GAMBIER, Ohio - The Wittenberg Tigers jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised from there en route to a 38-7 victory over host Kenyon.
It has been 99 years since Kenyon last registered a win over Wittenberg on the gridiron, and the Tigers put together three first quarter drives that all but guaranteed a 22nd straight victory in the series. Over the final three quarters, Wittenberg struggled to find the same consistency on offense but still managed to pull away and improve to 6-1 overall and 6-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC).
The loss dropped Kenyon to 4-4 overall and 4-3 in the league, while the Tigers maintained their position atop the NCAC standings. Wittenberg has three regular season games remaining, starting with a home date against Ohio Wesleyan, followed by a road trip to current NCAC co-leader Wabash.
Sophomore running back Sean Gary (Indianapolis, Ind./Decatur) started the scoring with a two-yard run, followed by a 32-yard scoring strike from senior quarterback Reed Florence (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) to senior wide receiver Brendon Cunningham (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) and a 44-yard connection from Florence to senior tight end Stephen Zumdick (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights), all in the first 15 minutes. After Kenyon found the end zone, sophomore Evan Grissom (Piqua, Ohio/Piqua) hit a 21-yard field goal just before the half to stake the Tigers to a 24-7 advantage at the intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, Wittenberg capped the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Florence to senior wide receiver Jonathan Stoner (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green) with 3:02 left in the game and junior linebacker Nick Gibson (Marysville, Ohio/Fairbanks) returned an interception 76 yards for his first career touchdown.
Gary led the Tigers' rushing attack with 71 yards on 16 carries, while Stoner finished with the most receptions (4) and Cunningham led in receiving yards with 70. Florence ended up 14-of-26 for 257 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Senior linebacker Spencer Leno (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) led Wittenberg's defense with 11 tackles, followed by senior linebacker Evan Killilea (Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) and Gibson with 10 stops apiece. Senior defensive end Kyle Sanning (Fairborn, Ohio/Tecumseh) added five tackles, including three for loss (two sacks).