October 23, 2010

Two-Point Conversion Gives DePauw this Year's First NCAA Division III Football Playoff Berth

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Michael Engle's two-point conversion pass to Nathan Evans with 20 seconds left lifted DePauw to a 32-31 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference victory at Trinity.

The win also gave DePauw at least a share of its fourth SCAC title and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship and are the first in Division III to do so this year. The Tigers earned the program's first NCAA bid last year and claimed their first win at Trinity in six tries,

DePauw improved to 7-0 overall for the first time since 1951 and is 5-0 in SCAC play. With a win over Austin on November 6 the Tigers can claim their first outright SCAC title. Trinity dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the SCAC.

Trinity took a 31-24 lead with just 1:19 left after Ben Robinson picked off a pass at the Trinity 33 and returned it all the way for the go-ahead score.

Engle then went to work from his own 38 and completed five straight passes with the final covering 34 yards to all-America receiver Alex Koors and closing the Trinity lead to 31-30. The Tigers then elected to go for the lead and eventual win and Engle's toss to Evans did just that.

DePauw opened the game with a 70-yard drive which consumed 8:57, but ended on a fourth down fumble from the Trinity 3.

Engle teamed with Colin Doran for a 23-yard score with 2:01 left in the opening stanza, but Trinity knotted the score on its first play after the kickoff as Nykolas McKissic completed a 68-yard scoring pass to Caleb Urban.

The Tigers quickly regained the lead as Engle connected with Koors for a 38-yard score with 13:32 remaining in the second before Trinity's Markham Stayton caught a 22-yard pass from McKissic to knot the score at 14-14. Trinity recovered the ensuing kickoff at the DePauw 31 and then needed just three plays to take a 21-14 lead as Urban caught a 35-yard pass from McKissic.

Trinity extended the lead to 24-14 in the third as Garrett Biel hit a 33-yard field goal with 8:16 left in the quarter. Engle and Koors teamed again for a 30-yard score with 5:25 remaining in the third and Eric Malm tied the game at 24-24 with a career-long 41-yard field goal with 10:56 left in the game.

Engle completed 28 of 41 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Koors caught 10 for 170 yards for his 14th 100-yard receiving game. His three TD receptions tied a school record and with his second catch of the game he broke the DePauw and SCAC career reception records. Brayden Dahlstrom hauled in eight for 98 yards.

McKissic completed 14 of 22 for 228 yards and three scores with five going to Urban for 119 yards.

Adam Hawkins, James Foglton and Matt Johnson each had eight tackles for DePauw which limited Trinity to just 271 yards and only 43 on the ground. The Tigers finished with 11 tackles for loss including eight sacks totaling 47 yards. Jarrod Burns led Trinity with 14 tackles and Robinson followed with 11.

DePauw held a 28-14 edge in first downs and outgained Trinity 474-271.

The Tigers return home for a non-conference game against Birmingham-Southern on Saturday, October 30. Kickoff from Blackstock Stadium is set for 1 p.m.

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