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BG football team downs Ohio University 31-13 to win 3rd straight game

The Falcons were able to put together their best defensive performance Saturday afternoon against Ohio University.

Despite the 513 yards of total offense they gave up, OU’s time of possession being 39:21 and the 110 plays, the defense found a way to tighten up when they needed to the most.

They overcame all that and helped the Falcons to a 31-13 win over the Bobcats.

“Today was huge for us to come out here and basically send a statement,” said defensive back Jude Adjei-Barimah. “We have to show people we can still play and we can hold our own. I believe we did that today.”

The game started out just as the Falcons wanted. The offense received the ball first and drove 75 yards in six plays, the drive was topped off by a 27-yard touchdown pass from James Knapke to Travis Greene.

The defense then came on the field and forced a fumble on their first play.

The offense then rewarded the defense by scoring another touchdown off of a two-yard run by Andre Givens.

That sequence of events gave the Falcons a 14-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. The drives accumulated 112 yards over 11 plays in just 2:58.

“That’s what we’ve been striving for all year, come out fast, get some points and help the defense,” said quarterback James Knapke. “To have that cushion throughout the game was huge and it helped the defense out.”

That early lead paid off for the Falcons, because the offense stalled in their next three possessions. The defense, although they were giving up yards, found a way when their backs were against the wall to continuously force the OU offense to settle for field goals.

“They understand that if they keep those guys to three points the offense will find a way to get seven,” said head coach Dino Babers.

The offense eventually woke up in the middle of the second quarter as they were able to put another touchdown on the board before halftime. Knapke’s second touchdown of the half, this time to Ryan Burbrink gave the Falcons a 21-6 lead at half.

The second half was similar to the first as the offense continued to struggle running the ball and the defense came up with stop after stop.

“It’s huge when they can get stops like that,” Knapke said. “We have to get points and help them out … It’s a give and take relationship. I think we need to pick up our end a little bit more.”

Though the Falcons were able to hold OU to just 13 points, they lost the time of possession battle by almost a full 19 minutes.

“That’s not something we are proud of but it was good to get the win,” Babers said.

The defense has now put three halves together where they have visibly gotten better each time out. They have helped the Falcons get out to a 3-0 start in Mid-American Conference play and will look to keep that momentum going as they host Western Michigan for Legacy Weekend Saturday at 2 p.m.

“We just have to keep it rolling, block out all the outside stuff and get back to work next week,” Adjei-Barimah said. “The teams are going to get better and we just have to come out every week and step up. If we are able to do that we can play with anybody in the conference.”

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