The Wittenberg football team bounced back from a tough opening loss at Butler to blowout DePauw University 45-0. The Tigers entered the game (0-1) overall after traveling to Butler University and losing 49-24. Turnovers in the first half of that game left the team trailing 42-3 at halftime, with the outcome never in doubt. But, one positive takeaway from the game was the fact that the Tigers outscored Butler 21-7 in the second half. The Tigers hoped that the solid play from the second half would carry over to their first North Coast Athletic Conference contest. DePauw came into the game at (0-1) overall, having lost 10-7 in their season opener.
The Tigers exploded out of the gate, and quickly led 14-0 in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Reed Florence scored on rushing touchdowns of one and four yards to stake the Tigers to the early lead. Wittenberg then pushed the score to 17-0 on a 22 yard field goal by Evan Grissom early in the second quarter. The team’s ground attack continued to dominate, as sophomore running back Jimmy Dehnke plunged in from three yards away for a 24-0 lead. The Wittenberg defense dominated DePauw for the majority of the first half, and it was a 24-0 Wittenberg lead at halftime.
The second half began in much the same way as the first, with the Wittenberg rushing attack dominating on the way to a touchdown. Dehnke again scored a touchdown on the ground, this time from five yards away. Florence then decided to get in on the action through the air, throwing a nine yard touchdown to sophomore running back Sean Gary. Wittenberg led 38-0 at the end of the third quarter, and there was little left to do but enjoy the victory. Sophomore quarterback Zack Jenkins ran the ball in from five yards away to cap the Wittenberg scoring. The defense held DePauw scoreless for the remainder of the game, solidifying their first shutout since 2010 against Kenyon.
Florence threw for 212 yards, including one touchdown and one interception. The signal-caller also rushed for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Gary led the Tigers on the ground with 110 yards on just 14 carries, while also catching four passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. Dehnke notched 45 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. Junior Will Stocker also ran for 33 yards on seven carries. Senior wide receiver Brendon Cunningham led the Tigers with 64 yards receiving on six catches. Junior Desi Kirkman had 40 yards receiving, followed by junior Zac Wilson and senior Jonathan Stoner who each had 27 yards through the air. Senior Kyle Sanning led the defense with seven total tackles. Evan Killilea, Brady Vanover and Issac Mallory each recorded a sack for the dominating Wittenberg defense.
The Tigers host Oberlin on Saturday, September 28, with a 6:00 p.m. start time. Wittenberg will be heavy favorites, so come out and enjoy another blowout win for the Tigers.