NCAC Weekly Release (9-24-12) - Football
North Coast football action continued on Saturday with three league squads capturing victories, highlighted by Allegheny’s (1-0, 2-1) thrilling 20-17 overtime victory over nationally-ranked Wabash (1-1, 2-1). League action picks back up this Saturday (9/29) as Allegheny hosts Oberlin (0-1, 1-2), Wooster (0-1, 1-2) travels to Denison (1-1, 1-2) and Ohio Wesleyan (1-0, 3-0) entertains Hiram (0-2, 0-4).
ALLEGHENY upset nationally-ranked Wabash in overtime, 20-17, on Saturday afternoon in Indiana. With the scored tied, 17-17, at the end of regulation, the Gators possessed the ball first in overtime and set up sophomore kicker Ryan Mong (Fairview, PA/McDowell) for a 28-yard field goal that he drilled through the uprights to give Allegheny a 20-17 edge. The Gators’ defense then bowed their necks and prevented the Little Giants from converting a first down in overtime, and erupted in celebration as Wabash’s game-tying field goal attempt sailed wide right to secure the victory. Freshman running back Tyler Smith (Hanover, PA/Delone Catholic), who totaled 78 yard on 13 carries (all after halftime), sent the game into overtime with a nine-yard touchdown scamper with 8:46 remaining in regulation. The Gators, who out gained Wabash, 353-293, secured their first victory over the Little Giants in eight seasons. The Gators’ offensive line was key in the victory as they paved the way for 176 rushing yards and also allowed zero sacks in 40 drop back attempts by senior quarterback Mike Person (Williamsport, PA/Williamsport).
DENISON picked up its first league victory of the season with a 38-10 triumph over Hiram. Senior running back Sam Fioroni (Clarkston, MI/Orchard Lake-St. Mary’s) rushed for 129 yards and one score, and also hauled in nine receptions for 80 yards and one score in the 28-point victory.
DEPAUW freshman quarterback Justin Murray (Jonesboro, GA/Fayette County) entered the game late in the second quarter and completed 20-of-40 pass attempts for 254 yards and four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough as Carnegie Mellon posted a 51-28 triumph over the Tigers in Pittsburgh.
HIRAM fell to Denison, 38-10, on Homecoming on Saturday at Charles A. Henry Field.
Despite 138 receiving yards and three touchdowns from senior Carlo Gagliardo (Greensboro, NC/Northwest Guilford), KENYON dropped a non-conference contest at Washington (MO), 28-23. Defensively, the Lords were led by junior linebacker Reed Franklin (Johnstown, OH/Johnstown-Monroe) who racked up 11 tackles (10 solo, 1 asst.), including one tackle-for-loss.
OBERLIN had its Homecoming celebration spoiled as the Yeomen fell to the University of Chicago, 28-9. Senior Clay Eaton (Findlay, OH/Van Buren), who is the program’s all-time sack leader, picked up two-and-a-half sacks and a forced fumble in the loss.
OHIO WESLEYAN sophomore kicker Miles MacKenzie (Denver, CO/East) drilled a 46-yard with four seconds remaining in regulation to give the Battling Bishops a 17-14 non-conference win over Case and their first 3-0 start since the 2001 season. Junior quarterback Mason Espinosa (Cookeville, TN/Cookeville), who finished the game by completing 28-of-42 pass attempts for 235 yards, orchestrated the game-winning drive by completing 5-of-6 pass attempts and covering 51 yards to set up MacKenzie’s final-second heroics.
WABASH, which dropped to No. 17 on the D3football.com Top 25, fell in overtime, 20-17, against Allegheny on Saturday. The Little Giants are 2-4 all-time in overtime games, with two of the four losses coming at the hands of Allegheny as the Gators also defeated Wabash in overtime in the 2004 season. Junior linebacker Nate Scola (Gold Canyon, AZ/Alache Junction) helped keep the game within reach as he racked up 17 tackles (9 solo, 8 asst.), including two tackles-for-loss.
WITTENBERG remained unbeaten with a 17-7 victory at Wooster, keyed by a Tiger defense that yielded only one touchdown and allowed just 58 yards rushing and 181 yards of total offense. Senior linebacker Jon Daniels (Springfield, OH/South) recovered two fumbles in the contests, including a game-changing forced fumble in the third quarter at the Fighting Scots’ five-yard line to set up the Tigers’ go-ahead touchdown.
WOOSTER fell in its NCAC-opener against Wittenberg, 17-7, on Saturday. Senior wide receiver Zack Weidrick (Akron, OH/Revere), who scored the lone touchdown for Wooster, finished as the Scots’ leading receiver after pulling down four passes for 38 yards, while the defensive unit was led by senior Rob Holtz (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) who totaled seven tackles (3 solo, 4 asst.), one interception and a half a sack.