Losses come at inopportune time for Jackets


The Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets’ entered their last two games of the season with playoff aspirations still alive. They were riding high on a five game win streak rolling into Week 10 of the football season. But that five-game win streak came to a crash and burn at what might have been the most inopportune time.

The Yellow Jackets traveled down to Ada, Ohio to take on the Ohio Northern Polar Bears and were immediately faced with a 14-0 deficit.

BW failed to overcome the deficit, falling 35-28 for their first loss since the team played #1 Mount Union on Sep. 21 at Mount Union Stadium.

“We weren’t emotionally into the game, from start to finish,” said Head Coach Jim Hilvert. “ We did not tackle well, turned the ball over at two critical times and ultimately that comes back to bite you.

The team didn’t just lose the game, but during the week lost freshman quarterback Keagan Armitage to injury and entered their final matchup of the year with their third starting quarterback of the season. Sophomore quarterback Jack Gibbons lead the team on offense with 119 passing yards and 78 rushing yards in his first collegiate start.

“Our team played really hard through some adversity,” Hilvert said. “They laid it on the line for each other on both sides of the ball and unfortunately JCU came up with a big play at the end.”

The team entered that final game against John Carroll and used their defense to take an early lead and withhold John Carroll from taking any lead until the fourth quarter. But with 23 seconds left in the game, John Carroll took their first lead of the game, and held onto it for the victory. The win was much needed for John Caroll’s playoff chances. BW was virtually eliminated when they lost to Ohio Northern.

“The way it ended is definitely had to swallow because our kids played so hard,” Hilvert said. “It was to our arch-rival at home, but our guys laid it on the line, and we told them if they did that, they would have a chance to win and they did.”

But now for the Yellow Jackets, preparation for next season has already started. “Hopefully it gives them a bad taste in their mouth all offseason and gives them motivation to get one more lift in or one more rep. Hopefully our guys get stronger in the offseason or work out harder,” Hilvert said. “And hopefully that will give us the ability to finish a season. We kind of had to play with fire at the end of the year, with ONU undefeated at home, and they won.”

Baldwin Wallace’s 7-3 mark was just the team’s three loss seasons since they matched that mark in 2015. Since then, the Yellow Jackets had a 3-7 season, but have now had a winning record in three straight seasons.