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HomeSportsUT
Published: Sunday, 10/21/2007

Parmele helps UT on returns

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Freshman Gordon Warner got the start at tailback last night for the University of Toledo.

That's because senior Jalen Parmele needed a breather after returning the opening kickoff 74 yards to Ohio's 15-yard line.

Parmele came in on the second play.

It was just another example of how Parmele has helped the Rockets in multiple ways this year.

He entered the game last night in the top 20 in the nation in kick returns and rushing.

Parmele came in 12th in kick returns, averaging 30.8 yards a return, and 18th in rushing with 113 yards per game.

"Jalen's been the heart and soul of our team this year," UT coach Tom Amstutz said. "When games are tough he keeps us in it."

After Parmele returned a second kick 23 yards, the Bobcats started kicking away from him. Parmele also had 47 yards rushing in the first half.

PICK HAPPY: In the first half the Rockets recorded as many interceptions as they had in the first seven games of the season.

Alex Johnson, Myshan Pettis and Barry Church all had interceptions.

It was the first of Johnson's career and the second of the year for both Pettis and Church.

CHANGES ON D: As Amstutz promised, the Rockets made some personnel changes on defense.

Senior Greg Hay moved back to his original spot at linebacker. He had played the last four games at rover.

Also, true freshman Drey'Lon Pree made his first start at rover.

On the defensive line, Skylaar Constant made his second start of the season at defensive end, but the Rockets rotated several players at the position.

OPELT, MOORE RETURN: Sophomore Aaron Opelt made his first start last night since Sept. 29 against Western Michigan.

Opelt injured his lower leg in that game but had been back at practice the last two weeks.

Receiver Nick Moore returned after missing a week with a hand injury. Moore had a six-yard catch in the first quarter.

TWO OHIO QBS: The Bobcats used two quarterbacks in the game, Brad Bower and Theo Scott. Scott, a transfer from Cal-Berkeley, came in for rushes. Bower threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter but had three interceptions.

SOLICH SPEAKS: Ohio coach Frank Solich said in watching film of UT while preparing this week, it looked to him the Rockets were still fighting despite a losing record.

"They're always a physical football team," Solich said. "They're not where they want to be in terms of their win-loss

record and where they want to be in the MAC, but I know they've got players. It's a matter of playing well together."

EXTRA POINTS: Alex Steigerwald's 19-yard field goal in the first quarter and 35-yarder in the second were his seventh and eighth of the season. He has not missed a field goal this year. Freshman Brett Brodbeck handled the kickoffs. Tight end Matt Fought, coming back from a shoulder injury, played last night.



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