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Bobcats foil Rockets at Glass Bowl

10/28/2016, 12:51am EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Woodside’s record all for naught in setback

On a record-setting night for the University of Toledo football team, the Rockets could not overcome MAC East opponent Ohio Thursday at the Glass Bowl, falling 31-26.

With three touchdown passes in the game, junior quarterback Logan Woodside has 31 touchdowns this season, breaking the single season touchdown record previously held by Bruce Gradkowski (29 TDs in 2003 and 2005).

Toledo trailed 31-20 with eight minutes left in the game and a desperate rally fell just short.

Woodside hit Jon'Vea Johnson on a 10-yard touchdown and the Rockets failed to convert the two-point conversion, cutting the Bobcats lead to 31-26 with 3:28 left in the game. 

RELATED: Woodside breaks school record

Toledo had one last chance with 55 seconds left and no timeouts with the ball at its own 25-yard line. But as the clock was winding down, Woodside spiked the ball on a fourth down near midfield. The Rockets were called for a false start on the play and a 10-second runoff ended the game and a potential comeback.

"We exhausted all our timeouts," UT coach Jason Candle said. "We were trying to hurry up and to go and we had a couple balls completed, especially the last one, that looking back on it you would almost want the ball not to be caught. But that's a hard position to put a kid in. Certainly we would have loved to finish it off there and go down and get a score, but we just fell short."

Woodside finished the game 32-of-46 passing for 438 yards and three touchdowns, with an interception. Johnson finished the game with six catches for 156 yards and two TDs and Corey Jones added seven catches for 115 yards and a TD. The Bobcats held the UT ground game in check, limiting Terry Swanson to 58 yards and Kareem Hunt to 50 yards

IN PICTURES: Ohio outlasts Toledo

"I'm pretty upset that we lost the game," Woodside said of setting the record. "It would have been a lot better if we won the game."

The loss is the first conference defeat of the season for Toledo, which falls to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Mid-American Conference. Ohio moves to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the MAC.

"It's a tough loss for our football team," Candle said. "It was a game where the Rockets certainly weren't at their best tonight. There were a lot of undisciplined, uncharacteristic mistakes that caught up to us in the end."

Both teams battled through a scoreless first quarter that featured five first downs for Toledo and four for Ohio. The Bobcats managed just 34 yards of total offense.

Ohio quarterback Quinton Maxwell did not complete a pass in the first quarter, but he opened the scoring in the game when he found Kyle Belack on a 57-yard touchdown with 9:17 left in the half to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.

Woodside then threw an interception at midfield with 8:00 left in the first half, but Ohio was unable to turn the turnover into points.

UT's Jameson Vest connected on a 29-yard field goal and the Rockets cut the Ohio lead to 7-3 with 4:29 left in first half.

Sebastian Smith hauled in a 33-yard TD catch from backup quarterback Greg Windham to give the Bobcats a 14-3 lead with 1:55 left in 1st half.

Vest then kicked a career-long 47-yard goal as time expired in the first half, cutting the Ohio lead to 14-6.

The two second-quarter touchdowns by Ohio were the first touchdowns allowed by Toledo in the second quarter all season.

"It was a very slow start," Candle said. "The first half just kind of went back and forth and we didn't put points on the board that we needed to put on the board. In the second half, we kind of got going, but it was a little too late."

Ohio received the ball to open the second half and marched past midfield before DeJuan Rogers sacked Windham and forced an Ohio punt.

On the second play after Ohio downed the punt on the UT 3-yard line, Woodside hit Johnson over the middle on a 98-yard TD pass, for the longest play in school history, to make it 14-13.

With Ohio then driving into UT territory, John Stepec forced a fumble by Ohio's Dorian Brown and Treyvon Hester recovered it.

Toledo failed to turn the turnover into points with after a penalty was called on a 4th-and-4 play and the Rockets were forced to punt.

After Windham was carted off with an injury in the third quarter, Maxwell came back into the game and hit Papi White on a 25-yard TD pass to give the Bobcats a 21-13 lead with 6:00 left in the third quarter.

Toledo responded with a long scoring drive, capped by a 24-yard TD pass from Woodside to Jones to cut the Ohio lead to 21-20 with 3:39 left in the third quarter. That play was the record-setter for Woodside, his 30th TD pass of the season.

Louie Zervos kicked a 39-yard field goal to give the Bobcats a 24-20 lead with 11 seconds left in 3rd quarter.

On the next possession for the Bobcats, Dorian Brown scampered into the end zone on a 51-yard run, giving Ohio a 31-20 lead with 8:08 left in the game.

Corey Jones fumbled on the ensuing kickoff giving the ball back to Ohio in Toledo territory.

After a missed field goal by Ohio, Woodside found Johnson for a 10-yard TD. After the 2-point conversion attempt failed, Ohio led 31-26 with 3:28 left.

That set up the last-ditch effort for Toledo which fell short.

"Everyone in the locker room feels like they could have done something better," UT senior tight end Michael Roberts said. "We have to execute everything that we practice and everything that the coaches put in our hands. It's on us. Every loss is extremely disappointing. We never go into a game expecting to lose. It doesn't matter if it is home or away, it's a disappointment."

Toledo will have to move on from the loss quickly as they go on the road to face a good Akron team on Wednesday.

"I know that myself and our staff and I hope our team understands the message that in late October and early November, if you say you want to compete for a championship, you better bring it every week or you are going to beat," Candle said. "It's 60 minutes of football, not 32 or 28. If you don't you're in trouble. Unfortunately we learned a hard lesson tonight, but we have to respond. We've got to bounce back, because the Akron Zips are not going to feel sorry for the Toledo Rockets."

Contact Brian Buckey at: bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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University of Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside, right, is pressured by Ohio’s Casey Sayles (44) during the first quarter of the Mid-American Conference football game at the Glass Bowl on Thursday night. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON


UT wide receiver Corey Jones reacts after dropping a pass in the first half against Ohio University on Thursday night. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON


UT wide receiver Corey Jones reacts after dropping a pass in the first half against Ohio University on Thursday night. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON

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