Tigers Fall to League-Leading Wittenberg

Springfield, Ohio - Host Wittenberg scored on four of its first six second-half possessions and pulled away from a 10-6 halftime advantage to a 38-23 North Coast Athletic Conference victory over DePauw. The visiting Tigers dropped to 3-4 overall and 3-3 in the NCAC, while Wittenberg, ranked eighth in the coaches' poll and 14th by D3hoops.com, improved to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the conference.

Wittenberg scored on its opening possession of the game as Adam Acquista booted a 41-yard field goal.

The Tigers drove into Wittenberg territory in each of its next two series, but were forced to punt on the first and were sacked on fourth down on the latter.

After the defense forced a punt early in the second, DePauw's offense started on its own 20 and drove to the Wittenberg 17 and Jake Tanner evened the score with a 33-yard field goal with 9:59 left in the half.

Later in the half, the Tigers fumbled a punt return and Wittenberg recovered at the DePauw 26. Following a Wittenberg procedure penalty, Troy Clay rushed for five on the first play before Jake Kennedy teamed with Thad Snodgrass for a 26-yard score with 2:59 remaining in the half.

The Tigers came right back with a 9-play, 59-yard possession as Tanner kicked a 24-yard field goal with four seconds left to cut the Wittenberg lead to 10-6.

Wittenberg's Jeff Tiffner returned the second half kickoff 43 yards to the DePauw 32 and, five plays later, Clay scored on a 14-yard run to make it 17-6.

Later in the third, DePauw linebacker Matt Crupi picked off Kennedy and gave the Tigers the ball at the Wittenberg 33. DePauw picked up a first down on the first play, but was stopped and Tanner came on to kick a 38-yard field goal with 8:11 left in the third to trim the deficit to 17-9.

DePauw's defense stopped Wittenberg at its own 49 on the next possession, but the Tigers again were unable to handle a punt return and Wittenberg's Jordan Burkey recovered at the DePauw 14. The hosts struck on the next play as receiver Tiffner tossed a 14-yard pass to Kennedy to make it 24-9 with 4:29 remaining in the third.

Wittenberg extended the lead to 31-9 in the first play of the fourth as Kennedy tossed a 4-yard pass to Jaheem Washington.

DePauw's first touchdown came on its next series as Chase Andries teamed with Logan Greene for a 22-yard score, but Kennedy and Tiffner connected for a 74-yard score on Wittenberg's third play of the next drive.

DePauw drove to the Wittenberg 14 on the next series, but turned the ball over on downs. DePauw's final score came as Andries connected with Andy Hunt for a 74-yard score with 2:32 left.

Andries led DePauw with 23 rushing yards and connected on 24 of 51 passes for a career-high 288 yards. Hunt was the leading receiver with nine catches for 122 yards. 

Clay rushed for 65 yards for Wittenberg, while Kennedy completed 22 of 38 for 336 yards. Tiffner caught six for 116 yards and a touchdown in addition to a touchdown pass.

Crupi paced the DePauw defense with nine tackles, while Jacob Howdeshell and Hunter Sego each had seven. Burkey and Troy Jones led Wittenberg with eight stops each.

Wittenberg outgained DePauw 475-338 and was the first team to top 100 rushing yards this season against the Tigers as it totaled 125.

DePauw travels to Allegheny on Saturday, October 27, for a 1 p.m. contest.