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BG earns ugly win over Ohio

When you win despite some setbacks it is often said that you dodge a bullet. Well, the Falcons dodged enough bullets in their 38-14 victory over Ohio Saturday to fill the arsenal of Tony “Scarface” Montana.

The win puts the Falcons (3-2, 2-0 in the MAC) in first place in the MAC East.

In a game that featured a lot of miscues, mostly by the Falcons’ special teams, the team was able to rely on two aspects of their game – the defense and the running game.

That is not to say that the Falcons passing game was sputtering, or that they didn’t contribute to BG’s victory.

Quarterback Omar Jacobs threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns, but there was a strong wind that seemed to carry a lot of his throws past receivers.

Senior wide receiver Charles Sharon had 10 receptions and a career high 185 yards.

More important than the passing attack, however, was the Falcons finally getting a semblance of a running game behind backs P.J. Pope and B.J. Lane.

Lane led the team with 103 yards on the ground and a 5.5 yard per carry average.

Pope showed some quickness and a speed burst that had been absent throughout the year as he has dealt with nagging ankle injuries. Unfortunately for him and the team, he re-aggravated his ankle injury during the game.

“I feel really bad for that kid,” said Brandon of his starting running back. “He’s struggling to get healthy.”

But Lane stepped up when his team needed him.

“We put emphasis on it in practice, to run the ball, to control the clock better. We transferred it for game time from practice and it worked out for us,” said Lane.

Lane credited the increased production with steadiness along the offensive line.

“They make the holes and it’s up to me to do my part,” said Lane. “The offensive line went out aggressive and set the tone early.”

Brandon also praised the work of the offensive line.

“It was nice to see that offensive line take control of the football game in the fourth quarter. We were able to run the ball and eventually put it away,” he said.

But ultimately the Falcons won because of their defense.

“It was the defense’s night,” coach Gregg Brandon said.

The Falcons defense constantly bailed the team out of tough jams, including on the opening possession when the Falcons’ Anthony Turner fumbled the kickoff while he had his back turned in an attempt to hand the ball off. The Bobcats recovered and had the ball on the four yard line.

The defense, however, clamped down and held Ohio out of the end zone and their field goal attempt hit the left post.

“When that kicker missed the field goal all that hard work paid off,” said defensive end Devon Parks. “We stopped ’em cold.”

Parks was extremely active all game, amassing eight tackles and causing havoc for Ohio’s offense.

“The defense took a stand because we knew in weeks past we weren’t getting it done,” he said.

The Bobcats had good field position throughout the game, but the Falcons rarely gave up any ground.

“We strangled ’em,” Brandon said.

The defense only had one key mistake all game, giving up a 51 yard pass to Justin Fitzgerald that led to an Ohio touchdown. The Bobcats only other score occurred on a block punt that was run into the end zone by linebacker Jordan Meyers.

“I really thought we played a good, sound, defensive football game. We were in the right gaps, we controlled the line of scrimmage,” said Brandon.

Mike Thaler, a team captain and vocal leader of the defense thought their success came from playing with enthusiasm and setting a tone early.

“From the first drive, right away we let them know, ‘you guys aren’t going to run the ball on us tonight,’ and we played the whole game with that attitude,” Thaler said.

Last week the Bobcats were able to run for 385 yards, including 204 yards by Kalvin McRae and 141 yards by Voncarie Owens.

“We knew we couldn’t take the run game lightly and we knew, hey so far we haven’t stopped the run and they’re going to try and run the ball on us,” Thaler said.

The Falcons buckled down and held their McRae and Voncarie to 34 and two yards, respectively.

They held Ohio to only 239 yards of total offense. In the previous 18 trips to the red zone Falcon opponents had scored, but the Falcons held the Bobcats scoreless in three of their four trips to the red zone.

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