/seasons/2013/contrib/201311169bcfw7

Wittenberg Completes Run To NCAC Title With 56-0 Win Over Allegheny

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Tigers Complete Run To NCAC Title With 56-0 Win Over Allegheny

Photo by Erin Pence

Noah Johanson hands off to JaVanh Sanders, who rushed for a career-high 194 yards in a 56-0 win over Allegheny.

Photo by Erin Pence

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Wittenberg Tigers put the finishing touches on their eighth outright North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship with a dominating 56-0 victory over visiting Allegheny.

The 2013 title is Wittenberg's 12th overall since joining the NCAC in 1989, and its fourth in the last five years. The Tigers had already secured the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament with a win a week earlier over Wabash, but the shutout of the Gators ensured Wittenberg plenty of momentum heading into the Big Dance.

The day started with recognition of one of the largest senior classes in Wittenberg football history as more than 30 players lined the track in front of the stands with family and friends. The Tigers then proceeded to ambush Allegheny, which dropped to 0-10 overall and 0-9 in the NCAC, for 49 first-half points.

Senior quarterback Reed Florence (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) continued his record-breaking season with two rushing touchdowns two passing scores before hanging up his helmet midway through the second quarter. Sophomore running back Jimmy Dehnke (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) added a 14-yard touchdown run, senior tight end Stephen Zumdick (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) caught touchdown passes from Florence and sophomore Zack Jenkins (Frostproof, Fla./Frostproof), senior wide receiver Desi Kirkman (Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic) hauled in a TD pass, and senior tailback JaVanh Sanders (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) rounded out the first-half blitz with a 71-yard TD scamper.

It was the first of two scoring runs for Sanders, and it was the longest run from scrimmage of the season for the Tigers as a team. He carried the load for much of the second half, finishing with a team season-high of 194 yards on 18 carries.

Florence was efficient, completing 10-of-12 passes for 119 yards. Senior quarterback Noah Johanson (Medina, Ohio/Medina) added 7-of-8 passing for 88 yards and Jenkins went 2-for-3 for 37 yards. Nine different players caughts at least one pass in the game, led by sophomore wide receiver Zach Culvahouse (Fort Myers, Fla./Estero) with five catches for 63 yards.

A host of Tigers got into the act on the other side of the ball as well, but it was freshman defensive lineman Brady Vanover (Maineville, Ohio/Kings) who made two of the game's biggest plays. He blocked a first-half punt to set up one score and he made his first career interception to set up another.

Senior linebacker Spencer Leno (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) led the Tiger defense, which posted its third shutout of the season, with five tackles. Wittenberg has held five of its 10 regular season opponents to nine points or less.

Ranked 10th in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll and 11th by d3football.com, Wittenberg heads into the NCAA Division III Tournament with a record of 9-1, including nine straight wins since opening the season with a 49-24 loss to NCAA Division I Butler. The Tigers, ranked fourth in the latest North Region rankings, will learn their postseason fate on Sunday.

First round NCAA Division III Tournament games will take place at noon Saturday, Nov. 23. The Tigers have a 20-13 record in 15 all-time national tournament appearances.

Sep. 16: All times Eastern
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at Worcester State 42, Fitchburg State 26
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at Ursinus 35, Juniata 28
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Salve Regina 27, at Dean 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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Massachusetts Maritime 34, at Maine Maritime 25
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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Buffalo State 53, at Morrisville State 48
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Stevenson 52, at FDU-Florham 14
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Union 31, at Gallaudet 21
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Sewanee 29, at Austin 17
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Salisbury 21, at Kean 13
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Montclair State 24, at Southern Virginia 0
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Rowan 41, at William Paterson 14
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Springfield 66, at Mount Ida 20
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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DePauw 55, at Hiram 28
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LaGrange 39, at Methodist 30
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Maryville (Tenn.) 56, at Emory and Henry 46
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Averett 19, at Ferrum 7
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MacMurray 48, at Crown 34
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Eureka 48, at Minnesota-Morris 20
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UW-Whitewater 40, at Washington U. 21
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at Hope 37, Lakeland 35
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Heidelberg 40, at Ohio Northern 21
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Carnegie Mellon 30, at Waynesburg 20
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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at Centre 52, Hendrix 42
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Albright 21, at Lycoming 17
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Bluffton 32, at Mount St. Joseph 31
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at Franklin 42, Defiance 12
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SUNY-Maritime 38, at Merchant Marine 31
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Concordia-Chicago 41, at Kalamazoo 29
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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Trinity (Texas) 28, at Millsaps 26
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St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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Gustavus Adolphus 42, at Augsburg 37
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Coe 35, at Nebraska Wesleyan 25
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Wartburg 40, at Simpson 31
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Elmhurst 23, at North Park 20
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at Huntingdon 41, N.C. Wesleyan 30
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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UW-River Falls 30, at Missouri Baptist 3
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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Denison 62, at Allegheny 26
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Lewis and Clark 40, at Pomona-Pitzer 29
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Plymouth State 29
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Washington and Lee 24, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 14
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Cal Lutheran 28, at Willamette 13
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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St. Vincent 31, at Geneva 27
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East Texas Baptist 28, at Southwestern 10
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Pacific at Occidental
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Sep. 16: All times Eastern
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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