One to forget

TOLEDO – For the first time in six seasons, the BGSU football team will head into the offseason with a losing record after the team concluded its season by losing 31-21 last Tuesday to rival Toledo.

The second half of the season was one the Falcons would rather forget. BG lost each of its final five games, leaving the team with a final record of 4-8 overall, 3-5 in the Mid-American Conference.

“My kids, they battled hard,” said BG coach Gregg Brandon. “It’s been a grind this season and I just don’t think there’s any gas left in the tank right now.”

The Falcons found themselves down 21 points in the first half and were never able to recover as the Rockets kept the chains and the clock moving late in the game. Toledo’s Jalen Parmele rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown while the Rocket defense held the Falcons to just 76 yards on the ground.

Although the Falcons struggled rushing the ball, they found success in the air on the arm of Anthony Turner. After being pulled from the game in the second quarter in favor of freshman Tyler Sheehan, Turner returned strong for BG and completed 21 passes for 213 yards and three TDs.

“He has sputtered and been erratic, but in the second half he stepped up and made some nice throws,” Brandon said.

Turner’s primary target was Corey Partridge, who had a career game with 14 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. His 14 receptions tied a single game school record set by Robert Redd in 2002 against Northern Illinois.

“They ran a lot of no deep man-to-man coverage, bringing blitzes,” Partridge said. “It gave me a lot of time to just work one-on-one and when you only got one guy to beat and you know where you’re going and he doesn’t, it makes it pretty easy for you.”

Kenneth Brantley, playing in his final game as a Falcon, caught his first career touchdown pass in the third quarter and a second touchdown in the fourth quarter.

In a season where 15 true freshmen saw playing time, an imbalance of youth and experience plagued the team. Brandon and the Falcons hope to reverse their fortunes next season with a more experienced, but still youth-laden team.

But for now, the pain of losing the season’s final game to Toledo is still stinging.

“You’re going to come out and play as hard as you can every time, and it kills you not to win,” Partridge said. “This one really hurts.”