On Saturday, Wabash College showed why its Little Giants are the ninth-best team in all of Division-III football, shutting out the Lords 35-0 on their home turf in Indiana.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said his team can take inspiration from the Little Giants.
“The thing that’s most impressive about that team is that they come out and they believe that they’re going to win every game,” Monfiletto said. “If they make a mistake, they’re going to correct it and they’re going to go out and win anyway. That’s the kind of mentality that we need to have moving forward.”
In their first drive of the game, Wabash opened up the scoring with an explosive three-play, 60-yard scoring drive. After two big rushing plays gave the Little Giants a first-and-goal, quarterback Connor Rice kept the ball himself on the read option and bounced it to the outside for the seven-yard touchdown.
Facing a third-and-two from the Wabash 20-yard line later in the first quarter, the Lords looked poised to cut into the early deficit. But a swarm of Wabash defenders brought down co-captain Jake Bates ’16 for a 17-yard sack, putting Kenyon out of field-goal range.
Working their way into Kenyon territory late in the second quarter, the Little Giants seemed likely to extend their lead with either a field goal or a touchdown. Fortunately for the Lords, Tommy Pridemore ’19 ended Wabash’s drive with a diving interception, giving possession back to Kenyon and keeping it a one-score game.
Not to be denied their shot at redemption, Wabash took the ball all the way down to the Kenyon five-yard line on its first possession of the second half, setting up another Little Giant touchdown. Running the play-action pass, Rice faked a handoff and proceeded to hit wide receiver Drake Christian over the middle on a post route to make the score 14-0.
Later in the third quarter, Wabash took to the ground to make it a three-score game. Lining his offense up in the pistol formation, Rice handed the ball off to Shamir Johnson, who proceeded to bolt up the middle for the 12-yard touchdown. Bringing the ball down to the Wabash 28-yard line on their next drive, the Lords looked like they might be able to get on the scoreboard. The Wabash defense dropped Bates for a seven-yard sack on third down. On the ensuing fourth-down conversion attempt, the Wabash defense applied pressure once again, driving Bates out of bounds to bring up a turnover on downs.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Wabash running back Mason Zurek got in on the scoring with a 51-yard rushing touchdown, extending Wabash’s lead to 28-0. On its next possession, Wabash converted on a fourth-and-seven when Rice hit Little Giant wide receiver Oliver Page on a flag route in the right corner of the end zone for the 24-yard score. The ensuing extra point made the score 35-0, which stood for the rest of the game.
The Lords return to action in two weeks on Halloween, when they host the College of Wooster on McBride Field at 1 p.m.