The slow day Wittenberg had offensively against Washington University was incomparable to their enormous 38-3 victory over the visiting NCAC foe Allegheny this past Saturday. The Tigers passing game proved to be back in business and was complemented by multiple big plays on the ground, sophomore quarterback Reed Florence recording two touchdown runs of 20 yards or more.
The Gators took an early lead with a Ryan Zipf field goal from 25-yards out. Minutes later, Florence started his impressive afternoon by running over an Allegheny defender for a 24-yard touchdown rush with 4:05 left in the first quarter, leaving the score at 7-3.
Into the second quarter, junior kicker Sean Williams hit an 18-yard field goal that ended a 10 play drive for the Tigers. The next 10 minutes of the quarter went scoreless until senior quarterback Ben Zoeller connected with fellow senior receiver Josh Mckee for an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the drive, putting the Tigers up 17-3 going into the second half.
In the third quarter, Zipf for Allegheny had a chance to put some points on the board for the Gators but his field goal attempt was no good, hitting off the right upright from 37 yards out. The Tigers had the only points of the period following two big plays from Zoeller. First, the senior hit receiver Michael Cooper for a 27-yard gain putting the ball on the Gators’ 31-yard line. On the very next play, Zoeller connected with McKee for another touchdown pass, leaving the score at 24-3 in favor of the home team.
The Zoeller-McKee connection continued into the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass for 33 yards with 12:30 left in the game, putting the Tigers up 31-3. Allegheny then had a seven play drive that ended with a fourth down stand by the Wittenberg defense.
The Tigers took over on their own 30-yard line and made their way to midfield before Florence broke away for a 50-yard touchdown run with 1:26 left on the clock. Time ran out with 38-3 left on the scoreboard, giving the Wittenberg football team their second conference win of the season.
“We just came out with more focus this game,” said senior Michael Cooper, who explained that they didn’t change up their game plan after the close game against Washington University.
Defensively, senior linebacker Zach Hurtt led the Tigers with 14 total tackles, sophomores Evan Killilea, Mark Swope and Spencer Leno also tallied up tackling numbers in the double digits. Junior Jon Daniels and sophomore Josh Montgomery both had assisted sacks and junior Justin Bartlett recorded a sack for a loss of three yards.
The Tigers will continue NCAC play when they take on Oberlin at home next Saturday at 1 p.m. The Yeomen are 2-1 overall with wins against Kenyon and Hiram, as well as a loss to Wooster.
(Ben Groff / firstname.lastname@example.org)