/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.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham