced the game for the visitors.
"I am very proud of our effort today," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "We played very well on defense and got some plays on offense that gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter. Give Mount Union credit, they are a great team and they made a few more plays in key situations than we did today."
Jeremy Murray scored on a 9-yard run with 6:34 left in the second period to give the visitors a 6-0 lead at intermission.
He scored on a 7-yard run to make it 12-0 with 7:06 left in the third quarter, then ran in for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 14-0.
After an exchange of punts, ONU marched 52 yards to the MtU 24-yard line, but the Purple Raiders stopped a fourth and 1 run to thwart that scoring opportunity.
Murray finished the day with 130 yards on a career-high 41 carries.
The ONU defense limited MtU to 226 yards of total offense, 347 less that its 573-yard average. Northern had 195 yards of total offense in the game.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday at 1:30 pm at Capital.