/seasons/2019/contrib/20190907q4s1wo

Defense lifts #21 W&J past #18 Wittenberg, 16-8

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Senior Mike Williams (Pittsburgh, Pa./Langley) recorded 10 tackles, a pair of sacks and forced a fumble that senior Nick Getz (Tyrone, Pa./Tyrone) returned 52 yards for a touchdown to help propel No. 21 W&J to a 16-8 victory over No. 18 Wittenberg Saturday afternoon at Cameron Stadium. 

In a game where offense was hard to come by, the Presidents opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, taking advantage of a forced fumble caused by junior Max Garda (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell). The turnover allowed the W&J offense to set up shop at the Wittenberg 21-yard line. 
 
Senior quarterback Jacob Adams (Louisville, Ohio/Louisville) connected with junior Josh Burns(Coraopolis, Pa./Moon) for a touchdown strike that put W&J on the board first. A successful point after by freshman kicker Ian Phillips (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) gave W&J a 7-0 advantage. 
 
A few minutes later, the visiting Tigers would answer, taking advantage of an errant snap that resulted in a safety. That play cut the Presidents' lead to 7-2 with 5:09 showing on the first quarter. 
 
Wittenberg took its first lead of the game midway through the second quarter. After back-to-back W&J possessions resulted in interceptions, the Tigers were set up at the W&J 35-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Wittenberg quarterback Blake King found a streaking Thaddeus Snodgrass down the far sideline for a touchdown pass. Despite a missed point after, the Tigers gained an 8-7 advantage with 8:01 to play in the half. 
 
Looking to add to their lead before halftime, the Tigers used a 10-play, 42-yard drive before missing a 28-yard field goal attempt. Much like the first half, the two teams had little success maintaining drives in the third quarter. 
 
The highlight of the third quarter came when W&J sophomore Tyler Sabo (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) intercepted a Wittenberg pass deep in Presidents' territory. On the final play of the third quarter, W&J found its spark, recovering a Jacob Sarver (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) punt that hit a member of the Wittenberg punt return unit. The ball was recovered by sophomore Nick Freiwald (Clairton, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) at the Tigers 35. 
 
A 16-yard connection between Adams and junior receiver Cameron O'Brien (Irwin, Pa./Norwin) put the ball at the Wittenberg 19-yard line. Back-to-back positive runs by junior running back EJ Thompson (La Plata, Md./Thomas Stone) pushed the Presidents down to the five-yard line. Phillips would come through with a 24-yard field goal to help W&J regain the lead at 10-8 with 12:57 to play. 
 
Wittenberg pushed the ball into W&J territory on the ensuing possession, using a 32-yard pass to advance to the W&J 42. With the Tigers facing a third down, Williams and Getz came up with the biggest play of the day for the Presidents. Williams jarred the ball loose on a sack of King before Getz raced 52 yards for the score. After a blocked point after, the Presidents held a 16-8 advantage with 9:53 left.
 
The W&J defense nailed down the victory by making three defensive stops down the stretch, the last of which was an interception by Sabo. That allowed the Presidents to kneel the ball three times to run out the clock. 
 
During the victory, Adams surpassed 4,000 passing yards for his career. Burns led the receiving corps with three catches, 40 yards and a touchdown reception. 
 
Williams led a stellar defensive performance with a career-high 10 tackles, including 2.0 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Junior linebacker Sean Doran (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock) posted nine tackles, while Sabo hauled in a pair of interceptions. 
 
W&J travels to Thiel College for the first of three straight road games. The Presidents and Tomcats will kick off Presidents' Athletic Conference play at 1 p.m.  
 

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