By Tim Glon
NEW CONCORD — Senior Anthony McFadden (Chillicothe/Paint Valley) threw four touchdown passes to sophomore Austin Eick (Rossford) to lead the Ohio Northern football team to a 39-10 victory at Muskingum in the Ohio Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at McConagha Stadium.
The Polar Bears improve to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the OAC, while the Muskies fall to 1-1, 0-1.
Northern trailed 10-3 late in the first half, but the duo connected for four touchdowns in a span of 12:16 as ONU grabbed a 32-10 lead with 3:25 left in the third period.
Eick finished the day with career-highs of eight catches for 136 yards and his four scores. McFadden was 22-of-31 passing for 280 yards and four scores and junior All-American Christiaan Williams (Sidney/Anna) ran 27 for 142 yards and a score to lead the ONU offense.
Williams eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the 17th time in his 21 career games.
He also reached the 3,000-yard plateau for his career to become just the fifth Polar Bear to reach that mark, finishing the game with 3,032 career yards.
"We talked all week about fighting for the entire 60 minutes," ONU head coach Dean Paul said. "We did a very good job of battling every play today. When they had momentum in the first half, we flipped it. Then we kept going and put the game away. Eick had a great day and we are glad to get Christiaan going. Our defense threw a shutout in the second half. This was a total team effort."
Senior Mark Niles (Miramar, Fla.) led the Polar Bear defense with seven tackles.
ONU had a bad snap on the ensuing PAT, but sophomore punter/holder Aaron Everhart (Ada) rolled to his right and threw a 2-point conversion pass to sophomore defensive end Gabriel Hirsch (Elyria/Catholic) to make it 11-10.
McFadden then hit Eick on a 54-yard TD pass with one second left in the half and the Polar Bears took an 18-10 lead into intermission.
Freshman Tyler Beem (Milford Center/Fairbanks) blocked a Muskie punt, setting ONU uip at the MU 25 early in the third quarter. Five plays later, McFadden hit Eick on a 14-yard TD strike and it was 25-10 with 9:25 left in the third period.
The ONU defense forced another punt and a McFadden to Eick 14-yard TD strike capped an 11-play, 77-yard drive to make it 32-10 with 3:25 left in the third.
Willliams then banged in from eight yards out to put Northern ahead 39-10 with 7:25 left in the game.
Ohio Northern out-gained Muskingum 443-220 in total offense.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Saturday afternoon at Wilmington.