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Rockets fall to Ohio, 38-10, suffer first conference defeat

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 263 yards, but Toledo could not stop Ohio’s running attack in a 38-10 defeat at Peden Stadium in Athens Wednesday night.

The Bobcats rushed for 393 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 7.0 yards per carry. Toledo also was hurt by two turnovers in the first half that stopped potential scoring drives.

Sophomore Diontae Johnson led UT receivers Wednesday night with 144 yards and a touchdown.

It was the first conference loss of the season for Toledo (8-2, 5-1 MAC), which still holds first place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference, a half-game ahead of Northern Illinois. Ohio, leaders of the East Division, moves to 8-2, 5-1 in MAC play.

Woodside completed 24 of 35 passes and 263 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked four times. Toledo’s running game was limited to just 53 yards rushing. Redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour led UT with 77 yards on 11 carries. Sophomore Diontae Johnson led UT receivers with nine receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Toledo moved quickly down the field on its first drive, but came up empty after Art Thompkins fumbled on the OU eight-yard line following a 10-yard reception. Ohio then returned the favor, losing a fumble deep in Toledo territory.

However, the Bobcats broke into the scoring column on its next drive. Ohio took advantage of a short field, driving 49 yards in six plays. A.J. Oullette carried the ball four times on the drive, the last a six-yarder into the end zone to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.

Redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour carried the ball 11 times for 77 yards.

Neither team could sustain a drive through most of the remainder of the first half. Ohio had a good drive thwarted when Jack Linch forced a fumble that was recovered by Ja’Wuan Woodley at the UT 21-yard line. Toledo pounced on the opportunity, with Seymour rushing for 36 yards to the OU 40-yard line, and Diontae Johnson pulling down a 34-yard TD pass from Woodside to tie the score.

Toledo missed another opportunity late in the first half due to a turnover. Diontae Johnson fumbled after a nine-yard reception, with Ohio’s Javon Hagen recovering the ball on the OU 30-yard line and returning it 34 yards to the UT’s 30. The Rocket defense held fast, however, keeping Ohio to a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 10-7 halftime lead.

Ohio picked up where it left off in the third quarter, scoring on its first two drives. Quarterback Nathan Rourke capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive with an eight-yard TD run. After a three-and-out by Toledo, Dorian Brown broke up the middle for 62 yards and a touchdown to make it 24-7 with 8:03 to play in the third.

Toledo trimmed the lead to 24-10 on a 38-yard field goal by Jameson Vest. But Ohio answered with a 12-play scoring drive that ate up 6:38 of the clock. Rourke hit Brendan Cope across the middle for a 12-yard TD that gave the Bobcats a commanding 31-10 lead.

Toledo was stopped on downs on its next possession, and Ohio marched into the end zone once again to take a 38-10 lead. Dorian Brown’s one-yard touchdown run was the fourth of the night for Ohio. The Rockets would have one more drive on the night, advancing up to the Ohio 13-yard line, but they were once again stopped on downs. The Bobcats ran the ball seven times to drain the clock and end the game.

The Rockets travel to Bowling Green next Wednesday to face their archrivals.