You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Wittenberg hopes to end Mount Union’s streak of dominance in Ohio

There was no Thanksgiving turkey for the Wittenberg football team Thursday — at least not a real, live turkey running around on the turf at Edwards-Maurer Field.

A year ago, to celebrate the fact that they all had to work on Thanskgiving, a good problem to have, the coaches brought a real turkey to practice. Some players reacted as if a velociraptor had been unleashed, one coach said, when they saw that turkey.

Wittenberg discussed entertaining the team again in that way, coach Joe Fincham said. In the end, the players and coaches stuck to a more traditional Thanksgiving that involved eating a turkey and not chasing it.

“We tell our guys every year just how special it is to practice on Thanksgiving morning and still be alive at this time of year,” Fincham said.

If the Tigers still have life next week, they will really have something to be thankful for. No. 12 Wittenberg (10-1) plays No. 1 Mount Union (11-0) at noon today in Alliance, in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

It’s the first meeting in D-III history between two programs with more than 700 wins. Wittenberg has 727. Mount Union has 725.

The 11-time national champion Purple Raiders have won 78 straight games against teams from Ohio. All but one of those, a playoff victory against Mount St. Joseph in 2005, have come against fellow Ohio Athletic Conference teams.

Fincham sent former Wittenberg defensive coordinator Andy Waddle, now the head coach at Marietta College, a text message early last week to get his thoughts on Mount Union. Waddle, who played for the Tigers in 2001, the last time they faced Mount Union, lost 84-14 to Mount Union in September.

“What he was able to do was reconfirm what I was seeing,” Fincham said. “I wrote, ‘Man, they’ve got great team speed.’ He said, ‘They sure do.’ ”

Junior quarterback Kevin Burke leads the Mount Union offense. He completes 63 percent of his passes and has thrown 35 touchdowns and six interceptions. He ranks third in the nation in pass-efficiency rating (192.3).

Wittenberg quarterback Reed Florence’s numbers are just a bit better: 36 touchdowns, six interceptions, 194.8 rating (second in the nation).

“I think the things that are going to be important to us are being able to limit big plays, taking care of the football and field position is always huge,” Fincham said. “If you can keep them on a longer field, you’ve got a better chance to force them to take snaps.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

What to watch this weekend in sports
What to watch this weekend in sports

The NFL’s conference championship games are this weekend, but that’s not all.  Here is what you’ll want to watch this weekend in sports:  Archie Miller’s crew plays host to Saint Louis at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.  No. 2 Louisville is at No. 10 Florida State on ESPN at 2 p.m.  At 4, flip it over to CBS...
March Forecast I: Where the Dayton Flyers stand in race to March Madness
March Forecast I: Where the Dayton Flyers stand in race to March Madness

It’s never to early to think about the NCAA tournament. Seven weeks before Selection Sunday, here’s a rundown of where the Dayton Flyers (14-4) stand in the minds of the experts as they seek a school record fourth straight trip to the big dance. With an RPI of 26, Dayton’s chances look good at this point, but its shortage of top-50...
Bengals sign kicker Brown
Bengals sign kicker Brown

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said there will be an open competition for the kicking job in 2017, and the team announced the first participant in that battle today with the signing of Jonathan Brown to a Reserves/Future contract. Brown originally joined the Bengals in May as an undrafted college free agent, but he suffered a foot injury...
Falcons player’s wife goes into labor during playoff win
Falcons player’s wife goes into labor during playoff win

Chipper Jones wasn’t the only Atlanta sports figure anxiously awaiting the birth of a child. Falcons offensive guard Andy Levitre and his wife, Katie, were also expecting a birth.  As the Falcons played the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday in the NFC Divisional playoff game, Katie Levitre went into labor while watching the game at...
Recruiting roundup: Nick Saban hits area, Danny Davis connects with Wisconsin, MSU moving on Dunbar, etc.
Recruiting roundup: Nick Saban hits area, Danny Davis connects with Wisconsin, MSU moving on Dunbar, etc.

When you play football as well as we do in the Miami Valley, colleges are bound to want some of your players.  Here’s a look at some of the latest developments on the recruiting front.    A 247Sports composite four-star, Davis is the top-rated senior in the area who has not verbally committed.  Earlier this week, he told Rivals...
More Stories