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Oberlin left searching for answers as Scots seize victory

Jeremy Ludemann

Staff Writer

Richard Barnes ’14 played the game of his life on Homecoming Saturday. Just 47 seconds into the game, he threw a touchdown pass to his former Harvey High School teammate, Justin Rice ’15. Shawn Bowman ’15 also had his best game as a Scot with two interceptions, one ending a scoring drive by Oberlin college near the end of the first half. Both players were crucial in Wooster’s (1-1, 1-0 NCAC) 39-21 victory last week over the Yeomen (1-1, 0-1 NCAC).

Although Oberlin surged ahead 14-7 in the first quarter when Yeomen quarterback Lucas Poggiali found Stephen Hause in the end zone for a 27-yard scoring strike, the Scots maintained their composure. Wooster fired back after the Oberlin touchdown with one of their own, and the offense showed that it could perform when tested. Early on in the drive, Barnes found Keir Pace ’16 in stride for a 30-yard completion. Down near the goal line, Sean Hackel ’15 took a Barnes handoff on fourth down and one and moved the chains to the Oberlin two-yard line. Barnes then scored a few plays later on a quarterback sneak. A missed extra point by the Scots allowed Oberlin to hang onto a slim 14-13 lead with 12 minutes left in the 1st half.

After the Wooster defense stymied the Yeomen, the Scots went back to work. Barnes started the attack on the ground, gaining 17 hard-earned yards when all of his available receivers were covered. Two plays later, the Scots were at midfield. After a 28-yard pass completion from Barnes to Adam Coppock ’15 and a 13-yard scamper by the senior quarterback, Hackel ran twice and scored from two yards out, pushing the Scots to a five-point lead, 19-14. Wooster then attempted but failed to complete a two-point conversion.

The Wooster defense continued its great work and gave the ball back to the offense, and Barnes made a huge 25-yard run with seven minutes left in the second quarter that pushed the Scots into the red zone. From there, Rice caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Barnes, and Wooster went up 25-14.

Then, it was time for Bowman to shine. The Tusky Valley product intercepted a Poggiali pass near the end zone, ending an Oberlin scoring threat. At 6’2”, Bowman’s height and timing proved crucial as he leapt above the Yeomen receiver to secure the pick. The turnover preserved an 11-point halftime lead for Wooster.

In the second half, Barnes and Bowman continued where they left off. Barnes found Hackel on a screen midway through the third quarter, and the junior from Farmington, N.Y. bolted for a 35-yard gain. Then the trickery emerged. The Scots pulled off a successful wide receiver pass as Coppock fired a nine-yard touchdown pass to Darrian Owens ’17. An extra point by Zack Moore ’16 propelled Wooster to a 32-14 lead, and they never looked back.

For the game, Barnes racked up 336 total yards and four total touchdowns. The Painesville native’s performance was also recognized by the North Coast Athletic Conference, and he was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Bowman’s second interception came during fourth-quarter, and his strong play cemented his position as an important contributor to the Wooster secondary. Hackel also had a tremendous game, as he rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Tomorrow, the Scots will invade Portage County to take on the Hiram College Terriers (2-1, 1-1 NCAC). Game time is set for 1 p.m. on Charles A. Henry Field.

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