By ANDY WOLF
Rob Keys feels the greatest achievement for a college football player is to be a senior.
“A lot of guys come in; a lot of guys don’t make it,” the eighth-year University of Findlay football coach said.
For the Oilers, 20 seniors have made it.
Findlay will honor them on senior day before its last home game of the season against Malone at 1 p.m. Saturday at Donnell Stadium.
The Oilers are 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference with two games remaining.
Keys noted the class is the first to post four winning seasons in four years since UF turned Division II in 1999.
UF went 6-5 in 2015 and 2016 before reaching the Division II playoffs last season, winning a game and finishing 10-3.
“They grow as young men,” Keys said. “You see them come in the arch as freshmen and they’re just different people when they leave.
“They go through adversity. There’s never a player in a program that doesn’t go through some adversity. They all end up better men because of finishing.”
Here are three more things to know for Saturday’s game:
SERIES HISTORY: Findlay is 7-0 all-time against Malone since first meeting in 1995 in the second round of the NAIA playoffs. The Oilers went to capture their third of four NAIA national titles under Dick Strahm.
Findlay prevailed 49-0 last year in Canton in their first meeting as GMAC members.
ABOUT MALONE: The Pioneers are 2-6, 1-5 in the GMAC.
Their only wins are over winless league foe Lake Erie (42-12) and at Millersville (38-34).
Malone’s games tend to be on the high-scoring side at 34.1 points per game to 41.5 points allowed per game.
The Pioneers put up 55 points last week in a 60-55 shootout loss against Alderson Broaddus.
“You never want to get in a shootout with anybody,” Keys said. “Malone has the capability of doing that. They’re very talented offensively.”
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Deandre Clayton leads the GMAC at 299.8 yards of total offense per game.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has completed 143 of 244 passes for 1,988 yards and 14 touchdowns with five interceptions.
He also leads all GMAC quarterbacks with 410 rushing yards and nine scores.
Clayton’s top target is Ashton Dulin, a first-team all-GMAC selection last year.
Dulin (6-2, 210), is the only Division II player with 10 receiving touchdowns and three kick return touchdowns.
His 93.0 receiving ypg is second in the GMAC.
Dulin put up 164 yards and two scores on 11 catches last week in what may not have been the best receiving performance on his own team.
That’s because Dakota Hobbs (65.5 ypg) turned 231 yards and three scores on eight grabs.
“What happens is, so many people are so scheming to stop Ashton Dulin on the one side,” Keys said. “If you do that, you over play him and that just opens up the other side.”
SENIOR LED: Findlay has senior contributors all over the field.
• Fourth-year starting quarterback Rhys Gervais owns nearly every major UF passing record.
• Christian Olmstead will make his 32nd start at right tackle.
• Jason Moore has exactly 3,000 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns — both first all-time at UF.
• Receivers Jacob Allton (23.6 ypg) and Jacob Hill (17.6 ypg) also contributed on special teams as emergency kicker and return specialist, respectively.
• Jacob Boucher has thrived in his role as tight end/H-back, also chipping in 36 catches in his last two seasons.
• Patrick Rusher is a four-year starter at punter and has a career average of 38.8 yards.
• Defensive backs Francis Cutchember (35 tackles) and Chewy Chukwuneke (50 tackles) and defensive lineman Cyle Skidmore (61/2 sacks) have all started since their freshman year and each received all-conference honors.
• Justice Jenkins (57 tackles) and Tiffin Calvert grad Tyler Long (48 tackles) are both two-year starters at linebacker.
• Defensive back Michael Campbell (20 tackles) was also a first-team all-GMAC running back last year.
“I say it every year but you can’t put into words and measure what each class does,” Keys said.
Football: Home finale for 20 UF seniors
By ANDY WOLF