- David Jablonski Staff Writer
Jake Kennedy threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Bailey in the fourth quarter to lift the No. 13 Wittenberg Tigers to a 21-14 victory over Wabash on Saturday in Crawfordsville, Ind.
Wittenberg (8-0, 7-0) maintained its grip on first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference with two games to play. Wabash (6-2, 5-2) fell out of a second-place tie with DePauw (7-1, 6-1).
Here’s a recap of the Wittenberg victory:
Big picture: The Tigers beat Wabash for the second straight season and the fourth time in five years. It’s Wittenberg’s best five-year stretch in the series. Wittenberg leads the NCAC series 10-9.
Top player: Wittenberg defensive lineman Chandler Ferko had three sacks and tied with Jonathan Seay for the team lead with 10 tackles.
Key stat: Wittenberg held Wabash running back Ike James, who already has 1,000 yards on the season, to 41 yards on 21 carries. He scored on a 3-yard run with 4:18 left in the third to give Wabash its only lead, 14-13.
Top offensive play: The winning touchdown came with 6:54 left in the game. Bailey finished with six catches for 68 yards. Kennedy completed a two-point conversion pass after the touchdown to give Wittenberg a 21-14 lead.
Top defensive play: Wabash’s Isaac Avant fumbled on 4th-and-1 at the Wabash 42-yard line. Wittenberg linebacker Terrance Crowe recovered the ball with 5:11 to play in the fourth.
Kennedy’s day: Kennedy completed 18 of 27 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s the first Wittenberg quarterback to start in back-to-back victories against the Little Giants since they joined the NCAC in 200.
Running star: Wittenberg’s DeShawn Sarley rushed 20 times for 68 yards. His 1-yard run with 3:39 left in the first quarter gave Wittenberg a 7-0 lead.
Touchdown machine: Wittenberg receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass got in the end zone again. He caught a 32-yard pass with 5:20 left in the second quarter, giving Wittenberg a 13-7 lead. The Springfield grad Snodgrass has 10 catches this season. Five of them have been touchdowns.
Looking ahead: Wittenberg plays Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster in its final two games at Edwards-Maurer Field. It is two victories away from its first 10-0 regular season since 2010.