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April 18, 2024

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BGSU Football loses 4th meeting in row against University of Toledo


Andre Givens runs the ball past the line of scrimmage against the University of Toledo Rockets on Saturday.

The BG football team lost its fourth consecutive meeting against the University of Toledo Rockets 28-25 Saturday in front of an attendance of 21,724 fans, a season-best for the Falcons.

“It was such a let down,” senior linebacker Paul Swan said. “It tore me apart.”

Swan said the only other time in his sports career that he’s been so upset from a loss was during his senior high school basketball season, when his team lost to a rival school in the playoffs.

“We thought we were going to win it,” Swan said. “When our offense scored and we were up five, we were like ‘yeah, we’re going to win the game for this team,’ and it didn’t happen.”

The Falcons started the game with a drive that included a 25-yard pass from quarterback Matt Johnson to tight end Alex Bayer, but the Falcons were stopped on a fourth down conversion.

On the following drive, Toledo scored a touchdown three minutes and 17 seconds later on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Kareem Hunt.

After a quick three and out by BG, Toledo took control of the rest of the first quarter.

The Rockets were able to extend their drive through the end of the first quarter and nearly five and a half minutes of the second quarter. BG helped extended Toledo’s drive eight minutes and 55 seconds with a roughing the kicker penalty on a field goal try and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a third down and goal play. On the following play Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens threw a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Alonzo Russell to put the Rockets up 14-0.

The Falcons went three and out on the following drive and Toledo scored the following drive to make the score 21-0 with 4:27 left to play in the first half.

“They’re too good of a football team to spot a 21-0 lead to,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said. “We did some things that I think (are) uncharacteristic of our team. Certainly the roughing the kicker and personal foul is very disappointing.”

BG then ended the first half with a strong drive that resulted in a one-yard rushing run by Johnson. At the end of the half, BG trailed 21-7.

“We’re just starting slow and somehow we’ve got to change that,” offensive lineman Dominic Flewellyn said. “We can’t start slow against a good team, especially a rival.”

The Falcons started the second half kicking off to Toledo, but the touchdown at the end of the first half started a snowball effect that gave BG a lot of momentum in the second half.

Owens fumbled on Toledo’s first drive of the half on a sack by linebacker Gabe Martin, and BG took the ball down the field to the goal line. However, Flewellyn halted a potential touchdown before it could come to fruition on fourth and goal on the one-yard line due to a false start penalty.

“I jumped,” Flewellyn said. “I knew the cadence, I just got over-anxious because I knew it was on the line. So, I jumped.”

The Falcons had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from kicker Tyler Tate, which made the score 21-10 with 8:46 left in the third quarter.

BG’s defense kept the momentum going into Toledo’s following drive and forced them to punt after less than five minutes later.

BG’s next drive consumed the final three minutes and 47 seconds of the third quarter and the Falcons scored on the second play of the fourth quarter on an eight-yard run by running back Travis Greene.

Instead of sending out the kicking team for the extra-point, Clawson made the decision to go for the two-point conversion and BG was successful in doing so thanks to a pass from Johnson to Bayer. This eight-point play cut Toledo’s lead to 21-18 with 14:34 left to play in the game.

After another defensive stand by BG and a crucial offensive pass interference penalty, Toledo was forced to punt and Johnson led the offense down the field through the air to set up a 19-yard run and a seven-yard touchdown both by Greene, which put BG in the lead, 25-21, with 5:59 left in the game.

This marked the first time BG led Toledo since the last time Toledo played at Doyt L. Perry Stadium in 2011. BG led Toledo 14-7 after three quarters of play in 2011.

However, Toledo had different plans.

Toledo capitalized on BG’s emotions with a 32-yard pass from Owens to Bernard Reedy and an 11-yard run by Hunt. The Rockets then committed a false start, taking them back five yards, but Owens made up for it with an 11-yard run and a nine-yard pass to Russell. Hunt was stopped on the following play for a loss of six yards but Owens stepped up again with another six yard run.

Following that play, Clawson took a timeout to regroup. The next play Toledo was called for offensive pass interference, this took the Rockets back but Owens made a 17-yard run following the penalty. Toledo then took a timeout.

On the next play, Owens threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Russell and thanks to the extra-point, Toledo had a 28-25 lead with 1:22 left to play.

On next drive, Johnson and Burbrink connected for a 10-yard pass and four-yard pass. Toledo stopped BG’s momentum with a sack by defensive back Junior Sylvestre. Johnson then threw two-consecutive incomplete passes and turned the ball over on downs.

Toledo then took a knee to end the game on the winning end.

This loss marks the third loss by the Falcons this season, putting their record at 5-3 and 3-1 in Mid-American Conference games. BG also falls to third in the MAC East Division standings with the University of Buffalo taking the lead with a 4-0 MAC record and the Ohio University Bobcats in second with a 3-1 conference record and a 6-2 overall record.

Both Buffalo and Ohio are two of the Falcons’ four remaining regular season opponents. BG hosts the Bobcats on Nov. 12 and travel to Buffalo on Nov. 29 to take on the Bulls at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.

BG will hit the road for its next game when they take on the Miami University RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio next Tuesday, Nov. 5.

“[The loss against Toledo] is going to sting for day or two,” Swan said. “Once we get back, we’ve got to hit the ground running again and just know that our goals are still out there and we’ve got to come back and play hard against Miami.”

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