OXFORD — Ohio fell 30-28 to Miami on Wednesday night at Yager Stadium, breaking the Bobcats’ five-game “Battle of the Bricks” win streak.
The loss all but eliminates them from Mid-American Conference Championship Game contention.
A final Hail Mary pass from Quinton Maxwell fell short. With 2:24 left in the game, Nathan Rourke found a streaking Andrew Meyer in the end zone to make it a two-point game.
Ohio started its second-half comeback late in the third quarter. Back-to-back runs from Rourke set the Bobcats up inside the red zone. Three incompletions later, Rourke found Papi White in the back corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Rourke hit White on his back shoulder, making it a 28-14 game.
Early in the fourth quarter, Louie Zervos attempted a 29-yard field goal, which went wide left. On the following Miami drive, a bad snap turned into a blocked punt. Jared Dorsa blocked the punt, and Dylan Conner scooped it up and ran it in for a 28-yard touchdown.
The Bobcats were able to stop Miami on the next drive, but a punt downed at the 1-yard line doomed Ohio. On third and 6, Rourke felt pressure and scrambled around the end zone, eventually stepping out of bounds for a safety, making it a 30-21 game.
Rourke finished the game 16 of 27 for 163 yards. A.J. Ouellette rushed for 168 yards on 15 carries, his second 100-yard game of the season.
At the half, Ohio trailed 28-7.
The Bobcats received the opening kickoff and promptly drove 74 yards down the field on six plays, capped off by a Maleek Irons 3-yard touchdown run. It was setup by a Ouellette 58-yard run earlier in the drive.
Miami responded by scoring 28 straight points. The first came in the second quarter, a 73-yard drive by the RedHawks to answer Ohio’s first touchdown. Alonzo Smith ran it in untouched from 3 yards out.
The RedHawks scored 21 of their 28 points in the second quarter, starting with a Kenny Young 16-yard touchdown run. Gus Ragland completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Luke Mayock the next Miami drive, after Isiah Cox fumbled the ball. Smith rushed for another touchdown to finish off the scoring spree.
Ohio plays Buffalo next Wednesday at Peden Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2. With Wednesday night’s loss against Miami, the Bobcats will need the Bulls to lose the their final two games.