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Mooseheart running back Oumaru Abdulahi gains yardage in the Ramblers' 35-21 loss to Ottawa Marquette. Abdulahi ran for one touchdown, caught a pass for a second and threw for a third touchdown.
Mooseheart's Sahr Mahoney returns a kickoff in the Ramblers defeat by Ottawa Marquette. The Ramblers return home on Sept. for their annual homecoming game. This year, Kirkland Hiawatha is the opponent in a 1 p.m. contest.
OTTAWA, IL, Sept. 21 – This mid-season clash between the only two remaining undefeated teams in the Northeastern Athletic Conference more than lived up to expectations on Friday night.
The result didn't go the way visiting Mooseheart wanted – a 35-21 loss to Ottawa Marquette. But for 48-minute intensity and quality play, the contest will be hard to top.
“This one's going to sting awhile,” Mooseheart coach Gary Urwiler said. “I believe that our guys are going to bounce back. We'll come out next week and there will be a big crowd and we'll be back.”
The loss ends a 13-game regular season winning streak the Ramblers (4-1), who host Kirkland Hiawatha on Sept. 29 in their annual homecoming game.
“I thought our guys' effort was outstanding,” Urwiler said. “I thought we played really well. We were outsized by quite a bit.”
The Ramblers (4-1) repeatedly drove the ball against the Crusaders (5-0) throughout the contest, but especially in the first half, the inability to put points on the scoreboard was a shortcoming. Marquette led 20-7 at halftime.
After falling behind 12-0, Mooseheart rallied and closed to 12-7 on a 31-yard halfback option pass from Oumaru Abdulahi to J..J. Odunsi.
“Obviously we put some plays in for games like this,” Urwiler said. “We saved some things and held back for games like this.”
But on the first play after the kickoff, Dale Lindholt caught a screen pass from quarterback Patrick Killelea and ran 74 yards up the left sideline to score.
“You just can't make those kind of mental mistakes,” Urwiler said. “They had run one screen pass and we scored and they ran another screen pass and we hadn't learned from the first screen pass and they took it for a touchdown.”
The Ramblers still tool the ball and drove as time faded in the half and J.J. Odunsi came up 2 yards short of the end zone on a pass from Jon Hart as the half ended.
“Even coming up short there, that's a game-changer,” Urwiler said.
The Ramblers rallued late in the third quarter and closed to 20-14 when Abdulahi caught an 18-yard pass from Hart.
Johnson reopened the lead to 28-14 when he ran in from 7 yards midway through the fourth quarter. Abdulahi cut the lead to one touchdown again on a 6-yard run but a Johnson run from 14 yards with 1:20 to play gave the Crusaders the spacing they needed to close out the victory.
Marquette's featured back, Curtiss Johnson, gained 170 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns. Overall, the Crusaders gained 353 total offensive yards.
“We're not as strong defensively, and everyone knows that,” Urwiler said. “I thought we had a chance to score and we stood up to a challenge.”
Abdulahi had another strong game for the Ramblers. He gained 102 rushing yards on 20 carries, ran for one touchdown, caught two passes including one for another touchdown and passes for a third TD. Overall, a number of Ramblers had strong games.
“In the first four games, we we had moments where we were behind and where we struggled,” Urwiler said. “Tonight was a gut check. Behind down 12-0 and finding a way to come back and drive the ball and be successful, I have nothing to complain about.”
Mooseheart 0 7 7 7 - 21
Ottawa Marquette 6 14 0 15 - 35
MAR—Lindholt 4 run (kick failed)
MAR—Killelea 6 run (pass failed)
MHT—Odunsi 31 pass from Abdulahi (Mahoney kick)
MAR—Lindholt 74 pass from Killelea (Killelea pass to Kowalski)
MHT—Abdulahi 18 pass from Hart (Mahoney kick)
MAR—Johnson 7 run (Killelea pass to Verono)
MHT—Abdulahi 6 run (Mahoney kick)
MAR—Johnson 14 run (Killelea kick)
First Downs 14 17
Rushes-yards 30-152 39-214
Passes 14-25-1 8-11-0
Passing yards 193 186
Total yards 345 400
Punts-yards 0-0 2-20.5
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yds 4-40 3-35
Rushing: Mooseheart: Hart 6-4, Abdulahi 20-102, Mahoney 4-46. Marquette:L Killelea 3-5, Johnson 27-170, Verona 3-14, Jewett 3-14, Lindhout 3-11.
Passing: Mooseheart: Hart 13-24-1 162, Abdulahi 1-1-0 31. Marquette: Killelea 8-12-0 186.
Receiving: Mooseheart: Abdulahi 2-49, Mahoney 6-44, Odunsi 6-100. Marquette: Verona 1-26, Lindhout 3-104, Kowalski 4-56.
Punting: Mooseheart: None. Marquette: Killelea 2-41.
Interceptions: Marquette: Jewett 1.