/seasons/2013/contrib/20131123662hcw

Tigers Pounce On Lebanon Valley In First Round Of NCAA Tourney

More news about: Wittenberg

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Playing their first NCAA Division III Tournament game on their home field since 2009, the Wittenberg Tigers turned in a dominating performance in a 59-17 victory over Lebanon Valley.

Wittenberg is now a perfect 7-0 in NCAA Division III Tournament first round games at historic Edwards-Maurer Field and 13-3 in the opening round of the national competition overall. The game was a first for Lebanon Valley, which was making its debut in NCAA Division III Tournament play.

The Tigers were efficient on offense from the outset, driving 75 yards in six plays on their opening drive to set the tone for the day. Wittenberg was not forced to punt in the game, scoring on nine of 10 possessions while piling up 600 yards of total offense.

Wittenberg did most of its damage through the air, repeatedly striking for big plays. Senior quarterback Reed Florence averaged nearly 23 yards per completion, connecting on 15-of-21 passes for 344 yards and a school record-tying six touchdowns.

Four of his scoring strikes went to senior wide receiver Desi Kirkman, covering 35, 65, 41 and 24 yards. In addition to his 188 yards on five receptions, Kirkman tacked on a school record 90-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Senior wideout Brendon Cunningham contributed three catches for 79 yards and a touchdown and sophomore running back Jimmy Dehnke rounded out the aerial attack with a 15-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. The Tigers' scoring was capped by a third quarter field goal by sophomore kicker Evan Grissom and a 24-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Zack Jenkins in the waning moments.

While Florence, who was named the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Offensive Player of the Year earlier in the week, led a tremendous passing attack, the Tigers exhibited their usual balance with 256 yards on the ground. Sophomore tailback Sean Gary led the way with 84 yards on 16 carries.

Lebanon Valley finished with 358 yards of total offense, with the Dutchmen scoring a field goal on their first drive before falling into an insurmountable 38-3 hole by halftime. LVC added a pair of second-half touchdown passes by Brian Murphy to wide receivers Joey Miller and Tyler George.

Wittenberg's defense registered just one tackle for loss in the game, but the Tigers allowed just four plays of more than 20 yards. Senior cornerback Victor Banjo and sophomore cornerback Ryan Myers finished with three pass break-ups apiece, while senior linebacker Spencer Leno led the Tigers with eight tackles, including a sack.

The win moved the Tigers, who improved to 10-1 on the season, into the NCAA Division III Round of 16 for the third time in the last five years. Wittenberg will take on No. 1 ranked Mount Union, which beat the Tigers in the national tournament three times in four seasons between 1998 and 2001.

Lebanon Valley, the champion of the Middle Atlantic Conference, saw its season come to a close with a record of 8-3.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
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Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Recap Box Score
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video
4:46 - 3rd
07 Hardin-Simmons
24 Linfield
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Nov. 25: All times Eastern
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
@ TBA
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 Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Box Score Video
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Box Score Video
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap
4:46 - 3rd
07 Hardin-Simmons
24 Linfield
Video Live stats Audio
Start of 1st
0 Salisbury
0 Ithaca
@ Newark, Del.
Video Live stats Box Score
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