/seasons/2011/contrib/20111105k4zr50

17-Game Win Streak Snapped As Wittenberg Falls At Wabash

More news about: Wittenberg

For the first time since 2008, Wittenberg lost a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) football game after host Wabash upended the Tigers 28-17.

The win moved the 10th-ranked Little Giants, who finished second in the NCAC each of the last two years, to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the conference. It also earned Wabash its sixth NCAC championship, while 21st-ranked Wittenberg fell to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference and saw its two-year run atop the standings come to an end.

The Tigers had won 17 straight NCAC games since a November 2008 loss to Wooster, but uncharacteristic mistakes on offense and special teams plagued Wittenberg against Wabash. Among the miscues were two blocked punts, a missed field goal, an interception, two lost fumbles and a bad snap that resulted in a 19-yard loss.

As a result, Wabash only had to put together three scoring drives, all in the first half and none covering more than 64 yards. The Little Giants led 21-0 by halftime on two short scoring runs by quarterback Chase Belton and a 21-yard touchdown pass before putting the game out of reach with a blocked punt in the Tigers' end zone with 7:07 left in the game.

Before the fourth quarter blocked punt, the Tigers had rallied in the third quarter on a five-yard run by senior tailback Corey Weber (Pataskala, Ohio/Watkins Memorial) and a career-long 42-yard field goal by junior Sean Williams (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield). The latter was set up by a blocked punt recovered by senior safety Seth Parker (DeGraff, Ohio/Riverside), but the Tigers missed a golden opportunity to draw within one score when the offense was unable to gain a first down.

Trailing 28-10, the Tigers capitalized on a Wabash mistake as freshman safety Mike McKee (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 25-yard fumble recovery and return. However, the Little Giants successfully covered the ensuing onsides kick and ran the clock out.

Wabash finished with 369 yards of total offense, powered primarily by 243 yards on the ground. Two running backs and Belton piled up at least 79 yards in the game.

Wittenberg was held to a season-low 156 yards of total offense, including a net of 10 yards rushing thanks to four sacks and the aforementioned errant snap. On the bright side, senior wide receiver Josh McKee (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) caught six passes to run his career total to 224. Already the Wittenberg school record-holder, McKee tied the NCAC career receptions record held by Wooster's Brandon Good.

The Tiger defense played valiantly, holding the Wabash offense scoreless in the second half. Sophomore linebacker Spencer Leno (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) piled up a career-high 17 tackles, while junior defensive end Jon Daniels (Springfield, Ohio/South) added 12 tackles, including a sack, to go along with a fumble recovery. Senior linebacker Zach Hurtt (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands) added 10 tackles and a pass broken up.

Wittenberg's hopes of making the NCAA Division III Tournament for a third straight year are now slim, but the Tigers can bolster their case with a win in the season finale against Wooster on Nov. 12. A win over the Scots would also secure sole possession of second place for the Tigers.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Box Score Video
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Photos Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video
4:46 - 3rd
07 Hardin-Simmons
24 Linfield
Video Live stats Audio
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
@ TBA
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap
4:46 - 3rd
07 Hardin-Simmons
24 Linfield
Video Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Salisbury at Ithaca
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Live stats
6:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at WPI
Video Live stats
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Alfred
@ University of Delaware
Video Preview Live stats Audio