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Tuggle's career game leads Ohio to first win of season

Rogers provides 2nd-half spark in 34-17 win over Zips

AKRON – Ohio found a winning formula on offense in the second half with a huge rushing effort in a 34-17 victory against Akron on Saturday at InfoCision Stadium.

De’Montre Tuggle had a career-high 201 yards, and Armani Rogers provided a second-half spark with 83 yards on the ground. They combined for three touchdowns as the Bobcats racked up 398 yards rushing.

"It's amazing," Tuggle said. "Big shoutout to my line and my receivers, those guys were blocking their tails off today."

Down 17-10 midway through the third quarter, Ohio scored the final 24 points to earn its first victory.

Ohio rode Tuggle on a drive that ended with Rogers scoring the tying touchdown on a 7-yard run with 5:41 left in the third quarter. Rogers led the Bobcats on a drive for the go-ahead points on a 26-yard Stephen Johnson field goal with 13:30 remaining.

Rogers scored on a 22-yard touchdown run on the next possession, giving Ohio a 27-17 cushion with 6:12 left to play. Tuggle’s 26-yard touchdown run with 1:16 remaining capped the Bobcats’ big second half.

It marked the first career win for first-year head coach Tim Albin.

"I'm glad we got the win," Albin said. "It should've came earlier. It is what it is. The kids came out in the second half, and it was the best 2 quarters I've seen in a long time."

For much of the game, all either team produced was Johnson’s 25-yard field goal with 4:44 left in the first quarter that gave Ohio a 3-0 lead.

Cory Smigel answered with a 23-yard field goal for the Zips with 6:08 left in the first half, and after Kurtis Rourke was intercepted by Charles Amankwaa, Akron took a 10-3 lead on a 45-yard touchdown pass from DJ Irons to Konata Mumpfield.

Two possessions later, the Bobcats tied the game again at 10. Rourke completed a pass of 34 yards to Ty Walton and ran for a 21-yard gain to set up a 2-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Cox with nine seconds left in the half.

Akron took its final lead on the opening possession of the third quarter on an Irons 9-yard touchdown pass to Tristian Brank before Ohio took over.

Rourke was 7-of-12 passing for 56 yards, while Rogers was just 3 of 4 for 4 yards. O’Shaan Allison had 47 yards on seven carries.

Irons was 9-of-10 passing for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He added a team-leading 69 yards rushing on 16 carries despite being sacked four times. Kato Nelson went 4-of-8 passing for 46 yards as the Zips finished with just 293 yards of offense.

Will Evans and Cannon Blauser had two sacks each for Ohio’s defense. Bryce Houston and Denzel Daxon each had one. Evans also forced a fumble recovered by Justin Birchette that stopped Akron’s opening drive.

Ohio returns home to face Central Michigan at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Peden Stadium.

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