The Ohio Bobcats beat their in-state rival Miami (OH) Saturday to stay in contention for second place in the MAC Schools Conference.
The Bobcats were the first to hit the scoreboard when both inside center Dave Powers and No. 8 Chris Schade touched down to get out to an early 14-0, with fullback Pat Van Horn making both conversions.
Miami scored next to cut the Bobcat lead in half, but Ohio’ Scott Robinson scored at the very end of the half to give the Bobcats a 21-7 lead and full confidence at the break in a much-needed game for Ohio.
Both teams reserved all their scoring for the second half as flyhalf Shane McNea scored in the first minute to make the score 28-7 with a conversion. Miami countered with both a try and a penalty kick to make the score 28-17.
Ohio took the momentum away from the Red Hawks with scores from both Van Horn and outside center Jamil Robinson to take their biggest lead of the game at 42-17. The Red Hawks fought back, though, to get within striking distance at 42-29.
Ohio eventually proved to be strong enough in the end, but not without a fight. The first round of scoring late in the game went to Ohio via flanker Andrew Champa. Miami answered quickly, but when Ohio prop Kevin Navratil, who was player of the match, scored in the 39th minute, it was icing on the cake for the Bobcats.
Miami scored a meaningless try at the end to make the score a respectable 52-41. After the game, Ohio coach William Griffes was very happy with his team’s effort in a rivalry game, but still need to work on managing the game.
“To get a win against a tough Miami squad is pretty big for us because of the rivalry and personal one for myself,” said Griffes, whose dad is the Miami backs coach.
“We went up big in the second half, but Miami kept fighting and proved they can score very quickly. We have been doing a phenomenal job of supporting the ball that has lead to a balanced scoring attack during the season.”
Griffes went on to explain his praise for Navratil saying he was doing all the little things very well and was rewarded for a try at the end.
Ohio will embrace a bye week this weekend while Miami regroups at home for a showdown with Central Michigan.