By Tim Glon
TIFFIN — The Ohio Northern football team opened the Ohio Athletic Conference portion of its schedule with a 45-14 loss at Heidelberg on Saturday night at Hornemann Stadium.
The contest was the sixth in the Bendekovic Bowl series and was the first night game in stadium history.
The Polar Bears fall to 0-2 overall and are 0-1 in the OAC, while the Student Princes improve to 1-1, 1-0.
Freshman Christiaan Williams led the Ohio Northern offense with 123 yards rushing, 63 yards receiving and 186 all-purpose yards.
Sophomore Will Freed completed 17-of-37 passes for 170 yards.
Northern had several opportunities early on in the contest, but were unable to score in three trips into the red zone.
ONU marched 75 yards in 12 plays on its first possession of the game, but a 22-yard field goal by sophomore Joe French was blocked.
Trailing 7-0 early in the second period, junior Mark Aguilar recovered a fumble at the HU 20-yard line.
But the offense stalled and a 39-yard field goal attempt was thwarted with the snap was bobbled and the play resulted in a 5-yard loss.
The Polar Bears drove to the HU 15-yard line just before the half, but a holding penalty and a sack forced a punt.
HU then drove 80 yards and scored just before the half to lead 22-0 at intermission.
"We had opportunities early, but did not convert," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "We made quite a few mistakes throughout the game and good teams like Heidelberg will take advantage of those. We did not play well tonight, but I fully expect our guys to come back ready to play next week."
The Student Princes then scored 10 points in the first three minutes of the third quarter to put the game away.
Sophomore Chad Rex dove in from a yard out to get ONU on the board with 9:48 left in the third quarter. A 64-yard screen pass from Freed to Williams set up the score.
After an interception by senior Jason Lucas gave Ohio Northern the ball at the HU 9, Freed hit Rex on a 9-yard TD pass and it was 45-14 with 11:19 left in the game.
Defensively, senior Dan Eller had a team-high 11 tackles for Northern.
Tyler Stoyle threw for 268 yards and five touchdowns to lead Heidelberg.
HU out-gained ONU 477-322 in total offense.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday at Otterbein.