Oilers Football to Open Season on Thursday - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Oilers Football to Open Season on Thursday

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The University of Findlay football team will be open their season on Thursday, Sept. 5 at home against Urbana University in a non-conference contest.  The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. inside Donnell Stadium.

The Oilers will be raffling off an iPad to one lucky UF student at Findlay's football game against Urbana on Thursday, Sept. 5.  They will also give away free "Win the Day" t-shirts to the first 200 UF students who attend the game, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Donnell Stadium.

All UF students attending the Oilers football game will be given a raffle ticket after showing their Findlay ID card for the chance to win the iPad.  The winning ticket will then be drawn at the end of the third quarter.  Students must be present in order to win.

The free t-shirts will be given out to the first 200 UF students who enter the stadium.  They will be passed out inside the North gate of the stadium.

In addition to these promotions, City Barbeque will be providing free dinners to the first 750 fans that purchase a ticket to the Oilers game against the Blue Knights.  The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for this event.

Sights and Sounds

All Oilers football games can be heard on 88.3 FM "WLFC" or on the internet via their web site.

You can listen to the broadcast by clicking on the following link:

WLFC

The University of Findlay will also broadcast all of their home football games on the internet.  You can watch the games live by clicking on the following link:

Watch Live

UF athletics will also offer live stats for all home games. A link to this process can be retrieved by clicking on the live stats window located on the left side of the Oilers athletic website.

Live Stats

The Series

The Oilers hold an 11-0 advantage in the all-time series against the Blue Knights dating back to the 1925 campaign when Findlay won by a score of 29-6.

The two programs last met during the 2009 season with the Oilers scoring a 42-21 win at home.  The Oilers piled up 508 yards of total offense in the game and forced four turnovers.

They were led by Andrew Beam, who completed 13-of-18 passing attempts for 235 yards and two touchdowns.  Demetrius Trapps and Melvin Jackson led the ground attack with 129 and 108 yards, respectively.  Mike Chambers hauled in six receptions for 131 yards and two scores as well.

Head Coach Rob Keys

Head coach Rob Keys is currently in his third season at the helm of the Oilers football program.

In his second season with the Oilers, Keys posted a 7-3 record with the same mark in GLIAC competition.  The Oilers showed improvement from their first season under Keys and saw six players earn either first or second team all-conference honors. 

Keys led the Oilers to a 6-5 record during his first season as head coach, which included a 6-4 mark in the GLIAC.  The win total marked a five-game improvement from the year before and included standout wins against Grand Valley State University and Wayne State University.

The Oilers, who had lost 11 straight to GVSU, claimed a 26-20 win on the road against the Lakers in the fourth week of the season and then defeated #22 Wayne State University on the road by a score of 43-42 in overtime to close the campaign.

Keys, who was hired as the head coach of the Oilers football program on December 16, 2010, previously served as the co-defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator for the Oilers from 2000-04.

In 2010, Keys served as the defensive backs coach at the University of New Hampshire. He helped coach the team to an 8-5 record in 2010 and a spot in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Playoffs. The Wildcats, who were ranked #10 in the nation, were then upended by the #5 University of Delaware Blue Hens 16-3 in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Before his time with the Wildcats, Keys spent four years as the special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach at Slippery Rock University (2006-10).

Prior to his work at Slippery Rock, Keys served one season as the safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Indiana State University (2005) after his five-year run at Findlay.

Keys also spent three seasons coaching at his alma mater, West Virginia University, coaching running backs, special teams, tight ends, tackles, quarterbacks and wide receivers.

As a player at West Virginia, Keys was a two-year letter winner and a 1995 team co-captain. He won the Mountaineer Club Award twice (1994-95), the highest honor a West Virginia player can receive. He was also given the Scott Shirley Award for the special teams MVP in 1995 and participated in the USF&G Sugar Bowl and Carquest Bowl during his tenure.

For Findlay's 2012 coaching staff, please click on the following link:

2013 Coaching Staff

The Oilers

The University of Findlay football team finished the 2012 campaign with a 7-3 record.

A pair of seniors who earned second team all-conference honors last season will lead the Oilers on both sides of the ball.

On offense, wide receiver Seth White returns after garnering second team all-league honors last year for the Oilers.  White did a little bit of everything for Findlay as a junior, serving as a wide receiver, punter and kicker.  As a receiver, White led the team with 698 receiving yards and five touchdowns.  He caught 48 passes on the year, averaged 36.5 yards per punt and connected on all 30 of his extra point attempts while drilling four field goals as well.

Defensive back Ray Ballard was a second team all-conference player for Findlay last season and accounted for 47 tackles.  He also registered five tackles for a loss, four sacks and six passes defensed.  The Columbus, Ohio native also forced three fumbles and recovered three as well.

For Findlay's 2012 season statistics, please click on the following link:

2012 Season Statistics

For Findlay's 2013 roster, please click on the following link:

2013 Roster

Urbana Head Coach

Dave Taynor has been Urbana's head football coach since the 2008 season and is coming off of a 7-4 season in 2012.

Taynor came to Urbana from Tiffin University where he was the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach for two seasons from 2006-2008. He has also spent time as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (2004-06), Culver-Stockton College (2001-04) and the University of Louisville (1999-2001).

The Blue Knights

The Blue Knights finished the 2012 campaign with a 7-4 record.

The team will be led by senior quarterback D.J. Mendenhall, who has accumulated 6,702 passing yards and another 1,605 yards rushing during his tenure with the Blue Knights.  He also set single season Urbana records for completions (229), passing yards (3,130), and passing touchdowns (30) last year.

For Urbana's 2012 season statistics, please click on the following link

2012 Season Statistics

For Urbana's 2013 roster, please click on the following link:

2013 Roster

Record Catching

Senior wide receiver Seth White has made 112 career receptions for the Oilers, which ranks eighth all-time at Findlay.  He is chasing Darren Paige (2005-07) for seventh place in the standings as Paige racked up 117 catches during his tenure with the team.

Andy Witker (2001-04) ranks sixth with 118 catches and Jason Hamby (1995-98) is ranked fifth with 127 career grabs.

White also ranks eighth with 1,381 career receiving yards and is chasing Paige for seventh place.  Paige accumulated 1,461 receiving yards during his career.

In addition, senior tight end Jaryd Brown ranks tenth all-time with 98 career receptions and ninth all-time with 1,268 career receiving yards.

Returning for Records

Senior running back Demetrius Trapps is chasing several return records this season.  Trapps ranks third all-time at Findlay in kick returns with 54 attempts and third all-time in career kick return yardage at 1,172.

Steve Blackburn (1969-72) currently resides in second place in both categories at Findlay.  Blackburn registered 63 kick returns for 1,341 yards during his tenure with the program.

A Nose for the Ball

Senior defensive back Ray Ballard has recovered five fumbles during his career with the Oilers, the most a Findlay player has pounced on since Joe Knopick scooped up seven from 2006-09.

GLIAC Preseason Poll

The Oilers were picked to finish third in the GLIAC South Division this year, receiving 69 total points and one first place vote in the annual coaches poll.

Preseason All-American Honors

Senior defensive back Ray Ballard was voted a 2013 preseason NCAA Division II All-American by USA College Football.

Ballard, a second team all-conference performer last year for the Oilers, was tabbed a first team All-American by the organization and is coming off of his junior season in which he recorded 47 tackles.  He also registered five tackles for a loss, four sacks and six passes defensed.  The Columbus, Ohio native also forced three fumbles and recovered three as well.

Senior wide receiver Seth White also earned praise from the organization and was tabbed a preseason honorable mention selection.

White did a little bit of everything for Findlay as a junior, serving as a wide receiver, punter and kicker.  As a receiver, White led the team with 698 receiving yards and five touchdowns.  He caught 48 passes on the year, averaged 36.5 yards per punt and connected on all 30 of his extra point attempts while drilling four field goals as well.

Preseason All-Ohio

Ohio College Football released their annual preseason All-Ohio teams on Aug. 6 and four Oilers were tabbed first team.

Senior wide receiver Seth White, senior tight end Jaryd Brown and senior offensive lineman Justin Music all earned first team honors on offense while senior defensive back Ray Ballard captured first team honors on the defensive side of the ball.

White, who earned preseason honorable mention All-American accolades by USA College Football, has played a variety of roles during his career with the Oilers.  Last season White led the team with 698 receiving yards and five touchdowns.  He caught 48 passes on the year, averaged 36.5 yards per punt and connected on all 30 of his extra point attempts while drilling four field goals as well.

Brown earned honorable mention all-conference honors last year as a junior when he led the team with 50 receptions.  He racked up 646 receiving yards, caught five touchdown passes and ran for another while averaging 64.6 yards per game.

Music has been a mainstay on the offensive line with 30 starts in his career at both tackle and guard.  He has been named honorable mention all-conference in each of the past two years as well.

Ballard, a preseason first team All-American selection by USA College Football, earned second team all-conference accolades as a junior.  He racked up 47 tackles and also registered five tackles for a loss and four sacks from his safety position in 2012.  The Columbus, Ohio native also forced three fumbles and recovered three fumbles as well.

Fast Starts

The Oilers have won their opening game in ten out of their past 12 seasons beginning in 2002 when the Oilers defeated Indiana University (PA) 37-34.  The Oilers then won eight straight openers followed by a two-year skid of losing their first game, which ended last year with a 45-10 win at home over Northern Michigan University.

Captains

Senior tight end Jaryd Brown, senior offensive lineman Justin Music, senior Seth White and senior Jamon McClain were voted as captains for the Oilers football team in 2013.

Dominating Non-Conference Games

The Oilers are currently 8-3 in non-conference games since entering the GLIAC during the 1998 season.  Findlay has also won eight out of their last ten games against non-conference opponents dating back to the 2002 campaign.