DePauw Drops Season Opener to Central

Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw grabbed an early 10-0 lead in its first-ever meeting with visiting Central, but the Dutch evened the score in the second quarter and scored the eventual game-winning points on their opening drive of the second half for a 16-10 victory over the Tigers. Central improved to 2-0, while DePauw dropped to 0-1.

DePauw's defense stopped Central on its opening series of the game and Logan Greene returned a punt 27 yards to the Dutch 24. Tigers quarterback Matt Labus connected with Andy Hunt on the first play of the drive for a score and Jake Tanner booted the point-after to give the hosts a 7-0 lead just 4:13 into the contest.

The Tigers' defense put together four straight three-and-out series before Tanner Cleveland blocked Cam Kiner's punt and recovered it at the Central 17 with 2:29 left in the first. The Tigers couldn't pick up a first down and Tanner came on to knock through a 32-yard field goal for a 10-0 DePauw lead with 1:35 remaining in the quarter.

Central's initial first down came on its next possession, but Matt Mitsch forced a fumble on the next play and Brooks Hepp recovered at the Central 44.

The Dutch got on the board early in the second with a 14-play, 66-yard drive that culminated in Jon Alberts' 22-yard field goal. They evened the score on their next series as Blaine Hawkins completed a 21-yard scoring pass to Erik Knaack with 6:02 left in the half and Alberts converted the extra point.

DePauw's defense stopped Central punter Tyler Bryant short of a first down late in the half and the Tigers took over on the Central 44. The Tigers drove to the Central 2, but a loss of one on first down and a false start pushed the ball back to the eight. On second down, quarterback Matt Labus went down with an apparent injury after being hit while throwing. Chase Andries came on for an incomplete pass on third down. The Tigers lined up to attempt a field goal, but couldn't handle the snap and Central took over and ran out the clock.

Central took the lead for good in the third as Danny Anderson returned the second-half kickoff to near midfield. After picking up a first down, Central advanced to the DePauw 20 after a DePauw pass interference penalty on third down. The Dutch converted a fourth-and-one to the 9, but the DePauw defense stopped them on the 4. Alberts booted a 22-yard field goal, but the Tigers were whistled for holding and the Dutch garnered the automatic first down. Nathan Fitzgerald took the ball on the next play and gave his team a 16-10 advantage. Mitsch then blocked the extra point.

DePauw drove to the Central 19 later in the quarter before Jordy Borman picked off Andries in the end zone. The Dutch made another big stop in the fourth as the Tigers drove to the Central 30 before Carter Terpstra and Hunter Maddy combined to sack Andries for a 6-yard loss on fourth down.

Central took over on its own 36, but again the DePauw defense forced a three-and-out. On fourth down Bryant couldn't handle the punt snap and DePauw's James Deaton recovered at the Central 31 with 3:43 remaining. Cleveland picked up three yards on first down before an incomplete pass and a 3-yard gain from Andries on third down. The Dutch broke up Andries' fourth-down pass with 2:22 left.

DePauw's defense then held the guests again and forced a punt that went out of bounds at the DePauw 20. Andries completed a 25-yard pass to Will Harris, but four straight incomplete passes gave the ball back to Central and the Dutch ran out the clock.

Central outgained DePauw 292-257 including 206-179 through the air. The Dutch also held an 18-13 edge in first downs.

Ramon Lopez paced the DePauw rushing attack with 33 yards on seven carries, while Labus completed 9 of 16 for 64 yards and Andries 8 of 21. Lopez also grabbed a team-high five receptions.

Hawkins completed 18 of 29 passes for 206 yards and rushed for 48 on 28 tries. Knaack, Tylor Obermeyer and Pat Gray each had four catches.

Matt Crupi paced DePauw with 11 tackles with Zach Williams following with 10. Nate Orrison led with 2.5 sacks while Joe Zanca chipped in 1.5. In all, the Tigers' defense recorded 10 tackles for losses totaling 29 yards.

Drew Smith led Central with 17 tackles and Connor Lewin followed with nine. The Dutch totaled 7.0 tackle for losses of 17 yards and added a pair of sacks.

DePauw returns to action on Saturday, September 15, with a 1 p.m. North Coast Athletic Conference home game against Hiram.