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Bobcats Earn First Win on Homecoming, 51-31

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OHIOBOBCATS.COM Donte Harden rushed for 142 yards, a career-high.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Donte Harden rushed for 142 yards, a career-high.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Sept. 27, 2008

Final Stats |  Quotes

ATHENS, Ohio - The Bobcats (1-4, 0-1 MAC) gained 575 yards of total offense, fifth-most in school history, en route to scoring 51 points to defeat the Keydets of VMI (2-2, 0-0 Big South) on Homecoming. Ohio had not scored over 50 points since 2002 against Kent State.

This was the second meeting between Ohio and VMI. The last time came on Sept. 4, 2004, when Ohio defeated the Keydets 42-14. VMI is coming off a win over Chowan, 69-20, while the Bobcats are coming off a loss at Northwestern, 16-8.

The win improves Ohio's record on Homecoming to 46-39-1.

The first quarter alone saw almost 400 yards of total offense, including three touchdown passes, two of which were from VMI. The Keydets put the first points on the board with a 26-yard field goal by freshman Greg Stevens.

Ohio answered with a 43-yard hookup between juniors Boo Jackson (Gardena, Ca.) and Taylor Price (Hilliard, Ohio) that gave the Bobcats a 7-3 lead. Thirty seconds later, VMI's Michael Rainey-Wiles caught a 36-yard pass from Tim Maypray to regain the lead.

On the first play of Ohio's ensuing possession, redshirt freshman Donte Harden (Erie, Pa.) broke a 67-yard run for a touchdown.

VMI's junior quarterback Kyle Hughes connected with Mario Scott for a 46-yard touchdown, giving the Keydets a 17-14 lead after one quarter of play.

The Bobcats tied the game on senior Barrett Way's (Richmond, Va.) 23-yard field goal near the beginning of the second quarter.

VMI broke the tie on a one-yard run by junior Howard Abegesah, capping an 11-play, 71 yard drive by the Keydets.

The defense got into the scoring for Ohio when senior linebacker Michael Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio) recovered a fumble forced by Chris Hall (Louisville, Ky.) and returned it nine yards for the score, evening the contest at 24.

Shortly before halftime, sophomore wide receiver LaVon Brazill (Lantana, Fla.) capped a 60-yard Bobcat drive with a 22-yard touchdown grab from Jackson, giving the Bobcats a 31-24 lead going into the locker room. That was the first career touchdown catch for Brazill.

In the third quarter, Way added his second field goal of the game with a 22-yarder, increasing the Bobcat lead to ten.

VMI countered quickly with a two-play, 52-yard drive ended by a one-yard plunge by Maypray to pull the Keydets within three.

On the ensuing kickoff, junior L.J. Flintall returned the kick 97 yards for his first career touchdown and Ohio's second kickoff returned for a touchdown on the season.

A 27-yard field goal from Way near the end of the third quarter gave Ohio a 44-31 lead.

The only score of the fourth quarter came on a 37-yard pass from Ohio's junior quarterback Brandon Jones (Marietta, Ga.) to sophomore wide receiver Steven Goulet (Irmo, S.C.). The play marked the first career touchdown for Goulet.

Ohio posted 251 rushing yards, the most since 2007 versus Temple. Harden accounted for 142 yards on the ground, a career-high. Sophomore running back Vince Davidson (Dayton, N.J.) finished with 12 carries for 53 yards, both career-highs.

Jackso- finished 16-23 for 287 yards and two touchdowns. VMI's Tim Maypray gained 130 yards on the ground and added a touchdown both passing and rushing.

Ohio's defense was led by sophomore linebacker Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.), who had 15 total tackles on the day, tying his career high. Brown notched 11 tackles to go along with his fumble recovery for a touchdown. Senior safety Michael Mitchell (Ft. Thomas, Ky.) forced a personal-best two forced fumbles, while senior Chris Hall (Louisville, Ky.) forced a fumble and recorded a sack.

The Bobcats hit the road next weekend for their second conference game of the season at Western Michigan (4-1, 2-0 MAC). Kickoff in Kalamazoo is set for 2:00 p.m. ET.