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Tigers Pull Away From Denison For Homecoming Victory

More news about: Wittenberg

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Wittenberg Tigers overcame a slow start to pull away from Denison for a 38-20 Homecoming Weekend victory.

Playing before a boisterous crowd numbering more than 4,000, the Tigers improved to 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). Denison, which was off to its best start since 1986 with four wins in its first five games, fell to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the league. The Big Red have not beaten Wittenberg since 1989, the Tigers' first season in the NCAC.

Unlike many of the games between the two teams over the last two decades, this one was a back-and-forth struggle until the fourth quarter. Denison controlled the ball for more than 34 minutes in the game, utilizing a short passing game to effectively put together long drives - especially in the first half.

The Big Red capitalized on the first of three Wittenberg turnovers to jump on top with a field goal at 7:40 of the first quarter, but the Tigers responded with a 73-yard touchdown strike from senior quarterback Reed Florence (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) to senior wide receiver Brendon Cunningham (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) less than a minute later.

In the second quarter, Denison again struck first, this time on a 52-yard punt return by Colin Morris, only to have the Tigers come up with a quick reply as sophomore Evan Grissom (Piqua, Ohio/Piqua) drilled a 30-yard field goal and senior cornerback Victor Banjo (Sugarland, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) blocked a punt to set up a touchdown pass from Florence to junior wideout Zac Wilson (Eaton, Ohio/Eaton) covering three yards.

A total of 31 points were scored over the final 7:32 of the second quarter, capped by Cunningham's second TD reception of the game that trailed Morris' second score.

Denison scored the only points of the third quarter on a field goal, but Cunningham and Florence hooked up again to finally give the Tigers some breathing at the 13:50 mark of the fourth quarter. Wittenberg put the finishing touches on the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore tailback Sean Gary (Indianapolis, Ind./Decatur Central).

For the game, Wittenberg outgained Denison by a healthy margin of 480-301, but the Big Red actually held a 23-20 edge in first downs, in addition to their aforementioned advantage in time of possession. Denison also held a 3-1 edge in the turnover margin, as the Tigers fumbled once and had two passes intercepted in the end zone.

Wittenberg, which also was penalized a whopping 14 times for 118 yards, overcame the miscues with an outstanding second-half defensive performance and a passing attack that racked up 351 yards. Cunningham piled up six catches for 136 yards, Wilson added five receptions for 105 yards and senior Desi Kirkman (Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic) chipped in with three catches for 92 yards.

Florence finished 16-of-22 through the air for 351 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensively, four Tigers reached double figures in tackles, led by senior linebacker Spencer Leno (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) with 13 to go along with two passes broken up. Junior linebacker Nick Gibson (Marysville, Ohio/Fairbanks) added 12 stops and a forced fumble, while senior linebacker Evan Killilea (Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) finished with 11 and sophomore defensive tackle Josh Bannick (Enon, Ohio/Greenon) contributed 10.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video
2:39 4th
0 Plymouth State
66 Brockport
Video Live stats
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
4th - 04:35
27 RPI
45 Wesley
Tickets Video Audio Live stats Preview
4th - 4:16
28 Johns Hopkins
28 Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
3rd - 04:35
24 Monmouth
49 Trine
Video Live stats Audio Live stats
3rd - 6:47
0 Chapman
30 Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Preview Live stats Tickets
8:00 3Q
14 Case Western Reserve
0 Illinois Wesleyan
Video Preview Live stats
Halftime
0 Lakeland
42 UW-Oshkosh
Video Preview Preview Live stats Live stats Audio
3rd - 10:58
0 Eureka
27 St. Thomas
Video Preview Live stats
3rd - 5:52
28 Franklin
28 Wartburg
Video Preview Live stats
15:00 4Q
0 St. John's
10 North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Linfield
Video Live stats Audio
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
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score
2:39 4th
0 Plymouth State
66 Brockport
Video Live stats
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
3rd - 04:35
24 Monmouth
49 Trine
Video Live stats Audio Live stats
4th - 04:35
27 RPI
45 Wesley
Tickets Video Audio Live stats Preview
4th - 4:16
28 Johns Hopkins
28 Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
12:00 PM
Cortland at Union
8:00 3Q
14 Case Western Reserve
0 Illinois Wesleyan
Video Preview Live stats
3rd - 5:52
28 Franklin
28 Wartburg
Video Preview Live stats
3rd - 6:47
0 Chapman
30 Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Preview Live stats Tickets
Halftime
0 Lakeland
42 UW-Oshkosh
Video Preview Preview Live stats Live stats Audio
15:00 4Q
0 St. John's
10 North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3rd - 10:58
0 Eureka
27 St. Thomas
Video Preview Live stats
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Linfield
Video Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Salisbury at Ithaca
@ Newark, Del.
Video 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