BGSU v. South Alabama - Photo by Mallory Hiser, BGSU Athletics

BGSU fell to the Jaguars 22-19 during their home opener. Photo sourced via BGSUFalcons.com.

On an afternoon that remembered the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001, and recognized the men and women who protect America, BGSU football opened the 2021 homestand at Doyt Perry Stadium against the South Alabama Jaguars.

The Falcons got out to a great start, blocking a punt that resulted in a safety to give them an early 2-0 lead. Later on in the first quarter, linebacker Darren Anders would intercept Jaguar quarterback Jake Bentley, and return it 27 yards for a touchdown.

“My teammates told me that [if] I went to the right, I would’ve walked in [for a touchdown] ,'' Anders said. “We had a pretty cool moment.”

The Falcons would take an 8-6 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, after a 40 yard field goal by Nate Beedham, and a one yard touchdown run by Jaguar running back Kareem Walker, The Falcons would strike back.

Matt McDonald would connect with Andrew Bench for his first touchdown of the season. This would give the Falcons a 19-12 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The majority of the fourth was a stalemate, with both teams struggling to move the ball. It wouldn’t be until under two minutes left to go that Jaguar running back Terrion Avery would score for 13 yards out to tie the game at 19.

With 1:39 left in the fourth, the Falcons got an opportunity to try and win the game, but a fumble by Christian Sims would give the ball back to the Jaguars at the Falcons’ 33 yard line.

A walk off field goal by Diego Guajardo would seal the game, giving the Jaguars a 22-19 victory.

Despite the heartbreak, coach Scot Loeffler knows his team showed signs of growth, but needs to improve.

“The fact of the matter is that we let this one go and it was the little things that killed us,” Loeffler said. I will never push blame on the player. We got young guys, and it’s our job as coaches to get them right.”

McDonald would finish 23/32 for 308 yards and one touchdown. Bentley would finish 29/46 for 257 yards and one interception.

The Falcons welcome the Murray State Racers to the Doyt next Saturday for homecoming weekend, with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m.

“We got 24 hours of grief, and then we’re going to bounce back and we’re going to come to get our first win, '' Loeffler said. “I like the attitude of our kids, the maturity.” We need to help our guys along with locked in and laser focus.”

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