September 3, 2011

Tigers Reach Landmark With Season-Opening 45-28 Victory Over Capital

More news about: Wittenberg

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — An achievement nearly 130 years in the making took slightly more than 21 hours to complete. The Wittenberg Tigers became the first NCAA Division III program to reach 700 all-time wins after completing a season-opening 45-28 victory over visiting Capital University in a game that was suspended overnight due to severe weather.

The Tigers held a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter on Saturday, but play was stopped when lightning was spotted in the distance. More than an hour later, the gathering storm clouds forced a postponement, and administrators from the two Central Ohio Lutheran-affiliated universities agreed to attempt to finish the game on Sunday.

When play resumed, the Wittenberg passing attack picked up right where it left off the night before. By game's end, senior Josh McKee (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) had become the program's career receptions leader, senior Ben Zoeller (Lousville, Ky./St. Xavier) had set a new standard for passing yards in a game, senior Michael Cooper (Springfield, Ohio/South) had a career-best 193 receiving yards, including the second-longest touchdown reception in school history at 92 yards, and the Tigers had their first win over an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opponent since 2001.

The win broke a five-game losing streak against Capital and a six-game skid against OAC rivals, but most importantly it got the 2011 season off to a strong start while creating a new benchmark for NCAA Division II or III programs. Eighteen NCAA Division I programs (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision) had previously surpassed 700 wins, but Wittenberg is the first in either Division II or III. Click here to read complete news release and watch additional video.

The game opened in hot, humid conditions, which apparently suited the Tigers as they ran out to a 21-0 lead by the early part of the second quarter. Sophomore Logan White (Springfield, Ohio/Graham) made the most of his first career carry, opening the scoring with a 13-yard run with 10:57 left in the first quarter. That was followed by Zoeller's 92-yard scoring strike to Cooper — second only to a 94-yard hook-up between Greg Cornett and Skip Ivery in 2002 — and a four-yard TD catch by McKee from sophomore Reed Florence (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern).

Capital rallied to within 10 points by halftime, before play was suspended with 13:54 on the clock in the third quarter. When the game resumed on Sunday, Zoeller and McKee hooked up on third-and-15 for a 40-yard touchdown pass, but Capital answered with a long drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal.

Wittenberg put the game out of reach with two more long scoring strikes from Zoeller, first to Cooper covering 52 yards and then to McKee covering 29 yards. In between, the Tiger defense came up big, stopping the Crusaders on a fourth-and-1 situation near midfield. Junior defensive tackle Justin Bartlett (Washington, Pa./McGuffey) got penetration and knocked the Capital ballcarrier backwards to force a critical turnover on downs.

The Tigers piled up 556 yards of total offense in the game, compared to 362 for Capital. The difference was Wittenberg's passing attack, starting with Zoeller's 456 yards through the air, which broke the record of 439 set by Ryan Holmes in 2004 at Wooster. McKee hauled in nine passes, giving him 181 in his career — three more than Patrick Williams between 2006 and 2009. McKee finished with 159 receiving yards, followed by Cooper with 193. In addition, sophomore Jonathan Stoner (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green) contributed four catches for 44 yards and sophomore Brendon Cunningham (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) chipped in with three receptions for 48 yards.

While the Tigers' re-built defense allowed 28 points, the unit performed well considering several short fields created by turnovers. Three players — including two making their first collegiate starts — led the Tigers with 11 tackles each: sophomore safety Mark Swope (Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn), senior linebacker Zach Hurtt (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands) and sophomore linebacker Spencer Leno (Massillon, Ohio/Washington).

The Tigers now face a slightly shorter week than normal to prepare for North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) rival Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday, Sept. 10. Wittenberg will take a 21-game regular season win streak into that contest, which kicks off a 7 p.m. at historic Selby Stadium. In addition, the Tigers are riding a 13-game NCAC win streak after capturing the last two conference titles without a loss.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 31, at N.C. Wesleyan 28
Box Score
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Framingham State 29, at Fitchburg State 26
Box Score Recap
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
2nd - 13:38
14 RPI
0 Castleton State
Preview Live Stats Video Tickets
2nd - 06:58
12 Maine Maritime
0 Massachusetts Maritime
Preview Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Gallaudet at Rochester
Live Stats Video Audio
2nd - 12:48
6 Alfred State
7 Husson
Preview Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Randolph-Macon
Live Stats Video Audio
End of 1st
7 Moravian
10 Johns Hopkins
Live Stats Video Audio
2nd - 15:00
3 Frostburg State
6 Utica
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Alfred at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Newport News Apprentice at Catholic
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Becker at Nichols
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Middlebury
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Worcester State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Hamilton at Tufts
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Bates at Amherst
Preview Live Stats
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
1:00 PM
Salve Regina at William Paterson
Live Stats Audio
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
1:00 PM
Allegheny at Hiram
Live Stats Live Stats Video Video
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at St. Vincent
Preview Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Thiel
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
1:00 PM
Endicott at Kean
Live Stats Video
Start of 1st
0 Coast Guard
0 Hampden-Sydney
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Averett
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Albright at Widener
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio Audio
0 LaGrange
0 Greensboro
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Dickinson
Live Stats Video Audio
Start of 1st
0 Rowan
0 Wesley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Juniata at Gettysburg
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lincoln (Pa.) at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Denison
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
Mount Ida at Springfield
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Hartwick at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
WPI at Norwich
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Minnesota-Morris
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Methodist
Video Video
1:30 PM
Ohio Northern at Baldwin Wallace
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Capital
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Anderson
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at John Carroll
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
King's at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Geneva at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Muskingum
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Defiance
Live Stats Video
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
2:00 PM
Bowdoin at Williams
Video
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at TCNJ
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Marietta at Otterbein
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hope at Lakeland
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Olivet at Aurora
Live Stats Video Audio
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
2:00 PM
North Park at Washington U.
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at Wheaton (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at St. John's
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Live Stats Video
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
2:00 PM
Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Sul Ross State
Preview Live Stats Audio
Final
at $event.winner.name $event.winner.result, $event.loser.name $event.loser.result
Box Score
2:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Central
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Coe
Audio
2:00 PM
Eureka at Greenville
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Loras at Augustana
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Louisiana College
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Simpson
Live Stats Video
2:30 PM
Rose-Hulman at Hanover
Preview Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Plymouth State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Wayland Baptist
Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whittier
Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Willamette at Cal Lutheran
Live Stats Video Audio
3:30 PM
Alma at Concordia-Chicago
Live Stats Video
3:30 PM
Carroll at Lake Forest
Live Stats Video
3:30 PM
Whitworth at La Verne
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Westfield State at Mass-Dartmouth
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Crown at St. Scholastica
Live Stats Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
DePauw at Wittenberg
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
6:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Brockport State
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
UW-River Falls at South Dakota Mines
7:00 PM
Guilford at Southern Virginia
@ Salem Stadium
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Oberlin
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Ferrum at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Centre at Washington and Lee
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Kenyon at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Wilkes at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Pacific at Dubuque
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Platteville at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Chicago at Elmhurst
Preview Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:30 PM
Adrian at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Martin Luther at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Southwestern at East Texas Baptist
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Brockport State
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
DePauw at Wittenberg
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Platteville at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at TCNJ
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Muskingum
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at John Carroll
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
King's at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
Start of 1st
0 Rowan
0 Wesley
Live Stats Audio Audio
Start of 1st
0 Coast Guard
0 Hampden-Sydney
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Denison
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Thiel
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hartwick at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hobart at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio Audio
End of 1st
7 Moravian
10 Johns Hopkins
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at Wheaton (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Simpson
Live Stats Video

What We're Reading