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High School Bounce

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High School Bounce marks its sixth season this year! Check back in the coming weeks for game schedules and times.

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Findlay Oilers hosts #21 Tiffin Dragons today in GMAC action

November 14, 2019

The Game

Findlay will take on their third top-25 opponent this season, but for the first time, within the friendly confines of Donnell Stadium. No. 25 Tiffin University comes to town touting an impressive 8-1 record and a perfect 6-0 mark in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). Conference title implications are on the line as the Oilers be crowned co-champions with Tiffin with a win while a Dragons’ win would give them the outright crown.

The game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 16 at noon.

The Series

A rivalry that dates back to 1986, the Oilers and Dragons have faced off 27 times and, for just the second time in seven years, the game will be played on Findlay’s home turf. The Oilers hold a 26-1 advantage in the series with the Dragons’ lone win coming in the regular season in 1993. Findlay defeated Tiffin later that year in the NAIA Playoffs and since then, have won 19 consecutive against their neighbors down State Route 224.

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 WLFC.com.

Video Stream

Video streaming for the contest will be produced by the Findlay Media Network and aired on the Great Midwest Digital Network.

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

G-MAC Network

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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 63-36 record with the program as a head coach, which includes a 51-30 mark in conference games. He has coached Findlay to winning records in seven of his eight seasons including 2017 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 (7-3, 5-1 G-MAC)

Findlay shocked the Midwest football landscape last Saturday, not THAT they won, but HOW they won. The Oilers dominated from start to finish in a 53-18 victory over the historically talented Ashland Eagles, who this season have a road win against a top-ten Grand Valley State Lakers team. Findlay handled their in-state rival and, with such an impressive win, likely kept their playoff hopes alive.

As they did a season ago, Findlay again takes on a one-loss, nationally ranked Tiffin Dragons squad. What is different this year is that with a win, the Oilers can earn a share of the conference title and, should things play out favorably in other regional action, potentially find their way into the NCAA playoffs for the second time in three years.

Findlay’s ability to create turnovers has been a major headline this season. As a team, the Oilers rank sixth in the country with 25 turnovers this season and have a turnover margin of 1.6 per game. Leading the charge is the current G-MAC Defensive Player of the Week, sophomore Christopher Jefferson who has tied the Findlay single-season record with nine interceptions. He also has a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Junior Kyle Gibson, a defensive end, has also been key to the Oilers’ turnovers, forcing two fumbles and recovering two fumbles.

Matt Winzeler is making his case as one of the best quarterbacks in the conference, especially with his performances in the last four weeks. In the last four weeks, Winzeler has completed 70 of 111 passes (.631) for 826 yards, zero interceptions, and 13 touchdowns, the most passing TDs of any quarterback in the league over that stretch.

2019 Season Statistics
2019 Roster

#21 Tiffin Dragons (8-1, 6-0 G-MAC)

Already with at least a share of the conference title under their belt, Tiffin enters the weekend ready to show that they belong in the conversation with some of the top teams in the region. At 8-1, the Dragons are currently on the outside looking in as far as the regional rankings go, currently ranked eighth with the top seven making the playoffs, no doubt Tiffin feels slighted. Also, at #21 in the country, Tiffin is the lowest ranked one-loss team in the country.

While they were in a similar situation last season, this year’s Dragons team is arguably their best in a long time.

Just look at the numbers. Despite playing a similar strength of schedule this year (opponents record of 27-60 this year as opposed to 36-60 entering the final week last year), Tiffin is fifth in the country in yards per game and ninth in the country in scoring at 44 points per game, 12 more ppg than at the same point last season. Defensively they have been much better, as well, allowing just 18.1 ppg this season as compared to 24.1 at the same time in 2018. They have a better turnover margin, more total yards per game…across the board, this Dragons team is just plain better than a year ago.

A major factor in the offensive success has been on the shoulders of junior running back JaQuan Hardy. The G-MAC’s leader in rushing yards for all but the first two weeks of the season, Hardy has piled up 153 rushes for 1,198 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is just two yards shy of becoming the second-leading rusher in a season in G-MAC history behind only Findlay’s Daouda Sylla who ran for more than 1,500 yards in 2017. Hardy has rushed for 100 yards in six of his nine games this season with a season-best 220 yards against Ohio Dominican on Sep. 28. He has found the end zone three times in a game on three separate occasions.

On the other side of the ball, Findlay’s experienced offensive line will have their hands full blocking one of the best pass rushers in the country in sophomore Charlie Cleveland. This year Cleveland has 49 tackles that include a league-best 8.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles-for-loss. On the opposide side of the line, defensive end AJ Wright has had a solid season as well, piling up 4.5 sacks and five tackles-for loss. He also leads the team with seven pass breakups.

2019 Season Stats
2019 Roster

Links

NCAA Division II Stats
NCAA
NCAA Division II Football
American Football Coaches Association
D2Football.com
Great Midwest

 

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY David Buck; COURTESY FINDLAY ATHLETICS

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