By Tim Glon
WILMINGTON — Ohio Northern rallied from a 35-17 third quarter deficit, but Wilmington scored with 28 seconds left to post a 42-38 football victory on a warm Saturday afternoon at Williams Stadium.
The Polar Bears (1-2 overall, 1-1 Ohio Athletic Conference) scored 21 unanswered points to go ahead 38-35 with 7:35 to play.
Northern's defense got a stop and took over at its own 35, but punted the ball after a 3-and-out back to the Quakers (1-2, 1-1) with 2:12 left in the game.
Wilmington took over at its 11-yard line and marched 89 yards in 1:44 to score the go-ahead touchdown with 28 seconds left to take a 42-38 lead.
ONU got to midfield on its final possession, but a hail mary pass fell incomplete as time expired.
Senior Anthony McFadden (Chillicothe/Paint Valley) completed 24-of-31 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns and junior All-American Christiaan Williams (Sidney/Anna) ran 19 times for 123 yards and a score to lead the ONU offense.
WC quarterback Kyle Barrett completed 266-of-34 passes for 406 yards and 4 TDs and Gino Hinton ran 14 times for 121 yards and a score for the hosts.
Wilmington scored on its first four possessions and built a 28-10 halftime lead.
McFadden threw a 1-yard shovel pass to sophomore A.J. Marks (Guysville/Alexander) and Williams banged in from three yards out as ONU scored on its first two second half possessions to pull within 35-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
McFadden connected with sophomore Austin Eick (Rossford) again for a 15-yard touchdown play as Northern pulled within 35-31 with 12:38 left in the game.
After the ONU defense forced a punt, McFadden hit junior Ryan Rockwell (Broadview Heights/Saint Edward) on a 24-yard touchdown pass to put the Polar Bears on top for the first time in the game at 38-35 with 7:35 to play.
Williams eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the 18th time in his 22 career games.
Senior Mark Niles (Miramar, Fla.) led the Polar Bear defense with 11 tackles and a sack.
McFadden hit Eick on a 42-yard touchdown pass on ONU's opening possession to tie the game at 7-all with 6:44 left in the first period.
After two WC scores, sophomore Dom DiFalco (Murraysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) drilled a 32-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 21-10 with 8:08 to go in the half.
Wilmington out-gained Ohio Northern 592-473 in total offense.
The Loss snapped a 25-game winning streak in the series for ONU and was Wilmington's first win over Ohio Northern since 1956.
The Polar Bears open the home portion of their schedule next Saturday evening with a 6 pm contest against Otterbein at Dial-Roberson Stadium.