CHICAGO, IL. – Wabash brought the University of Chicago's eight-game home winning streak to an emphatic halt Saturday at Amos Alonso Stagg Field, 49-7.
Wabash scored through the air, on the ground, on a blocked punt, punt return, field goal, and interception to route the host Maroon and improve to 3-0.
"We didn't score any safeties and we couldn't kick extra points but we found a lot of other ways to score," Little Giant Coach Erik Raeburn said. "Special teams had some huge plays. We had some terrible breakdowns on special teams too. But it's nice to get some scores when your offense isn't on the field."
The special team plays were the backbreaker for Chicago. Leading 7-0 after a Wes Chamblee six-yard TD pass from Chase Belton, Nate Scola broke through to block a punt, pick the ball up and rumble 34 yards to make the game 14-0.
Brady Young caught his first TD pass of the year from 12 yards and then Jonathan Horn hauled in a 43-yarder for a 19-0 halftime lead.
If there was any doubt about the outcome it was probably sealed early in the third quarter when Wes Chamblee set a Wabash school record with a 94-yard punt return for the score, 26-0.
Throughout the offensive onslaught, Chicago wasn't going anywhere. The Little Giants held the Maroon to 48 yards rushing and 89 passing.
"I believe so far it was our best game of the year," said defensive lineman Pat Clegg. "In the first half it wasn't if we were going to get in the backfield it was who was going to make the tackle first … in the backfield. So it was a great win."
The defense had six tackles for loss, four quarterback sacks and four interceptions. Maroon receiving star Dee Brizzolara was held to three catches for 37 yards.
The defense played without starting middle linebacker C.J. Gum, out with an injury. Freshman A.J. Akinribade and sophomore Cody Buresh stepped up as starters with eight and six tackles, respectively. Luke Zinsmaster had nine stops, a sack, and a tackle for loss.
"Besides giving up the late score, I thought we played real well," Sophomore Scola said. Scola started at middle linebacker in Gum's absence. "We worked real hard this week on the run. We knew they were going to come out and try to run the ball on us. Buresh and AJ stepped up. We all add to step up with CJ being out. I'm looking forward to having him back next week. With him being out and us playing as well as we did, I can't wait till we get him back because it's going to be even better."
Raeburn was thrilled with the effort of his young defensive stand ins.
"We had some young guys in there on defense, so to play this well with out (CJ) with some really young guys is encouraging," the head coach said. "I think those young guys did a pretty good job. And I thought our defensive line did a good job up front."
Chicago's only score came on a 16-yard catch by Brizzolara to open the fourth quarter, 34-7. Wabash added a touchdown on the ground and David Direnfield's 68-yard interception return with seconds remaining.
One of the few negatives for Wabash was continued penalty problems, 10 for 80 yards with most of those coming in the first half.
Tyler Holmes led the Wabash rush with 60 yards on 10 carries. Horn caught five passes for 77 yards with sophomore Sean Hildebrand catching two for 29. Chamblee had his third straight 100-yard-plus all-purpose game. He finished with 139 total yards.
Belton had an efficient 151 yards passing on 10-of-17 passes and one interception.
Wabash is home Saturday to host the Kenyon Lords for Homecoming.