September 8, 2012

Wabash Overcomes Penalties to Pick Up Win At Hanover

More news about: Wabash

HANOVER, Ind.. – A game featuring 15 penalties will always be called ugly but there is no such thing as a pretty loss. Instead, Wabash College's Little Giants will take Saturday's ugly win, 33-12, at Hanover.

View photos from the Little Giants' victory here and here.

"Clearly the penalties killed us, offensively and defensively," Coach Erik Raeburn said. "I think we had 400 yards of penalties, probably not quite that bad but I'd guess we're leading the nation in penalty yards."

The fifth-year coach had reason to be unhappy after watching his Little Giants get whistled for 15 penalties and 152 yards. But he also had reason to be pleased with a defense that played well in the first half andresponded to a challenge in the second. The game also featured a bright showing by several newcomers.

A game of great plays, personal fouls, and missed opportunities swung in the fourth quarter after the host Panthers pulled to within a touchdown with just under nine minutes to play. Colton Zeck caught a two-yard pass from Dexter Britt to give the Panthers hope of an upset.

The hosts couldn't execute the ensuing on-side kick attempt setting up Wabash with a short field. Quarterback Chase Belton completed a 17-yard pass to freshman Eddie Cmehil and then another to running back Troy Meyers for 17 more. Meyers carried three times for 24 more yards.

Sean Hildebrand then caught a short Belton pass and fought his way across the goal line for a 7-yard score, 26-12. The junior receiver had six catches for 77 yards and finds himself in a leadership role this season.

"I was nervous because it was the first game of the year," Hildebrand said. "It felt good getting back out here; it was really nothing too different than other years. What I really wanted to do was help the younger guys and get them comfortable."

Wabash quickly put the game away after Hildebrand's touchdown with a defensive score on the following Panther possession. Austin Hodges returned an interception 39 yards for the final score.

"That one was kind of thrown right to me," Hodges said of his second pick of the day. He called the pick a stress reliever. "I was getting nervous it was 16-9 or whatever it was but until that play I was nervous out there."

Despite the ebb and flow to follow, Wabash opened strong scoring on its first possession. Junior college transfer Jon Laird had an immediate impact catching two passes, the second an 18-yard score.

"It was huge for the first game to put a drive together and get a score," Laird said. "The fact it happened be me who scored was cool. I'm glad to be here."

Laird's debut was impressive, leading the Little Giants with seven catches for 94 yards.

"Since I stepped on campus it's been one of the greatest experiences of my life," he said. "I was telling someone else over here that this program and this school are just the perfect fit for me. This coaching staff and the players … we all just bond. Other people say 'come to our program, it's a family' but if you come to Wabash you bond and it really is a family. It's awesome that I'm here, contributing and playing with a bunch of great guys."

Wabash got back on the scoreboard on an Ian MacDougall 36-yard field goal, 9-0. Hanover's preseason All-American Daniel Passaflume scored on a 10-yard catch to make it 9-6. Then former defensive back and now wide receiver Andrew Gibson made a nice move and found himself wide open for a 49-yard pass and run to put Wabash up 16-9.

The only other points of the contest came on MacDougall's second field goal, a 36-yarder, 19-4, early in the fourth quarter. "I have my faith in God and I have my faith I'll get a good snap from Alex Hirsch, a good hold from Cameron Sobleski and if they do their job I just have to do mine."

Wabash did generate 356 yards of total offense, most from the passing game's 327. Hanover mustered just 11 yards rushing and 211 passing. Belton hit on 25 of 32 passes for 327 yards and three scores. Meyers rushed for 43 yards on nine carries.

Jonathan Koop led Wabash with 12 tackles. AJ Akrinbade had nine tackles and an interception. Pat Clegg and Nate Scola added seven and six stops, respectively.

Wabash (1-0) will open NCAC play Saturday at Denison.
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
Sewanee at Kenyon
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos