The Otterbein Cardinals look to take down the rival Capital Crusaders Nov. 2 when their rivalry continues in Bexley, Ohio.

Capital won a close game last year, 23-19, that ended in a last-second fumble on the goal line by Cardinals junior quarterback Bryce Hall. That win tied the rivalry at 45-45 for total wins in the series between the schools. Over the last 10 matchups, Otterbein has come out on top six times.

This season both teams have struggled to find success on the gridiron, as they are still looking for their first win of the season. Otterbein is leading their rival in multiple offensive categories, including total yards and yards per game. Otterbein also leads Capital in points per game with 19.2 compared to Capital's 4.5.

According to an essay written by an Otterbein student in 1975, which chronicles the rivalry between Otterbein and Capital, the rivalry between the two schools started back in the 1890s when the two schools would have canoe races from Alum Creek to Columbus.


The first football meeting between the two rivals happened in 1894, with Otterbein coming out on top 60-0. The Cardinals and Crusaders have battled it out for central Ohio superiority 90 times, playing annually since 1927.

The rivalry grew in a 1937 basketball game when a fight broke out on the court between two players. Otterbein’s Tom Weston elbowed Capital’s Don Burkkey to the floor after a rebound, which caused Burkkey to punch and knock out Weston. The crowds stormed the court and, after the event, Otterbein leaders vowed to never play in Loy Gymnasium (Capital’s gym at the time) again.

Then, in 1948, 14 Otterbein students were suspended for painting signs on Capital’s buildings. Later in that year, an accident was caused by an exchange of paint throwing between cars driven by Otterbein and Capital students. After this, an official peace agreement was signed in April 1948.


In 1969, before a game, a group of Otterbein students painted and vandalized buildings on Capital’s campus by painting on the walls and also burning the initials "OC" on the grass by Capital’s campus center.

Luke Green-Lauber, a senior allied health major and punter for the football team, said there’s no better feeling than beating Capital. “It means everything, especially here at Otterbein. To beat Capital is bigger than anything; the season is won if we beat Cap."