The Tiger football team exceeded the lofty expectations thrust upon them by the pomp and circumstance of homecoming, and thrilled the capacity crowd with a 49-7 NCAC victory over the Kenyon Lords on Saturday.
In the first quarter, tight end Clay Mangen, ’15, was able to leap above the tight man coverage to snag Zach Jenkins’, ’16, second touchdown pass of the day, and all the points they would need to overtake their visiting foes. However, the lack of necessity did not stop the high-powered Tiger offense, as they compiled 414 yards of total offense for the day. It was Jenkins who took his comfortable reigns under center to lead the Tigers in the first half. Jenkins, who completed 10 of his 18 first-half passes for 140 yards, also helped the Tiger rush attack, rushing for 58 yards, including a 47-yard scamper on a quarterback draw and touchdown run. With a 35-0 lead at half-time, the Tigers turned to Timmy Bates, ’18, who completed five of his eight passes, including the first touchdown pass of his career, pairing perfectly with his first career touchdown run a drive later.
The Tigers got the dependable production out of the backfield they have come to count on this year, as Jimmy Dehnke, ’16, and Sean Gray, ’16, once again combined for over 100 yards, with 79 coming from Gray alone. Gray also had a receiving touchdown on the day.
The defense was stout against the Lords, allowing only 197 yards of total offense. Hard-hitting corner back Winston Thomas made his impact felt, with 10 total tackles — including six solo. Evan Killilea, ’15, who is a fixture atop the box scores leading tackler list, also amassed 10 for the day. Desmond Daniel, ’16, also came up big for the Tigers, nabbing a late interception.
Tiger Special Teams ignited the Tiger homecoming crowd when Victor Banjo, ’15, blocked a second quarter field goal attempt by Kenyon, and Ryan Myers, ’16, returned it 84 yards for a Tiger touchdown.
The Tigers will now turn their attention to next week’s match-up with Ohio Wesleyan. The Battling Bishops come into the contest at 4-3, and an even 3-3 in conference play – with two losses coming against teams the Tigers have beaten this year. The Bishops’ defense is lead by linebacker Kenton Leppla, who has 51 tackles for the year. The Tigers can expect to see Dominick Orsini, ’17, under center. The first-year starter has completed over 60 percent of his passes on the year.