Gators surrender early lead in loss

By COLLEEN PEGHER

Sports Editor

[email protected]

 

Despite jumping out to 10-0 lead in the first half, the Gators were stifled by a potent Wooster running attack, falling to the Fighting Scots 33-16 in last Saturday’s matchup.

In their last two games, the Gators have been shutout. This week, the Gators found an early lead after making some improvements on the offensive end.

“I thought offensively we had some really good improvements,” said offensive lineman Sumner Beal, ’14. “At times we moved the ball effectively and we executed a lot of plays well. “

Allegheny started off strong in their first drive with Tyler Smith, ’15, running three times for a total of 21 yards. After an incomplete pass from Jon Nigro, ’17, to Andrew Niklaus, ’15, and a false start penalty, the Gator drive was stalled, and ended with a Ben Ziolkowski, ’17, field goal from 27 yards out.

After trading scoreless possessions, the Scots took over, beginning a drive that ended in a missed 32-yard field goal attempt, allowing the Gators to close out the quarter with a 3-0 lead.

On the ensuing Gator drive, Smith carried the ball three times for a total of 26 yards, setting the Gators up at the Wooster 42-yard line. Following two Nigro passes, one for 15 yards and the next for 21, Smith ended the drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Junior Ryan Mong’s extra point was good, propelling the Gators to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.

“We finally broke through and saw some really good things offensively,” said Head Coach Mark Matlak. “It was pretty exciting to have a lead. I was happy for the boys.”

Following the Gator touchdown, Wooster responded with a 42-yard field goal, narrowing the gap to seven.

On the ensuing kickoff, a holding penalty negated a return to midfield by Isaac Gittens, ’14, and put the Gators at their own 8. On a fourth down attempt, a mishandled snap resulted in a safety, narrowing the Gators lead to five.

Wooster quickly gained their first lead of the day, covering 29 yards in six plays and ending the drive with a touchdown run to close out the half at 12-10.

In the third quarter, the Wooster run game took over with two touchdown runs that put the Scots ahead 26-10 heading into the fourth.

In the final quarter the Gators looked to bounce back, stopping a Wooster drive that ended with a missed 46-yard field goal attempt.

Following the missed attempt, Nigro completed three pass attempts for a total of 32 yards. Nigro completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Emigh to finish off the drive. The Gators failed to convert their two-point attempt, leaving the score at 26-16 with 8:30 seconds to play.

Wooster answered Allegheny’s score with a 96-yard drive and another touchdown run on the day, putting the final score at 33-16. Wooster rushed for 299 yards on the day and had 196 yards passing.

“I felt that our defensive played with a ton of effort and focus. The guys did everything that they could but a few mistakes here and there really hurt us in the long run,” said linebacker Jake Szoszorek, ’14.

Nigro threw for a season high 203 yards, while Niklaus had six grabs for 58 yards. Smith ran for 66 yards and one touchdown on the day.

On the defensive end, Szoszorek posted a team-high 15 tackles, while Raysean Glenn, ’15, finished the day with 14.

“We kept the ball in front of us,” Szoszorek said. “We didn’t have any deep balls thrown over our head and we kept lining up again.”

Heading into their next matchup against Oberlin, the Gators are optimistic, according to Beal.

“I feel that we are very, very optimistic group of guys,” Beal said. “We are keeping our heads up, staying positive, and supporting each other.  I think we are seeing big improvements from all aspects of the game and if we keep at the grind we will get ourselves a few wins.”

The Gators play on the road Saturday against the Yeomen. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

 

BRIANNA LAYMAN/THE CAMPUS Tyler Smith, ‘16, runs the ball to earn a touchdown for the Gators in the first half of the game on Oct. 11, 2013.
BRIANNA LAYMAN/THE CAMPUS
Tyler Smith, ‘16, runs the ball to earn a touchdown for the Gators in the first half of the game on Oct. 11, 2013.
BRIANNA LAYMAN/THE CAMPUS Sumner Beal, ‘14, and Tyler Smith, ‘16, take a water break during the Oct. 11 game against Wooster.
BRIANNA LAYMAN/THE CAMPUS
Sumner Beal, ‘14, and Tyler Smith, ‘16, take a water break during the Oct. 11 game against Wooster.