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Matt Hunt's Fourth Quarter Heroics Lead DePauw to Dramatic Monon Bell Win

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Crawfordsville, Ind. - DePauw senior quarterback Matt Hunt set numerous records and garnered many accolades over his four years, but one thing had eluded him was winning the Monon Bell game.

With 2:02 remaining, it looked like he and the Tigers would be returning to Greencastle without the 300-pound trophy. Wabash had just scored on Connor Rice's 20-yard pass to Oliver Page to take a 34-30 lead.

Faced with 80 yards of turf ahead of him, Hunt was stopped at the line of scrimmage on first down but tossed an 18-yard pass to Ben Wilson on the next play. He then teamed with Ian Good for a 26-yard gain and picked up three on the ground on the next play to the Wabash 33. A 20-yard pass to Good followed before he connected with his brother, Andy, for a 13-yard score with 38 seconds left to make it 37-34.

The Tigers' defense delivered the final blow as Chris Hawk sacked Rice on first down before Rice completed an 11-yard pass to Page. On third down, Nate Orrison forced Rice to fumble and then recovered it at the Wabash 41. 

That wasn't the only fourth quarter comeback of the day for the Tigers as Wabash earlier broke a 24-24 tie with Andrew Tutsie's 39-yard field goal. The Tigers started their next series on their own 25, but were pushed back after a delay of game. After Jason Kirchhoff got those five back on first down, Matt Hunt tossed a 25-yard pass to Nolan Ayres to the 50. Hunt then took it himself for a 50-yard score to give DePauw a 30-27 lead. The point-after was wide.

The Tigers won the opening coin toss and chose to put their offense on the field first. It didn't take them long to take their first lead in the rivalry since 2009 as they drove 65 yards in seven plays with Hunt scoring on a 4-yard run. 

DePauw pushed that lead to 14-0 when Matt Hunt teamed with Good for a 20-yard score with 4:32 left in the quarter. 

On its next possession, Wabash drove to the DePauw 2, but Tutsie's 19-yard field goal was wide left. 

Tutsie came back to nail a 45-yard field goal with 12:38 left in the half and DePauw's Marko Adams matched that with a 28-yarder just 1:40 later to make it 17-3.

The Little Giants put together their first touchdown drive after Drake Christen returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards to the Wabash 43. Eight plays later, Wabash closed the gap to 17-10 after Matt Penola rushed in from the 1. 

After a DePauw three-and-out series, Wabash used the momentum to drive to the DePAuw 14, but DePauw linebacker Will Longthorne blocked Tutsie's 30-yard field goal attempt.

Wabash evened the score in the third on Penola's 1-yard run with 8:12 left, but the Tigers came right back on the next series as Matt Hunt rushed for 12 yards on second down and, following a defensive holding penalty, Hunt scored on a 51-yard run to make it 24-17 with 7:27 remaining in the third.

After the teams exchanged punts, Wabash knotted the contest at 24-24 on Rice's 28-yard pass to Page with 1:54 left in the third.

Matt Hunt totaled 400 yards of offense with 159 rushing yards on 22 carries and 19-of-35 passing for 21 yards. Good caught nine passes for 128 yards to lead DePauw.

Rice completed 26-of-36 for 336 yards and added 31 rushing yards. Page caught 11 passes for 188 yards and Ryan Thomas added 10 for 108 yards.

Thomas Gray paced the defensive effort with 16 tackles, while Will Longthorne had 10. Brooks Hepp and Cody Baker each had nine tackles with Hepp recording a pair of breakups.

Delon Pettiford topped Wabash with nine tackles with Austin brown added eight.

With the win, DePauw snapped a seven-game losing streak in the rivalry and trimmed Wabash's lead to 60-54-9 including 41-38-6 in Monon Bell contests.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
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