/seasons/2012/contrib/20120901i0a11k

Wittenberg Forces Six Turnovers In 44-17 Ambush Of Capital

More news about: Wittenberg

For the second straight year, the Wittenberg Tigers ambushed the Capital Crusaders in the season opener. A year after becoming the first non-Division I program to reach 700 all-time victories with a 45-28 win in Springfield, the Tigers turned the trick again with a 44-17 win on Capital's home field.

Wittenberg jumped out to a 30-3 lead by halftime and never looked back in the 2012 edition of the rivalry. The Tigers, who forced six Capital turnovers while racking up 475 yards of total offense, have now won 30 of 37 all-time meetings between the two Central Ohio Lutheran universities.

In his first collegiate start, junior quarterback Reed Florence (Springfield, Ohio/Southeastern) threw for 320 yards, easily a career high. He tossed a pair of touchdown passes and scored two more touchdowns on the ground, although he was intercepted three times by the Crusaders.

A fast start made all the difference, as Florence completed all four of his passes on Wittenberg's opening possession before finishing the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge.

"We had our first 10 plays set out for us, and we went over them about 30 times during the week," Florence said. "We executed just perfectly on each play."

The momentum carried throughout the first half, even after the Crusaders responded to the Tigers' first score with a field goal. Florence capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive near the end of the first quarter with a two-yard scoring run, and then senior kicker Sean Williams (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) added a 20-yard field goal. The barrage continued with a 41-yard scoring strike from Florence to junior wide receiver Jonathan Stoner (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green) and the first career touchdown from senior wide receiver Ethan Sharpin (Springfield, Ohio/Kenton Ridge), who picked up a blocked punt by junior cornerback Victor Banjo (Sugarland, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) and returned it 11 yards for the score.

Wittenberg stretched the lead to 37-3 with a five-yard connection between Florence and junior tight end Stephen Zumdick (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) in the third quarter. After Capital scored the next 14 points, the Tigers put the finishing touches on things with a 20-yard touchdown run by freshman tailback Jimmy Dehnke (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson).

Dehnke finished with 67 yards on 17 carries, while junior JaVanh Sanders (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) chipped in with 16 rushes for 45 yards. Through the air, junior Brendon Cunningham (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) was Florence's favorite target with 102 yards on five receptions. Junior Desi Kirkman (Lima, Ohio/Catholic Central) added three catches for 73 yards.

Defensively, Wittenberg was paced by junior linebacker Evan Killilea (Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) with nine tackles, including two for loss and a sack, which forced a fourth-quarter fumble by the Crusaders. Sophomore linebacker Nick Gibson (Marysville, Ohio/Fairbanks) added seven tackles and a pass broken up. Fumbles were recovered by senior defensive end Jon Daniels (Springfield, Ohio/South) and junior linebacker Erick Collins (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield), while Banjo, senior cornerback Karlos Marshall (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) and senior cornerback Jamaal Everett (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) all intercepted passes in the game.

The Crusaders were limited to 267 yards of total offense, including just 77 through the air for a team that finished in the top 30 nationally in passing in 2011.

"To come out of the gates and play the way we did, I couldn't be more pleased," said Head Coach Joe Fincham. "Considering how many first-time starters we have, especially the guys who are handling the football, we played very well."

The Tigers have a week off before opening North Coast Athletic Conference action with home date against DePauw. First kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Edwards-Maurer Field.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Framingham State
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Juniata
Live stats
12:00 PM
Becker at Dean
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Salisbury at TCNJ
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
MIT at Catholic
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Maine Maritime
Video Preview
12:00 PM
Endicott at Hobart
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Nichols at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Widener at Albright
Audio
1:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Montclair State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bowdoin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Williams at Colby
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Amherst at Hamilton
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Moravian
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Brevard at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Geneva at Thiel
Live stats
1:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Southern Virginia
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Lycoming at King's
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Husson at Western New England
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Wooster at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Allegheny at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Ferrum
Video Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Gettysburg at McDaniel
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Denison
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Northwestern (Minn.)
1:00 PM
Crown at Eureka
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Northern
Audio Preview Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Defiance at Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Marietta
1:30 PM
Franklin at Bluffton
Live stats
1:30 PM
Anderson at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Manchester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Worcester State at Westfield State
2:00 PM
Coast Guard at Norwich
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Fitchburg State
Live stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Preview Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Sewanee at Millsaps
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Rhodes
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Greenville at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Chapman at Trinity (Texas)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Loras
Video Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Washington U. at Wartburg
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus
Live stats
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Carleton
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Central
Audio
2:00 PM
Simpson at Coe
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Ripon at Knox
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Macalester
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:30 PM
WPI at Springfield
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Beloit at Cornell
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Hartwick
Audio
4:00 PM
Carroll at UW-La Crosse
4:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at St. Scholastica
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
UW-Eau Claire at George Fox
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Salve Regina at Western Connecticut
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Adrian at UW-Stevens Point
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Tufts at Wesleyan
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Methodist at Averett
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Centre at Berry
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
Lake Forest at Lawrence
Video Video
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
St. Vincent at Grove City
Box Score Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Carthage at Augustana
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Chicago at Illinois College
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
McMurry at Sul Ross State
Audio
7:30 PM
Capital at Wilmington
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Arizona Christian at Whittier
Video Live stats
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio Audio
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Preview Live stats Preview
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Live stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio