Photo Credit: Joe Medlen

Ohio Football: Bobcats Pounce on Cardinals in Blackout Night Showdow

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A strength of the Ohio football (5-3, 3-1) team is their high-powered offense. After a slow start to the game, the Bobcats used their running game to pound away at the Ball State Cardinals (3-5, 2-3) defense, as Ohio would win 52-14 on Thursday night in their annual Blackout game.

The last time Ohio rushed for over 400 yards was in 2005 against Ball State and they would do it to the Cardinals again Thursday. The Bobcats running game was on full display in PrimeTime, as the team tallied over 411 total yards rushing and scored six touchdowns on the ground. Three players had two touchdowns: quarterback Nathan Rourke and running backs A.J. Ouellette and Maleek Irons. Rourke also added a touchdown through the air, as he went 11-19 fpr 127 passing yards in the game.

Ohio’s first touchdown of the night came on a Maleek Irons six-yard touchdown run, and they didn’t look back. The Bobcats scored 52 unanswered points in the contest and many of their starters were pulled after the first drive of the third quarter.

If there was an issue for the Bobcats Thursday, it might have been keeping Nathan Rourke out of harm’s way. Air Canada took a couple of hard hits in the second quarter, one resulting in a flag for targeting and the ejection of a Cardinal defender. Rourke would stay in the game and would be subbed out for Quinton Maxwell in the third quarter.

After struggling for most of the season, the Bobcat defense did a nice job of slowing the Cardinals down. They gave up only 242 total yards of offense and used an interception by sophomore linebacker Jared Dorsa, which was followed up by their sixth rushing touchdown with 4:47 left in the third quarter. They would only allow two touchdowns that would be scored almost 40 minutes apart.

Head coach Frank Solich has seen this defense grow all year long, but he is still looking ahead to the tougher part of their schedule.

“Were gonna try and continue to play our best football,” Solich said. “We have gotten better as we have matured on defense, but we will get tested.”

Ohio’s string of tests will begin next week on the road when they face a cross-division rival in the Western Michigan Broncos (6-3, 4-1) on another Thursday night game on Nov. 1st. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.