- Mike Hartsock WHIO TV
It’s the kind of game you hope to have on Senior Day. Wittenberg removed the suspense early at Edwards-Maurer Field, bolting to a 27-0 lead cruising to a 47-21 win Saturday over Wooster.
The victory finished off the sixth 10-0 season in coach Joe Fincham’s 22 years in Springfield, and the first since 2010.
Wittenberg finds out at 5:30 p.m. Sunday who and where it plays in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs on Nov. 18.
Things didn’t start that well for the home team. Wittenberg went three-and-out on its first possession, but the defense got it back quickly.
Senior defensive back Jack Kayser made a diving interception on a pass that bounced high in the air off a Wooster receiver. It was the first of three first-quarter interceptions for the Tigers.
Six plays later Wittenberg was on the scoreboard as junior quarterback Jake Kennedy hit Liam Duncan in stride. The freshman from Oregon stretched the final five yards to the goal line, and the Tigers had a 7-0 lead.
The next two Wooster possessions ended in similar style. Sophomore Jonathan Seay stepped in front of a pass to stop a Fighting Scots drive at the Wittenberg 15-yard line.
That takeaway led to the first of three touchdown runs from Jaheem Washington.
The third time was just as sweet for the Wittenberg defense. Again it was Seay intercepting a pass and setting up the Tigers near mid-field.
It took one play from there as Kennedy threw a backward pass to Jeff Tiffner. The senior from Kenton Ridge High School took two steps and lobbed a pass downfield to a wide-open DeShawn Sarkey, who slipped a tackle and finished off a 48-yard touchdown pass for a 20-0 Tigers lead.
The win was the Tigers’ second outright North Coast Athletic Conference championship in a row for Wittenberg, which has won or shared the title 15 times since 1992.
The Tigers entered the final week ranked No. 2 in the North Region behind Mount Union, and they should get a home game in the first round of the playoffs.