Falcon seniors focused on MAC title

BGSU head football coach Dave Clawson exits the field with his team after defeating Ohio University.
BGSU head football coach Dave Clawson exits the field with his team after defeating Ohio University.

BOWLING GREEN – Before the Bowling Green State University football team played Ohio University Tuesday, the Falcons honored the program’s 18 seniors in their final home game at Doyt Perry Stadium.

But the ceremony wasn’t quite as emotional as it might seem.

“You talk about ‘last home game’ and ‘last road trip’ when you don’t have anything else to play for,” Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson said. “Those become sentimental moments. …

“Right now we’re playing for a championship, and that is our overriding focus.”

The ceremony honored seniors Alex Bayer, Tyler Beck, Patrick Brown, Dominic Flewellyn, Jordan Hopgood, Shaun Joplin, David “Chief” Kekuewa and Matt Schilz on offense as well as defensive players Jairus Campbell, Aaron Foster, BooBoo Gates, Ronnie Goble, Tim Love, Ted Ouellet, Josh Pettus, Paul Swan, and Cameron Truss along with punter Brian Schmiedebusch.

“This senior class, I love these guys,” Clawson said. “This is the class that, their first year of eligibility here, we were 2-10. To be honest with you, at that point in our program there were enough people in the locker room that were trying to pull their attention away from football.

“These guys prioritized football, and made it important when it wasn’t necessarily the fashionable thing to do.”

While All-Mid-American Conference players such as Flewellyn, Gates, and Truss receive the most notice, Clawson praised the entire class for the depth it provided the program.

“Aaron Foster went from a starter to a back-up, then made a position change — and now he’s starting again,” Clawson said. “He has a great work ethic, and he’s become a great leader for us.

“Jairus Campbell has gone through two awful injuries, and he’s still playing hard and giving us great effort as a starter for us. There are so many stories like that from this group.”

Truss admitted that playing his last home game was important, but not as important as earning a victory to keep the team’s MAC East Division title hopes alive.

“To step out here with your teammates for the last time, we really want to get this ‘W,’” he said. “It’s in the back of our minds, that this is the last time we’ll step on this field.

“But we have to put that behind us. I think it will hit us more after the game.”

Starting center Kekuewa said he and starting guard Flewellyn didn’t talk about Tuesday’s game being the senior’s last contest at the Doyt.

“Since Dominic and I play next to one another, we have joked about not bringing it up,” Kekuewa said. “I said to him, ‘Dom, this is our last home game,’ and he said, ‘Don’t even talk about it.’

“And I don’t really want to talk about it.”

OHIO LOCALS: Two players with Northwest Ohio ties are on the Bobcats roster.

Sophomore Miles Chapman, a Hopewell-Loudon High School product, serves as Ohio’s long snapper. He has three tackles in six games this season.

And sophomore safety Devin Jones, a Margaretta graduate, is a safety for the Bobcats. He has been credited with one stop in six games.

THREE-DOT DATA: The Falcons started five seniors on offense as BG started senior tight ends Bayer and Beck. The Bowling Green defense had six senior starters. … BG tailback Travis Greene had 129 yards rushing on 17 carries in the first half alone. It marked Greene’s sixth 100-yard rushing performance in 10 games this season.