Capital loses home opener to Ohio Northern, 28-13


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The lights were on at Bernlohr Stadium on Saturday night and the place was packed as the Capital University football team held its home opener against Ohio Northern. Anticipation was in the air as the teams hit the field. In the end, it would be ONU coming out on top, defeating the Comets by a score of 28-13.

The Comets again started off the game slowly as they found themselves trailing 14-0 in under five minutes of action. Both touchdowns for the Polar Bears came courtesy of great field position garnered off Capital turnovers inside their own 25-yard line. On the opening drive of the game, Cap’s quarterback Ben Everson was picked off by Jevon Taylor. That interception turned into a passing TD by Trevor McConnell to Nick Tangerman. 

The very next offensive play for the Comets saw Trevor Harrison-Rawn enter at QB and throw an interception to ONU’s Austin Colon. That pick then turned into a one-yard rushing score by McConnell. 

By halftime, the only response Capital could muster on the scoreboard would be two 24-yard field goals by sophomore kicker Tyler Terrell. Both of those kicks marked the first field goals in Terrell’s collegiate career. The key plays leading to both field goals, which both came with 2:05 left in the first half, were a 60-yard pass from Ben Everson to Aralius Walters Jr. before the first one and an interception from Louie Hoersten on the following ONU drive. The kicks also beat out the entirety of last season when the Comets connected on one field goal.

Starting the second half, Capital looked to get right back in the game as Hoersten snagged his second interception of the game, one he took 47 yards to the house bringing the score to 14-13, after Terrell connected on the PAT. Hoersten’s pick-six was first by a Capital player since Michael Keels 30-yard return vs. Wilmington on November 3, 2018. It also came within three minutes of gametime of his first interception, leading to a total of 10 points. Finally, it was the first multi-interception game by a Comet since Malik Davis on September 2, 2021 vs. Defiance.

Unfortunately, the positive momentum early in the second half didn’t convert to offense as Capital struggled to move the ball down the field, ending every drive with a punt. On the other hand, ONU worked away at the Capital defense and moved the ball down the field steadily, resulting in two touchdowns. In the end, the Polar Bears would come out on top, 28-13.

The Comets collected 182 yards of total offense with 149 through the air and 33 on the ground. Ben Everson was the mainstay at quarterback. He completed 11 of his 28 passing attempts for a total of 137 yards. Lance Matthews was the main carrier of the ball, rushing for 30 yards on 12 attempts. Aralius Walters Jr. was the main target for Everson. He caught three passes for 95 yards and a long of 60. Mike Elmore was the second most prolific option, also pulling in three catches for 27 yards.

On the defensive side of things, the Comets were led by Louie Hoersten with two interceptions for a total return of 57 yards and a touchdown, as well as six tackles (two solo, four assists). James Curtis led the Comets with a total of 10 tackles (two solo, eight assists), the most in a single game of his career. Curtis also had one sack for a loss of 8 yards, the only sack of the game for Capital. Nick Fisanick followed close behind with nine (seven solo, two assists). Quincy EdwardsGriffin McKinney, and Antonio Welch all notched seven. A total of 22 Capital players made tackles in the game. 

As mentioned before, Tyler Terrell had two field goals for 23 and 24 yards. He also took the punting responsibilities, booting the ball six times for a total of 219 yards and a long of 44.