The Wittenberg football team continued its dominance over the NCAC last Saturday, dominating Hiram College 49-9. The Tigers traveled to Hiram on Saturday, October 5 to take on the Terriers. The team entered the game with an overall record of (2-1) overall and (2-0) in North Coast Athletic Conference contests. The Tigers were coming off of a 59-0 demolishing of Oberlin, which was preceded by a 45-0 win over DePauw. Against Oberlin, Wittenberg’s offense racked up a school record 713 yards of total offense in a dominating performance. Hiram entered the game at (2-2) overall and (1-2) in NCAC play.
The game started slow for both teams, but the Tigers were able to score late in the first quarter on a five yard touchdown pass from senior Reed Florence to junior Desi Kirkman. The Wittenberg defense put the offense in great scoring position in the second quarter, with both of the Wittenberg scoring drives both covering less than 40 yards. Sophomore tailback Sean Gary scored on a five yard touchdown run, followed by a one yard coring plunge by Florence. The first half ended with Wittenberg leading 21-0, as the defense utterly dominated the Terriers.
The Tigers scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, with all three scoring drives only taking a total of four plays and covering 81 yards. The defense continued to set Florence and the offense up with short fields again and again. Kirkman hauled in two more receiving touchdowns from Florence in the quarter for 36 and 58 yards, respectively. Kirkman’s touchdown grabs were sandwiched by a two yard touchdown pass from Florence to senior Brendon Cunningham. Hiram was able to get on the board just before the end of the third quarter, pushing the score to 42-7 entering the fourth. Hiram’s defense force a safety early in the fourth, but the outcome had all but been guaranteed since halftime. Sophomore quarterback Zack Jenkins finished the Wittenberg scoring for the day with an electrifying 50 yard touchdown run. The Tigers finished with a 49-9 victory over the Terriers.
Florence led Wittenberg through the air with 237 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Jimmy Dehnke led the team with 42 yards rushing on ten carries, followed by Gary with 25 yards and Jenkins with 50. Kirkman had a career day receiving, catching six passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Zac Wilson also had 49 yards receiving. Seniors Victor Banjo and Evan Killilea each snagged an interception on defense. Freshman defensive lineman Brady Vanover tied for the team lead with 11 tackles, led the team with two sacks, four and a half tackles for loss and forced and recovered a fumble. Killilea added ten tackles and one and a half sacks, and senior Spencer Leno tied for the team lead with 11 tackles.
The Tigers have outscored their last three opponents by a combined score of 153-9. Wittenberg next hosts Denison on Saturday, October 12. Denison is (4-1) overall and (3-1) in NCAC play this season, with their only loss coming to Wabash.