The Howard Bison came up short Saturday against Ohio University, 38-32, despite putting up an impressive 645 total yards against the Mid-American Conference (MAC) preseason favorite.
Second-year signal-caller sophomore Caylin Newton (Atlanta) led the charge, posting 532 total yards with four total touchdowns. The Atlanta native threw for a career-high 439 yards with three TDs while adding 93 yards on the ground, including a touchdown in the loss. His 532 total yards is the third-most in program history and Newton’s 439 yards in the air is the most since 2001.
Fellow Georgia native and deep threat specialist Jequez Ezzard (College Park) etched himself in the program’s record book as he set a new school mark with 223 receiving yards on eight catches.
Howard pounced on the Bobcats early with a 4-yard rushing TD by Newton, followed by freshman Faraji Joseph (Greensboro, N.C.) drilling his first collegiate field goal from 26 yards, 10-0.
After Ohio got on the board with a 22-yarder, 10-3, Newton found Collins on a crossing route for a 38-yard touchdown and gave the Bison a double-digit advantage, 16-3.
With less than five minutes before intermission, the Bobcats cut HU’s lead down to six, 16-10, but Howard answered with a 6-yard fade to Anthony in the back of the end zone, 22-10.
Under a minute until halftime, Ohio scored another touchdown to trim the Bison margin down to a one-possession game at the break in favor of HU, 22-17.
The opening kickoff after intermission saw Ohio return a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown, followed by the Bobcats capitalizing with a 1-yard rushing TD on a Bison turnover. In a matter of minutes, Howard trailed, 31-22.
Late into the third, Newton hit Ezzard for a 55-yard bomb and put the Bison within a field goal, 31-29.
Ohio kept the pressure on with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a 10-yard run by Quinton Maxwell, 38-29.
Senior Dakota Lebofsky (Overland Park, Kan.) drilled a 40-yard field goal with 7:46 remaining, 38-32.
Howard would get two more chances to either tie or take the lead, but the Bison were unable to complete the back.
Junior Kyle Anthony (Miramar, Fla.) had a game-high nine receptions for 97 yards and a TD while redshirt junior Jason Collins (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) contributed 90 receiving yards on four balls in a losing effort.
Defensively, junior Marcellus Allison (Durham, N.C.) registered a game-best 10.5 tackles (nine solo) and newcomer Zamon Robinson (Silver Spring, Md.) posted two sacks. Sophomore Bryan Cook (Cincinnati) added 5.5 tackles (three solo) and three pass breakups in the loss.
The Bison conclude its brief two-game road swing in Kent, Ohio, where they will take on Kent State in a rematch. Last season, Howard came up short at Kent State, 38-31, despite a balanced attack of 452 yards of total offense.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
For more information, go to www.HUBison.com.