By Tim Glon
MARIETTA — Ohio Northern scored on its first four second half possessions to snap a 21-all tie and post a 45-29 victory at Marietta on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Don Drumm Stadium.
The Polar Bears improve to 4-4 overall and are now 4-3 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Pioneers fall to 2-6, 2-5.
Offensively, Freed completed 19-of-26 passes for 282 yards and three TDs and ran five times for 39 yards and a fourth score and Williams ran 23 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 67 yards and a third score for Ohio Northern.
Schmerge led the Polar Bear defense with a game-high 15 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles.
Trailing 21-14 with 1:32 left in the second quarter, Williams caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Freed to send the two teams tied at 21-21 heading into intermission.
ONU took the second half kickoff and marched 35 yards in eight plays and took the lead for good at 24-21 on a 41-yard field goal by sophomore Joe French (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward Central Catholic).
After a Marietta punt, Northern marched 96 yards in 10 plays and went up 31-21 on an 11-yard run by Freed with 1:58 left in the third quarter.
Freed then hit junior Riley Bransteter (Celina/Parkway) on a 9-yard TD pass with 11:56 left in the game and it was 38-21 Polar Bears.
Northern scored on its fifth consecutive possession when Freed hit senior Reed Allen (Whitehouse/Anthony Wayne) on a 53-yard TD pass with 7:38 remaining in the contest to give Ohio Northern a comfortable 45-21 lead.
Williams answered Pioneer touchdowns early with 2- and 1-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter.
The two teams combined for 1,007 yards of total offense and 53 first downs in the game.
Northern held a 282-219 advantage in passing, while Marietta out-gained ONU 287-219 rushing and 506-501 overall.
Ohio Northern had 17 first downs and held the ball for 30:23.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday when the celebrate Senior Day against Wilmington at 1:30 pm at Dial-Roberson Stadium