By Tim Glon
ADA — Junior All-American Christiaan Williams (Sidney/Anna) became ONU's all-time career rushing leader as the Ohio Northern football team celebrated Senior Day with a 34-28 Bendekovic Bowl victory over Heidelberg on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium.
Williams has gained 4,197 yards in just 29 career games and passed the previous record of 4,169 by All-American and former NFL standout Jamal Robertson from 1997-2000.
The Polar Bears (6-4 overall) finished tied for third in the 10-team Ohio Athletic Conference with a 6-3 league mark with the win.
Northern also grabbed its second victory in the annual Bendekovic Bowl series with Heidelberg (6-4, 5-4), which honors the late Ronnie and Jason Bendekovic, who served as assistants at ONU and Heidelberg, respectively.
Senior Anthony McFadden (Chillicothe/Paint Valley) accounted for ONU's other four touchdowns, including the game-winner on a 12-yard run with 38 seconds left that broke a 28-all tie.
He finished the day completing 17-of-27 passes for a season-high 346 yards and two scores and ran 21 times for 71 yards and two scores, giving him 417 yards of total offense.
ONU out-gained HU 579-509, as the two teams combined for 1,088 yards of total offense.
Offenses controlled the first half, as the squads rolled up 632 yards.
McFadden opened the scoring with a 10-yard pass to sophomore Austin Eick (Rossford) on ONU's opening possession and it was 7-0 with 5:09 gone in the game.
Heidelberg tied it 7-7 with a 1-yard score by Tayy Yearby with 4:42 left in the quarter.
Williams scored on an 8-yard run 2:19 later and HU scored a mere 35 seconds after that on a 72-yard touchdown pass and it was 14-all after the first period.
McFadden connected with Eick on a 51-yard touchdown pass with 10:56 to play in the half to put the hosts up 21-14.
The Student Princes evened the game at 21-all on a 14-yard pass from Jimmy Gephart to Maceo Matthews with 8:28 left in the half.
The two teammed up on a 69-yard scoring pass with 4:32 gone in the third quarter to give the visitors their only lead of the game at 28-21.
McFadden scored on a 24-yard scramble with 6:03 left in the third to even the score at 28-all.
The two teams traded two punts, two turnovers and a missed field goal each as the score remained deadlocked as time winded down in the contest.
Northern took over at its 5-yard line with 2:57 left. A 36-yard pass from McFadden to Eick got the ball past midfield and a 14-yard run by sophomore Brock Martin (Attica/Seneca East) got the ball to the HU 23.
A McFadden completion to freshman Jack DiMario (Dayton/Alter) gained 8 yards and Martin ran for 3 to get another first down at the Heidelberg 12.
McFadden took it the rest of the way, but the PAT was wide right after a bad snap to keep the score at 34-28.
HU then drove to the ONU 16-yard line, but a Gephart pass into the end zone on the final play of the game fell incomplete and the Polar Bears had completed a perfect 5-0 home schedule this year.