Wooster’s football game against Baldwin-Wallace College last Thursday looked like the first game of the season in every way imaginable. Sloppy play (the teams combined for nine turnovers) and red zone miscues (the Scots failed to score during three appearances inside the 20-yard line) defined Wooster’s 23-0 loss in just the second night game ever at John P. Papp Stadium.
The Fighting Scots (0-1) put together a solid series midway through the first quarter, driving 74 yards in seven plays to put themselves in scoring position. However, the Yellow Jackets’ Corey Hildreth stripped quarterback Richard Barnes ’14 on the three-yard line and the fumble was recovered by his teammate, Derron Hamilton, at the one.
Baldwin-Wallace (1-0) quickly got out of the shadow of its own goalpost, advancing to its own 40-yard line before penalties put the team in a second-and-33 situation on its own 27-yard line.
The yardage posed no problem for the Yellow Jackets, as quarterback Ryan O’Rourke nailed Kevin Johnson for a 73-yard touchdown on the ensuing play to give Baldwin-Wallace a 7-0 lead.
On the following possession, Wooster fumbled in its own territory and Hamilton took the recovery to the 13-yard line. Seth Goodwin ’14 prevented the Yellow Jackets from taking a two-score lead by forcing and recovering a fumble on the one-yard line.
The fumble recovery appeared to give the Scots some momentum, as they put together a 13-play drive to Baldwin-Wallace’s 23-yard line. Unfortunately, Barnes was sacked on first down and fumbled. The ball was recovered by the Yellow Jackets’ John Harasyn and returned for a 68-yard touchdown to put Wooster down 14-0.
The Scots appeared ready to counter, putting together another sustained drive before Brett Thompson intercepted Barnes at the 19-yard line. Wooster’s defense forced a three-and-out and the offense followed up by driving deep into Baldwin-Wallace territory, but the Scots were denied on four consecutive plays inside the two-yard line and forced to give the ball up.
Brett Frongillo ’14 saw two series at quarterback early in the third quarter, completing three of six passes for 17 yards and rushing once for a six-yard gain, but both drives ended in punts. Baldwin-Wallace drove into the red zone midway through the quarter, but Nick Jacubec ’14 forced and recovered a fumble at Wooster’s seven-yard line.
This opportunity was quickly squandered when the Scots committed three holding penalties in four plays and Barnes was sacked in the endzone for a safety to give the Yellow Jackets a 16-0 lead. Baldwin-Wallace started in Wooster territory after the safety punt and scored on a 25-yard run by Willie Jackson to seal the game at 23-0.
Barnes finished the game completing 21 of 37 passes for 186 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked six times for 33 yards lost. Comparatively, Wooster only reached the quarterback once for a five-yard loss.
The team’s leading rusher was John Battaglia ’14, who had five carries for 57 yards. While the defense was able to force five fumbles and recover three of them, the Fighting Scots’ offense could not take advantage of any of the opportunities presented.
The Scots play their first NCAC game tomorrow at home against the Wabash College Little Giants (0-0) at 1 p.m. Wabash finished second in the conference last season with a 5-1 NCAC record. The Scots will try to get off to a strong start in conference play this season.