/seasons/2012/contrib/20121006jpim4u

Wabash Grinds Out a 27-24 Win at Wittenberg

More news about: Wabash

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – A little muscle and grit made sure Wittenberg didn't rally past the Little Giants here Saturday afternoon. Wabash used an extended, clock-killing drive for a 27-24 NCAC win.

The annual heavyweight showdown came on Witt's homecoming weekend. "We made a ton of mistakes today," Coach Erik Raeburn said.. "But you don't schedule Bash for homecoming."

The Tigers stole second half momentum several times and seemingly were poised to do it again when Jimmy Dehnke scored from 6 yards, 27-24, with just over nine minutes to play. But Wabash responded with one of the more memorable drives in recent years.

The Little Giants took over with 9:32 remaining. The line provided holes just big enough for 17 plays covering 48 yards. The final play of the drive was kneel down.

"It's pretty simple. Wabash always fights," said running Tyler Holmes who ran the ball 12 of the 17 plays. "That's what it took on the last drive. Coming into it, I knew it was going to be all run and if we got it, we'd win.  I was going to do what I could and I knew the line would do what it did all game."

And the line opened holes big enough to chew up the clock and secure the win. "We ran two plays -  inside zone to the left and outside zone to the right," left guard Mark Riffle said. We just kept hammering and hammering.  They were tired and we were in shape.  That's what we do at practice, constant reps.  Their guys were huffing and puffing."

The win put Wabash right back in the middle of the NCAC conference race. Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan are unbeaten in league play while both Wabash and Wittenberg have one loss. The win was significant for Coach Erik Raeburn, not just the second straight over Witt but the 100th of his career.

"It's hard to get a win here so it doesn't matter what number it is," Raeburn said. "It feels good. I'm proud of our guys and how hard they played."

The Little Giants got off to a dominating start with a touchdown from defensive end Charlie Kolisek, who lined up as a tight end. Holmes added two-yard score before Witt found the first half scoredboard with a field goal, 13-3.

One of the game's big moments was the opening kickoff of the second half when the Little Giants forced sa fumble. The Wabash offense wasted no time putting seven more on the board behind a Chase Belton four-yard run. Belton had an efficient day passing hitting on 12 of 17 for 218 yards.

But Witt, as these two teams always do, just wouldn't go away. Dehnke picked up touchdown runs of nine and two yards to pull the Tigers to 20-17.

That set up Wabash for its first big gutsy response. After a swap of possessions, the Little Giants covered 86 yards in eight plays with a key component Andrew Gibson's 30-yard catch. C.P. Porter ran it in it to push the margin back to ten points, 27-17.

The defense held Witt but on the following punt Wabash was assessed its third personal foul of the game. The mental breakdown was followed by a fumble on the first play of scrimmage handing the ball right back to Witt.

Dehnke then ran on five of the six following plays, including a six yard score, 27-24. That set up the impressive run by Wabash to finish the game. The freshman back ran 24 times for 11 yards and three scores.

Raeburn was not happy with the mistakes and mental breakdowns but was beaming over the way his offense performed, particularly on the final drive.

"It wasn't perfect by any stretch," the coach said. "We made a ton of stupid mistakes and kept giving them chances but I'm really happy with our team's overall effort.

"On that last drive, we sustained the blocks a little longer.  We were close in first half of popping a couple of runs and their defensive linemen and linebackers were doing a good job of getting off the blocks.  Particularly in the fourth quarter, we finished our blocks a little better."

The Little Giants ran the ball 52 times for 169 yards. Holmes led all ball carriers with 20 carries for 76 yards. Porter had 14 carries for 47.

The 169 yards was key against a defense Raeburn praised as tough and physical.

"The line is starting to feel comfortable at each position and as a unit we're picking up each other's tendencies," Riffle said. "We're communicating better.  We've been putting in the time in film and it shows."

Cody Buresh led the defense with 10 tackle. Nate Scola added nine stops and AJ Akinribade had 8 tackles.

"Witt was running quarterback read a lot," Buresh said. "Our defensive linemen were getting washed down.  We figured it out and made adjustments. The hard hat defense and had to go to work."

Wabash travels to Washington University-St. Louis next weekend.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
TBA
Moravian at King's
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Live Stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
TBA
Heidelberg at Olivet
TBA
Worcester State at Salve Regina
TBA
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
TBA
Catholic at McDaniel
TBA
Grove City at Juniata
TBA
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
TBA
Carthage at Aurora
TBA
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
TBA
Knox at Eureka
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live Stats Live Stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live Stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
8:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live Stats
Maintenance in progress.