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September 2019
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‘College Football’ Articles

OAC Sports Information Directors unanimously name Nigel Chatman OAC Defensive Player of the Week

Nigel Chatman getting the crowd involved (courtesy Otterbein Athletics)

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – In a show of great tribute and sportsmanship, Otterbein University sophomore Nigel Chatman (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) has been selected Ohio Athletic Conference ‘Defensive Player of the Week’ by the league’s Sports Information Directors, announced Monday afternoon.

Chatman, a standout defensive lineman for the Cardinals, was tragically killed in a car accident last Friday morning on his way to practice. Just 21 years old, Chatman was a returning All-OAC nose guard expected to continue making a huge impact this season.

“This honor means a lot to our community and football team as we try to start healing,” head coach Tim Doup said. “A long and challenging week awaits, but we will stay banded together and progress like the family we are. The ongoing support and gestures from everyone around the league, the area and beyond is very much appreciated.”

A communication studies major, Chatman was well known for his outgoing and vibrant personality that spread throughout campus. At the request of the Chatman family and ensuing vote from players, Otterbein took the field Saturday afternoon at Ohio Wesleyan just 24 hours following the news.

The Cards honored Chatman throughout a handful of powerful moments during pregame, beginning with a standing ovation from both sides as Otterbein players walked into the stadium behind Doup. Team captains Anthony AndrewsRyan TuchowNiall Lewison and Winston Spiker then carried the No. 97 jersey out to midfield for the coin toss.

Otterbein took the field with just 10 players on its first defensive series, placing Chatman’s jersey down on the ground in his starting nose guard spot as both sides took a knee. Chatman made 35 stops last year as a freshman and ranked top-10 in the OAC in tackles for loss.

“It’s a huge honor just being the guy trying to take over for him,” said senior David Kukucka, who had two sacks at Ohio Wesleyan and has been named the new starting nose guard. “I will never be as good as Nigel, but what I can control is my energy and enthusiasm on each play. That’s what drove us Saturday and I will continue playing for him, giving everything I have on every down.”

The Cardinals will attend services to honor and remember Chatman during the middle of this week before returning to action. Otterbein is scheduled to host Baldwin Wallace come Saturday at Memorial Stadium in the conference opener for both schools. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.



Cardinals play in Nigel Chatman’s honor; fall at Ohio Wesleyan, 22-10

Players from both sides take a knee on Otterbein's first defensive series, with Chatman's No. 97 jersey placed on the ground at his nose guard spot (photo by Lance Kiesch courtesy Otterbein Athletics)

DELAWARE, Ohio – The Otterbein football team traveled to nearby Ohio Wesleyan and admirably took the field for its season opener Saturday afternoon, just 24 hours after learning that sophomore defensive lineman and vocal leader Nigel Chatman had been killed in a tragic car accident. The Cards unfortunately settled on the low end of a 22-10 final score.

At the request of the Chatman family and unanimous decision from players, the Cardinals laced up inside Selby Stadium to honor their fallen teammate. Chatman, a standout all-conference nose guard from Reynoldsburg, was remembered pregame through a handful of powerful moments.

The Cards walked onto the field behind head coach Tim Doup to a standing ovation from both sides, followed by team captains carrying Chatman’s No. 97 jersey out to the coin toss. Otterbein then took the field with just 10 players on its first defensive play, laying the jersey down in Chatman’s nose guard spot before all players took a knee.

“It was a very emotional day,” Doup said afterward to local media. “I thought Tom Watts and everyone at Ohio Wesleyan was first class in accommodating us. Watching Nigel’s jersey being placed there on the ground during that first play was a lot to take in. After that, we tried our best to settle in and just play football in his honor.”

The defense opened strong behind Chatman’s inspiration, forcing OWU to punt on its first three possessions. Otterbein held a small 3-0 lead as a result after a 33-yard field goal from David Hoyle to culminate a 12-play, 63-yard drive. Ohio Wesleyan settled in to find momentum throughout the second quarter, tying the game at 3-3 before a pair of touchdowns and another short FG gave the Battling Bishops a 19-3 lead by intermission.

OWU delivered a 93-yard drive for its first touchdown, then took advantage of a short field after the ball slipped out of Otterbein quarterback Bryce Hall’s hands and right to a linebacker for an easy interception. Hall eventually pushed Cody Streit out of bounds at the two-yard line before the home team punched it on the next play.

Otterbein took the second-half kickoff and marched down the field by going 65 yards in 13 plays, capped with a misdirection pitch from Hall to running back Matt Webb on a fake jet sweep. Webb had room around the right side to slip inside the pylon. The Cards then elected to take the extra point and make the deficit 19-10, instead of attempting a two-point conversion for a potential one-score game.

The defense stood strong to keep the margin at nine points, forcing OWU into three punts and a turnover on downs from that point. However, Otterbein couldn’t generate any more points as a missed chip-shot field goal and interception allowed the host Bishops to remain ahead.

Ohio Wesleyan’s only points in the second half came on another short field, converting a 28-yard FG following the takeaway pick. Otterbein held a decisive 379-286 edge in total offense but three takeaways for OWU proved crucial. The Cards had also more time of possessions and more first downs.

Hall went 19 of 35 for 222 yards, Webb tallied 83 total yards (rushing/receiving) and Reed Tucker had 68 through the air on two long grabs. A total of 10 different receivers had at least one catch for the Cards.

Safety Niall Lewison was everywhere for the defense to match a career-high 15 tackles, and also blocking an extra point, while linebacker Jacob Tiell added 11 of his own. Senior David Kukucka delivered a pair of sacks.

“Nigel was the most enthusiastic kid I have ever met,” said Lewison, who spent 15 minutes postgame answering all questions from reporters. “I wish we could have done better for him today, but this isn’t just one game for Nigel. It’s the rest of our season and the rest of our lives. I would go 0-10 this year to bring him back.”

All five of Ohio Wesleyan’s scoring drives took less than four minutes, with three of those sequences being under 70 seconds. Quarterback Zane Ries, new to OWU after transferring from Ashland, was 22 of 31 for 211 yards through the air. He also scampered for another 31 on the ground with a TD.



Otterbein University Community & Football program mourns tragic loss of NG Nigel Chatman (1998-2019)

Nigel Chatman chasing Marietta's QB (courtesy Otterbein Athletics)


Nigel Chatman

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – It is with profound sadness that Otterbein University, its Athletic Department and the Cardinal football program painfully mourns the loss of student-athlete Nigel Chatman, who tragically passed away last Friday morning, September 6 after injuries sustained from a car accident. He was 21 years old.

A sophomore from Reynoldsburg, Chatman was a standout defensive lineman for Otterbein and earned All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) honors last fall as just a freshman. Chatman was majoring in communication studies and extremely well known around campus for his outgoing personality.

“We talk a lot about the importance of family as a program, as a department and institution,” said Dawn Stewart, director of athletics and interim vice president for student affairs. “Never more is there a time for the meaning of that to come forward than right now. We will pull together and work to continue on for Nigel.”

Chatman burst onto the scene last year as a nose guard, earning second team All-OAC following 35 tackles (10 for loss), 5.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. He was involved with the Otterbein Debate Team, served in a work-study role through the athletic department and pursued many other involvement opportunities around campus.

“There was never a day that he didn’t have a smile on his face,” head coach Tim Doup said. “He was never in a bad mood, always ready to go and was about as fun-loving a kid that you can be around. Nigel was a unique vocal presence and could always make somebody laugh no matter what the circumstances. He was competitive, willing and just wanted it all so bad. We will miss him in every way imaginable.”

At the request of the Chatman family and decision from all players within the program, Otterbein suited up and took the field in Nigel’s honor last Saturday afternoon, September 7 at Ohio Wesleyan University.




Findlay Oilers set for home opener Saturday night vs. Northwood

The Game

Football is back in Findlay as they Oilers open up their home slate on Saturday, Sep. 14 as they host Northwood University in a game set to kickoff at 7:00 pm.

The Series

Northwood holds a 12-10 advantage in the series between the two former GLIAC members. The last time these teams met was in 2016 in Findlay, a game the Oilers won by a score of 28-13. Findlay has won two consecutive against the Timberwolves, winning in 2016 and 2015, but prior to that, NU won the previous eight out of nine matchups.

Radio Coverage

Every Oilers football game will be broadcast on 88.3 WLFC and can be listed to locally on the radio or streamed online at

Video Stream

Video streaming for the contest will be produced by Findlay’s UFTV and will stream live on the Great Midwest Digital Network.

Click any of the options below to find the contest live:

Great Midwest Digital Network

Follow the Oilers on Social Media

Follow the Oilers on social media to keep up with all the exciting news surrounding UF athletics.


Head Coach Rob Keys

Head coach Rob Keys is in his ninth season at the helm of the Oilers football program in 2019.  He has recorded a 56-34 record with the program as a head coach, which includes a 46-29 mark in conference games. He has coached Findlay to winning records in seven of his eight seasons including last season when he lead the Oilers to their first ever NCAA Division II Playoffs.

For Findlay’s 2019 coaching staff, please click on the following link:

2019 Coaching Staff

Findlay Oilers (0-1, 0-0 G-MAC)

Losing two iconic Oilers such as quarterback Rhys Gervais and wide receiver Jason Moore left some major question marks for this Oilers football squad, especially on the offensive side of the ball. After one week of action it’s hard to know for sure what fans can see week-in and week-out, but some of those questions may have been answered.

Findlay knew their experienced offensive line was going to be a strength coming into the 2019 campaign and last Thursday against #2 Ferris State, those five players were a major factor. Facing a defense that returned nine of their 11 starters from a national runner-up team in 2018, Findlay’s o-line surged in the trenches, making room for running back Brian Benson to rush for 180 yards, the first time a player has rushed for 150+ yards against the Bulldogs since Ken Iheme from Fort Hayes St. ran for 162 against Ferris in the Super Region Three Semifinals in 2017. Findlay’s offensive line also provided security for quarterback Matt Winzeler, not allowing the first year Oilers’ signal-caller to be sacked.

Winzeler began his career at Findlay with decent game, giving Oilers fans a glimpse of what looks to be another in a long line of stellar quarterback play at UF. Winzeler did not commit a turnover and threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns in his first game including a perfect 37-yard touchdown on Findlay’s first series to first-year receiver Ruben Flowers. Findlay’s new QB also showed grit, diving into contact to score a two-yard rushing touchdown with less than a minute to play in the game. Flowers, an Independance Community College transfer, caught ten passes for 156 yards and a score in his Findlay debut.

The Oilers’ defense was solid as well, allowing Ferris State to make just 19 first downs in the game and forcing the powerful offense into four punts. Jack Trombetti was the leading tackler, making 11 stops from his linebacker position, while transfers Richard Sheler and Eriq Fadahunsi finished with nine and seven tackles, respectively. Safety Christopher Jefferson played well to kick off his sophomore season, making five tackles and recording an interception.

2019 Season Statistics
2019 Roster

Northwood (0-1, 0-0 GLIAC)

Northwood had a solid run under the late head coach Pat Riepma who coached from 1993-2007. In that time the Timberwolves put together nine winning seasons including three trips to the NCAA DII Playoffs. In the 11 years since, Northwood has managed just two winning seasons (2009 & 2017), the latest of which came two years ago when NU finished 7-4.

Coming off a 3-7 season, expectations outside the Timberwolves locker room were low, but in the first week of the season, Northwood showed some grit as they nearly knocked off a team that was one win away from making the playoffs a year ago, Tiffin. The Dragons held a 22-17 lead in that game before intentionally taking a safety with two seconds on the clock made the score 22-19. Northwood lateraled the ball multiple times and returned the ensuing punt for a touchdown, but it was waved off as there was an illegal forward pass on a lateral attempt.

In that game, Northwood did as they have historically done, rushing the ball nearly twice as often as they throw it (although a 42-yard touchdown pass from Grant Dunatchik to Bryant Kift did find its way to #8 on Saturday’s edition the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 (pictured above)). Northwood ran for 186 yards and threw for just 100 and was outgained by 202 total yards. Despite that and throwing four interceptions, the Timberwolves kept the contest closer than many expected heading into the week.

Returning all-GLIAC players from last season include junior offensive lineman Damon Sutton, who earned second team all-conference, and senior defensive back Dimitri Abro, senior wide receiver Alex Spicuzzi, and sophomore defensive back Keenan Williamson who all earned honorable mention status.

Taking the reins at quarterback will be senior Joe Garbarino. Garbarino has been the starter since day one, although last season he missed time due to injury. While at Northwood, the dual-threat quarterback has completed 156 passes in 336 attempts for 2,272 yards while rushing the ball 315 times for 1,300 yards. He has thrown for 15 touchdowns and rushed for 17 touchdowns and has been intercepted 17 times.

2019 Season Stats
2019 Roster


NCAA Division II Stats
NCAA Division II Football
American Football Coaches Association
Great Midwest



UC Football looking to rebound against arch-rival RedHawks at Nippert Stadium

(courtesy UC Sports Communications)

Football Celebrates Military Appreciation Day Saturday

CINCINNATI - For the 124th time, the University of Cincinnati will face the Miami RedHawks in the nation’s oldest nonconference rivalry. The 2019 edition of the game kicks off at noon ET inside Nippert Stadium. The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU and air on 700 WLW AM, XM 380 and Sirius XM Internet channel 969.

UC will also celebrate Military Appreciation Day on Saturday with a number of fan-friendly activities planned.

Athletics has partnered with longtime supporter Cincinnati Bell to provide more than 1,000 tickets to veterans, active-duty service members and their families through Vet Tix. Vet Tix distributes tickets to all branches of currently-serving military and veterans, including the immediate families of troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

UC’s Army and Air Force ROTC units will be at the Grid, form a 200-student cadet tunnel for the Bearcats to run through pregame and honor their scholarships recipients at halftime on the field.

Kickoff: Noon ET
Radio: 700 WLW AM
Online: ESPN App (video); (audio)
Fan Color: Red


  • UC will wear its recently unveiled throwback Under Armour uniforms which are part of the #CFB150 celebration.
  • UC’s heritage uniform represents a multi-year period from the late 1950s to early 1960s with all-red look featuring black and white strips on the shoulders and side of the pants along with a white helmet with a red and black stripe.
  • The field markings on the Nippert Stadium turf will reflect the throwback uniform era. No school, conference or sponsor logos will be on the turf Saturday.

UC will honor Captain Jonathan Beauchamp, U.S. Army Reserves during the first quarter. Captain Beauchamp is a 2011 UC graduate with a degree in nursing and has spent 29 years with the Army, most recently on a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan with the 848th Forward Surgical Team.

Air Force ROTC Cadets Constance Stormzand and Misty Rolling, 2019 Air Force Field Training Distinguished Graduates.

The Bearcats will honor the 10th Anniversary of the 2009 perfect regular season throughout the campaign with all season ticket holders set to receive an exclusive dual bobblehead commemorating one of the greatest plays in UC history, the 29-yard TD strike from Tony Pike to Armon Binns in UC’s come-from-behind win over Pitt on Dec. 5, 2009.

All 2019 UC football season-ticket holders will receive the dual bobblehead, one per ticket purchased. The season-ticket book, also exclusive to season-ticket holders, features a dual 2009-2019 season-ticket design showcasing Bearcats stars of past and present.

Click HERE for more information.

Single-game tickets are available for all remaining home games. A five-game, season-ticket package starts at $100 for seats in the Bearcats Lair with the Redzone ($125) and Upper Sideline ($150) also available. The Football Flex Pack (five ticket vouchers) is $155 and group tickets for outings of 20 or more start at $24.

Check out the newly launched football tickets hub by clicking HERE.

For all the latest information on Cincinnati football, please visit For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati football (@GoBearcatsFB) and Coach Fickell (@CoachFick) on Twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Instagram and Facebook.







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