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Ohio Football Falls to Ball State, 23-20

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OHIOBOBCATS.COM LaVon Brazill set the Ohio record for career receptions (151) on Saturday vs. Ball State.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
LaVon Brazill set the Ohio record for career receptions (151) on Saturday vs. Ball State.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Oct. 15, 2011

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ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University senior wide receiver LaVon Brazill set the school's career record for receptions while posting 157 receiving yards and had two touchdowns, but a late Bobcat rally fell short in a 23-20 loss to Ball State on Saturday at Peden Stadium.  It was the Bobcats' first loss to the Cardinals in their last four meetings.

Ohio (4-2, 1-2 MAC) orchestrated a 12-play, 71-yard drive in the game's final minutes but junior placekicker Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) missed a 41-yard field goal attempt with 0:36 to play that would've tied the game.  The loss was the Bobcats' first at home this season.

Brazill (Lantana, Fla.) had eight catches on the day, giving him 151 for his career and pushing him past Taylor Price (149) for the Bobcats' all-time mark.  Sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) finished 18-of-30 passing for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.  It was the fifth straight game Tettleton managed at least 200 yards passing and his two passing scores give him 15 this season - fourth-most in Bobcat single-season annals.

Ball State (4-3, 2-1 MAC) took the lead for good on a Steven Schott 27-yard field goal with 14:19 remaining, capping a 13-play, 53-yard drive that spanned the late third and early fourth quarters.

Three of Ohio's four fourth quarter possessions started inside its own 10-yard line.  Before their final possession of the game, the Bobcats had a seven-play, 63- yard fourth quarter drive that ended with a turnover on the Ball State 44-yard line.

Senior running back Donte Harden (Erie, Pa.) had a strong day for Ohio, rushing for 85 yards on 19 carries and adding three catches for 24 yards and a touchdown while senior wide receiver Riley Dunlop (Liberty Township, Ohio) had four catches for 59 yards.  Defensively, senior linebacker Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.) led the Ohio charge with 15 total tackles while junior safety Gerald Moore (Mitchellville, Md.) had eight total tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Jahwan Edwards finished with 123 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for the Cardinals, while Keith Wenning was 20-of-36 passing for 176 yards and also rushed for 23 yards and a score.

After a sluggish start offensively, the first rhythm for either team was established by Ball State.  The Cardinals bridged the first and second quarters with a 14-play, 59-yard drive that Schott capped with a 38-yard field goal to give the Cardinals a 3-0 edge.

The Ohio offense got rolling on its first possession of the second quarter by introducing some trickery.  Tettleton flipped to senior quarterback/receiver Phil Bates (Omaha, Neb.), who then threw for a 37-yard touchdown pass to Brazill.  It capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive to give the Bobcats their first score of the game and their first lead at 7-3.

The Cardinals broke into the end zone on Edwards' 28-yard touchdown run with 0:38 left in the second quarter.  Faced with a third-and-4, Edwards took a handoff up the middle and scampered in to cap a nine-play, 81-yard drive and give Ball State a 10-7 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Tettleton had a first-down pass tipped in the air and intercepted by Ball State's Travis Freeman, who returned to the Ohio 8.  Two plays later, Schott kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Cardinals a 13-7 lead at the intermission.

Ohio started the second half in good offensive flow, capping an eight-play, 65-yard opening drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tettleton to Harden, but Ball State reclaimed the advantage after Wenning's three-yard TD run at 6:12 of the third quarter capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive and gave the Cardinals a 20-13 lead.

Brazill then provided the second huge highlight of the day for Ohio, making a one-handed grab of a Tettleton pass and breaking a tackle on his way to a 74-yard touchdown to tie the game, 20-20, at 5:08 of the third quarter.  The play was his seventh receiving score of the season (tied for fifth in Ohio's single-season record book) and the longest scoring play of the year for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats return to action Saturday Oct. 22 at Akron.  Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. EST.