By Tim Glon
ADA -- Ohio Northern celebrated its Homecoming Weekend with a 44-3 Ohio Athletic Conference football victory over Muskingum on Saturday afternoon at Dial-Roberson Stadium.
The Polar Bears (3-4 overall, 3-3 OAC) dominated from the outset, leading 14-0 after the fitrst period and 31-3 at halftime.
Senior tight end Logan Ray (Van Wert) caught eight passes for 86 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore kicker Joe French (Elgin, Ill./Saint Edward Central Catholic) set a school single-season record with 11 field goals on the year to lead Ohio Northern.
The Muskies fall to 3-4, 2-4.
Sophomore quarterback Will Freed (Carlsbad, Calif./San Marcos) completed 23-of-36 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns and freshman running back David Haseleu (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) ran 17 times for 84 yards in his first career start for ONU.
The Polar Bears marched 70 yards in six plays on their second possession and went ahead 7-0 when Freed hit Ray on a 4-yard scoring pass with 4:23 left in the opening period.
Northern took advantage of having the wind at its back in the second quarter, scoring after taking over in Muskingum territory.
After a short punt into the wind, Ohio Northern went 33 yards on four plays on its next possession and went up 14-0 with 1:48 left in the period when Freed his senior Reed Allen (Whitehouse/Anthony Wayne) on a 14-yard scoring pass.
Haseleau scored on a 14-yard run to cap a 26-yard TD drive and it was 21-0 Polar Bears with 12:34 left in the half.
After a Muskingum field goal made it 21-3, Northern answered with a 26-yard field goal by French with 2:26 left in the half.
After another short punt, Northern made it 31-3 when Freed hit Ray on a 33-yard touchdown pass with just 19 seconds left before intermission.
"It was a solid day for us," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "Field position was big early and we wanted to take advantage of playing with the wind. We were able to convert on s couple of short fields and get an early lead. I thought a big part of the game was when we answered Muskingum's field goal with a long drive for a field goal to get the momentum back. Our defense was very good all day."
Freed hit Ray on a 9-yard TD pass with 6:35 gone in the third quarter to make it 38-3.
French tied the school record with a 32-yard field goal at the 1:54 mark of the third quarter and broke the record with a 38-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in the game.
He now has 11 made field goals this season, surpassing the mark of 10 set by Andrew DiMario in 2014.
French also tied the ONU single-game record with three made field goals in the game, which is the third time this season he has accomplished the feat.
Senior Dan Eller (Medina) led the ONU defense with nine tackles and an interception.
The Muskies were led by Warren Wilson with 58 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Ohio Northern out-gained Muskingum 364-207 in total offense and held the ball for 35:15 in the game.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday with a 1:30 pm game at Marietta.