Wooster, Ohio – Claiming a share of their 16th North Coast Athletic Conference title, the Wittenberg University football team closed out the 2018 regular season, defeating the College of Wooster Scots, 27-21. While the Tigers did clinch a share of their 16th NCAC Championship with the win, Denison received the league's at-large bid into the 2018 NCAA Div. III Championships via the conference tiebreaker policy. However, Wittenberg will now await it's fate for one of the five available at-large selections into the Div. III national championship field on tomorrow's (11/11) NCAA.com selection show slated for 5:30 p.m.
Wittenberg was the first to strike, as Jaheem Washington capped off a five-play 80-yard scoring drive for the Tigers with a 16-yard scamper into the Wooster end zone. After Wooster matched the first Wittenberg score with a 53-yard drive of their own, bringing the game back to even at 7-7. The Wittenberg defense showed their scoring abilities for the second week in a row, as Terrance Crowe returned a Wooster fumble 50-yards for the second Tiger touchdown of the first quarter. The Tigers found themselves back on the attack in the second quarter, capitalizing on the seven-play 55-yard drive ending with the Tim Woodrum 23-yard touchdown reception from Jake Kennedy. Troy Jones and the Wittenberg defense would come up with another Tiger touchdown, taking his fifth interception of the season back 31-yards into the Wooster end zone, extending the Wittenberg advantage out to 27-7 before the half. The Tigers would hold Wooster to a touchdown in each of the final two-quarters of action to secure the 27-21 victory.
Who Stood Out
Kennedy completed 21 of 31 attempts for 240 yards through the air, completing one touchdown pass. Troy Clay racked up 45-yards on the ground for the Tigers, averaging 7.5 yards per rush on six attempts. Washington finished his day with 36 total yards on the ground, while Nick Kendall led the Tiger ball carriers with 10 rushes for 26-yards. Bryce Bailey led the Wittenberg receiving core with seven targets for 90-yards, reeling in a long of 37-yards. Jeff Tiffner caught three passes for 46-yards, busting out an 18-yard long on the day, while Sam Kayser caught five passes for 39-yards with a 15-yard long. Crowe would lead the Tiger defense with 19 total tackles on the afternoon, 11 of which were solo, including a sack for a nine-yard loss. Jonathan Seay also provided double-digit tackles for the Tigers, finishing with seven solo and five assisted, including two sacks and a forced fumble. Jones finished the afternoon with two interceptions, and nine tackles for the Tigers on the defensive side of the ball.
The Tigers have now claimed a share of three consecutive NCAC titles, including winning at least a share of five of the last six conference crowns.