MEADVILLE, Pa.—Denison set a new single-game record with 746 yards of total offense in a 62-26 rout of Allegheny College on Saturday at Frank B. Fuhrer Field. Junior quarterback Canaan Gebele passed for a career-high 407 yards and three touchdowns while helping three DU wideouts post 100-yard receiving days.
The big plays came early and often for both teams in Denison's North Coast Athletic Conference opener. Less than four minutes into the game, Gebele connected with Charlie Mueller for a 35-yard touchdown. The Gators responded with a nine-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off by a 2-yard TD run by Tyler Balla. On the third play of Denison's ensuing possession, Alex Minton went up the gut for a 30-yard touchdown run.
With Denison leading 14-7, Allegheny moved into Denison territory and was facing a 4th-and-3 from the Big Red's 28-yard line. Gator quarterback Logan Lee's pass was completed but senior safety Brice Winans forced a fumble near the Gator sideline and DU took over on downs.
On first down from their own 28-yard line, Gebele completed a pass over the middle to Malik Webster who broke free for a 72-yard touchdown to make it a 21-7 DU lead.
Allegheny answered with a methodical 9-play 85-yard drive that was highlighted by a 34-yard completion to Tristan Rhoades. Balla's 14-yard touchdown run kept the Gators in the game at 21-13 with six minutes left in the second quarter.
Denison responded with a drive that was orchestrated perfectly by Gebele. After taking over on his own 36-yard line, Gebele completed four consecutive passes that went for 20, 11, 14, and 8-yards. On 2nd-and-2 from the Gator 15, Gebele handed off to Cody Farley who scampered 15 yards for the score. Farley's touchdown came after he posted a 52-yard rush in the first quarter.
With Denison leading 28-13 with less than a minute left in the second quarter, they took over on their own 25-yard line. The first two plays of this drive would prove to be the back-breaker for the Gators upset bid. On first down, Gebele fumbled on a blitz by Allegheny's Colten Buzard. Fortunately for Denison, Allegheny was flagged for a facemask penalty on the sack of Gebele, allowing DU to retain possession. On the next play, Gebele went up top to Webster for a 60-yard touchdown pass, allowing DU to enter the locker room with a commanding 34-13 lead.
In the second half, DU put 28 more points on the board thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run by Joshua Shackelford, a 79-yard run by Gebele, a 1-yard plunge by Minton and a 16-yard touchdown catch by Hunter Biddle from Brad Baldinger.
In a little over three quarters of action, Gebele was 22-of-30 for 407 yards and three touchdown passes. His 407 yards passing is the fourth highest single-game total in program history. It is the most passing yards in a game since Greg Neuendorf passed for 436 yards against Kenyon in 2001.
Webster led the receivers with four receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Mueller had seven grabs for 133 yards and one TD while Weimar led the team with eight receptions for 120 yards. This marked the second time in program history that the Big Red has had three 100-yard receivers in one game. The only other occurrence came on Oct. 21, 2000, when Ryan Hite (148 yards), Josh Jirgens (157 yards) and Tommy Waggoner (115 yards) accomplished the feat against Earlham College.
On the ground, Denison racked up 267 yards on 25 carries. Farley finished with 113 yards on only five carries marking his third career 100-yard rushing game. Gebele had four carries for 76 yards and Minton finished with eight carries for 50 yards and two TDs. Five of Denison's nine touchdowns came on the ground.
For Allegheny, Lee passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Rhoades led all receivers with eight catches for 139 yards and two scores. Balla toted the ball 20 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
Denison's 62-point outburst marked the most points scored in a contest since a 63-7 victory over Oberlin College in 1999. The Big Red also totaled 13 offensive plays that went for 20 yards or more.
The Big Red improves to 2-0 while Allegheny drops to 1-2. Denison returns to Piper Stadium next Saturday (Sept. 23) for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Yeomen.