Klembara Next Back Up; Helps Wabash to a 48-7 Win over Kenyon
Another game, another easy win.
Another game, another 150-yard rusher.
Believe it or not, the newest 150-yard man would have been considered fifth on the depth chart when the season started.
Junior Grant Klembara rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown in his ball-carrying debut as Wabash defeated Kenyon 48-7. Klembara is the fourth running back to rush for more than 150 yards in a game this season. Last week Klembara recorded seven tackles as a linebacker for the Little Giants playing against Ohio Wesleyan in a 38-13 victory by Wabash.
"Every time I came around the corner, they (offensive line) had it blocked right and there was almost nobody for me to juke out," Klembara said. "Those guys did a good job today and I credit those long runs to them."
Klembara converted to running back in the last week. He recorded 7 tackles and a tackle-for-loss in last Saturday's victory over Ohio Wesleyan. The running back position is not completely new to him — he played there as a freshman.
The talented Texas junior gashed the Kenyon defense with quick moves and complemented Anthony Stella's power running. The duo combined for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"Obviously, we run the ball a lot so we don't feel like one guy can carry it every time," Raeburn said. "Somebody keeps stepping up."
The Little Giant offense was more balanced than any prior outing. Michael Putko threw for 217 yards on 17-of-26 passing and 3 touchdowns. Jon Laird caught 5 passes for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"We were really impressed with them (Lords defense) through their first six games," Raeburn said. "Their run defense had been outstanding so we knew if we didn't have balance, we would have a tough day. It was really important for Michael and the receivers to play well, and I think we did."
Defensively, Wabash allowed little Kenyon success. The Lords didn't gain a first down until their sixth drive, and only converted one third down on 13 attempts.
"We knew they were going to try and run it down our throat," defensive lineman Evan Rutter said. "But our run defense has been real tough. The whole week we were talking that it's disrespectful they think they were going to come in here and overpower us. We all took it personally and knew it was just man on man, and that we needed to come out and be stronger and more physical than they were."
Rutter helped bottle up the Lords' run game, which only gained 66 yards on 33 attempts.
Stella started the scoring with a one-yard dive after Laird adjusted on a 46-yard reception to put the offense on the goal line. Laird finished the second Wabash scoring drive when he hauled in a Putko 14-yard pass, 14-0.
"We're prepared when we're called on even though we're asked to block a lot," Laird said. "Today, we couldn't run the ball as much as we're used to and we had confidence in our passing game and receivers stepping up to make plays."
Klembara didn't take long to establish himself as another Little Giant threat. He accounted for 64 total yards and his first career touchdown, including a 50-yard run, 21-0.
Ian MacDougall booted two field goals and Putko found Houston Hodges off the play action over the middle, 34-0. MacDougall is a perfect 10-for-10 this season.
Kenyon removed the goose egg in the fourth quarter, but Wabash responded with scores from Laird and Matt Gibson to close the game.
Nate Scola led the Little Giant defense with 8 tackles, including 3 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. Rutter had 6 tackles and half a sack.
The Little Giants travel to Oberlin next Saturday to play the Yeomen. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m.