NCAC Weekly Release (10-22-12) - Football
Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 7-0) maintains its position at the top of the North Coast football standings, while four squads are deadlocked in second-place with identical 3-1 league records, including Wabash (3-1, 6-1), Wittenberg (3-1, 6-1), Kenyon (3-1, 4-3) and Allegheny (3-1, 4-3). There are five games on the league schedule this Saturday (10/27), highlighted by Ohio Wesleyan hosting Wabash at Selby Stadium at 1:30 p.m.
ALLEGHENY dropped its first league contest of the season on Saturday, falling at home against Wittenberg, 35-6. Sophomore wide receiver Andrew Niklaus (Pittsburgh, PA/Avonworth) hauled in a career-high seven receptions for 46 yards, while senior Bill Devlin (Natrona Hts., PA/Highlands) paced the Gators’ defensive unit with a game-high 12 tackles and one forced fumble.
DENISON’S late-game rally against Washington (MO) fell short as the Big Red fell by an 18-13 margin. Braden Layer (Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington) grabbed a career-high 11 passes for a career-high 117 yards, while Sam Fioroni (Clarkston, MI/Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) toted the ball 25 times for 131 yards, which marked the fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season and the 12th of his career.
DEPAUW, which fell short against Kenyon, 21-19, completed 45 passes in the loss to break the previous single-game school record of 41 against Hope in 2000. Sophomore quarterback Drew Seaman (Scottsdale, AZ/Desert Mtn.) completed 39-of-54 pass attempts for a career-high 322 yards which equaled the second most completions in a game by a DPU quarterback. The Tigers have dropped the last two games by two points each and the last three losses have each been by four or fewer points.
HIRAM dropped a 23-7 non-conference decision against Chicago on Saturday. The Terriers will be back in action this Saturday as they host NCAC-foe Oberlin at 6:00 p.m.
KENYON senior Carlo Gagliardo (Greensboro, NC/Northwest Guilford) scored a touchdown off a kickoff return and added one more on a 53-yard reception to lead the Lords to their first road win of the season, a 21-19 triumph at DePauw. The KC defensive unit was led on the afternoon by junior linebacker Kolin Sullivan (Mentor, OH/St. Ignatius) as he racked up 18 tackles (11 solo, 7 asst.) to go along with one interception and one forced fumble.
OBERLIN senior Robin Witjes (Howell, MI/Howell) had 111 yards receiving and junior running back Moses Richardson (Summerville, SC/Pinewood Prep) added 101 yards on the ground, but it wasn’t enough as the Yeomen’s upset-bid of Case fell short in overtime, 24-17.
OHIO WESLEYAN junior quarterback Mason Espinosa (Cookeville, TN/Cookeville) fired a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to sophomore tight end Calvin Cagney (Indialantic, FL/Melbourne) as the Battling Bishops scored the final 17 points of the game to rally past Carnegie Mellon, 34-26, in non-conference action on Saturday in Pittsburgh. The win was the Bishops’ seventh in a row, moving OWU to 7-0 for the first time since 1992, and it also marked the 10th-straight victory dating back to last season, which is the Bishops’ longest winning streak since a 10-game stretch that bridged the 1991-92 seasons. Cagney hauled in a school-record tying 16 catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns, while senior linebacker Tyler Sheetz (Eighty Four, PA/Peters Twp.) paced the defense with 14 tackles (8 solo, 6 asst.), including two sacks for a loss of 14 yards.
WABASH, which elevated to No. 11 on the D3football.com Top 25, rolled to a 30-0 shutout victory over Wooster in league action on Saturday in Crawfordsville. It was the first Little Giant shutout since blanking Kenyon, 49-0, a year ago. Sophomore linebacker Cody Buresh (Holland, MI/Hamilton), who scored his first-career touchdown on a 26-yard interception return in the second half, finished the game with eight tackles (6 solo, 2 asst.), one sack for eight yards and 1.5 tackles-for-losses of nine yards. The Wabash offense was led by junior running back Tyler Holmes (Bluffton, IN/Bluffton) who rushed for a career-high 189 yards on 25 carries.
WITTENBERG picked up a key league win over Allegheny on Saturday, defeating the Gators 35-6 in Meadville. The Tigers were able to pick up the victory after totaling 542 yards of total offense, which was split nearly evenly between 273 passing yards and a season-high 269 yards rushing. Junior quarterback Reed Florence (South Charleston, OH/Southeastern) completed 18-of-29 pass attempts for 263 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a game-high 99 yards and an additional score. Defensively, the Tigers were led by junior linebacker Kyle Sanning (Fairborn, OH/Tecumseh) who totaled nine tackles (5 solo, 4 asst.) with one sack for a loss of eight yards.
WOOSTER was shutout for the first time in a conference game since Nov. 5, 2005, a stretch of 45, as the Fighting Scots fell to Wabash, 30-0, on Saturday. Sophomore Mitchell Czerniak (Newton Falls, OH/Newton Falls) recorded a career-high 14 tackles (9 solo, 5 asst.) in the loss.