On Saturday, the Wittenberg University Tigers (7-2, 6-2 NCAC) spoiled Kenyon’s Senior Day with a 45-21 win over the Lords (2-7, 2-6 NCAC). Kenyon’s 21 points against Wittenberg were the most a Kenyon football team has scored against Wittenberg in 38 games since 1908.
Wittenberg opened the scoring on their second possession of the game after driving down to the Kenyon 11-yard line. Facing a fourth-and-one, Wittenberg quarterback Zack Jenkins called his own number and dashed across the goal line to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Countering Wittenberg on the next drive, Jake Bates ’16 tossed a short pass to Brian Hunca ’17, who sprinted down the field and into the end zone for the game-tying 60-yard score.
With both teams tied at seven, Wittenberg took back the lead early in the second quarter. Converting on a third-and-nine, Jenkins threaded the needle to Luke Landis for the 11-yard touchdown to make the score 14-7.
“We were good on first and second down, and then on third down, that was a disaster for us,” Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said. “We’ve got to get better on third-and-long situations, and we’ve got to put pressure on the quarterback in order to do that.”
On their ensuing possession, Kenyon was able to move the ball into Wittenberg territory, but when Kenyon’s special teams squad came onto the field on fourth down, a botched Lords punt gave Wittenberg excellent starting field position back at the Kenyon 41-yard line. It took the Tigers just two plays to reach the end zone, extending their lead to 21-7.
After a Wittenberg interception ended Kenyon’s next possession and gave Wittenberg a first down in the red zone, the Tigers were poised to increase their lead. Sure enough, Wittenberg running back Sean Gary charged ahead for an eight-yard touchdown run to give his team a three-touchdown lead.
The Lords marched all the way down to the Wittenberg 14-yard line, putting themselves in a position to cut into the 28-7 deficit. Wittenberg’s secondary stopped the Kenyon momentum on fourth down when it came up with another interception to keep the Lords out of the end zone. Their defense registered a total of four interceptions on the day, more than any of Kenyon’s other opponents had this year.
Undeterred by their 21-point deficit at the conclusion of the first half, the Lords made it a two-score game on their opening possession of the third quarter. Finding a streaking Hunca with a pass down the right sideline, Bates came through with a 41-yard touchdown throw to make the score 28-14.
That was as close as the Lords got for the rest of the game, however, as Wittenberg’s powerful passing game continued to give the Kenyon defense headaches. With the ball on Kenyon’s 21-yard line, the Tigers converted on a third-and-six when Wittenberg’s QB Jenkins found Landis in the right back corner of the end zone to make the score 35-14.
Wittenberg continued their aerial assault on Kenyon late in the third quarter, when Jenkins found a hole in the Kenyon secondary and unleashed a 50-yard touchdown bomb to wide-receiver Corey Stump to extend Wittenberg’s lead to 28.
Blake Calcei ’16 closed out the scoring for Kenyon with a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make the score 42-21. Wittenberg responded with a 23-yard field goal on their next drive to earn the 45-21 victory.
Kenyon closes out their 2015 season at rival Denison University (6-3, 5-3 NCAC) Saturday at 1 p.m.