The Washington University in St. Louis football team upset No. 19 ranked and previously unbeaten Wabash College, 24-20, on Saturday afternoon at Francis Field in St. Louis, Mo. Senior quarterback Stephen Sherman found junior wide receiver Easton Knott for a game-winning 18-yard touchdown.
The Little Giants took the 20-17 lead with 4:44 to play after backup quarterback Tyler Burke scored from three yards out. Washington U. took possession on its own 33-yard line, and faced a 4th-and-5 from the 38-yard line when Sherman connected with freshman wide receiver Drew Sexton across the middle for a 24-yard gain to keep the drive alive.
A pass interference penalty got Washington University to the Wabash 20-yard line, and then two plays later Sherman found Knott streaking down the left side of the field for the game-winner.
Sherman had a career day as he completed 18-of-28 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Sexton had four catches for a career-high 81 yards, while senior running back Jim O'Brien ran for 73 yards on 18 carries. O'Brien surpassed the 2,000-yard mark for his career, and moved into fifth place on the WUSTL all-time list with 2,040 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Nick Hillard made a career-high 15 stops for the Bears. Hillard, who also added three tackles for loss, a sack and a break-up in the victory, leads the team with 52 tackles.
After a scoreless first quarter where the Bears' defense allowed just 47 yards of offense, the Bears took advantage of good field position to score first. Sophomore running back Chris Castelluccio capped a four-play, 48-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 7:58 left in the second quarter.
Wabash (4-1) tied the score with a one-yard touchdown run by senior Derrick Yoder with 31 seconds remaining in the half to knot the score at 7-7. Washington University took possession at its own 37-yard line after a squib kick by the Little Giants with 27 seconds left.
Determined not to go to halftime tied, Sherman found O'Brien on a screen pass and he scampered through the Little Giant defense for a 63-yard touchdown score to make it 14-7. Washington U. had a 199-169 advantage in total offense in the first half, as Sherman completed 9-of-14 for 144 yards.
An 18-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Eric Chalifour pushed the Washington University lead to 17-7 with 5:45 left in the third quarter. Wabash answered right back just two minutes later, as Yoder took a screen pass from Burke and scampered 40 yards down the sideline.
Washington U. had a 363-361 advantage in total offense, as the Bears won their fourth-straight home game dating back to last season. Junior punter Austin Morman had a tremendous day on special teams for the Bears, with five punts for an average of 45.6, including a career-long 59-yard boot in the second quarter.
Washington University (3-2) begins the second half of the season at the College of Wooster on Saturday, Oct. 16. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (ET), at John P. Papp Stadium in Wooster, Ohio.
Bear Notebook: Wabash leads the overall series with Washington University, 25-16-2 … The Bears are 4-3 in games after a bye week since 2004 … Senior Brandon Brown made his 35th-consecutive start at defensive back … Washington U. is 109-20 (.845) when scoring at least 21 points in a game under head coach Larry Kindbom … The Bears defeat a ranked team for the first time since Sept. 22, 2007 (16-13 win at #14 North Central), and for the third time in the last 10 years.