Fincham seeks consistency in Wittenberg’s third game

Tigers host Kenyon at 7 p.m. Saturday


The skeleton of Wittenberg’s new $40 million indoor facility rises behind the stands at Edwards-Maurer Field. The football players see it take shape every time they take the field, though it won’t be ready in time for them to use it this season.

Coach Joe Fincham’s focus now is on the present. That means a 2-0 start and a 7 p.m. home game Saturday against Kenyon.

The Tigers, ranked 14th in the D3Football.com poll, routed Oberlin 45-14 last weekend in their first road game and first North Coast Athletic Conference game of the season.

“We had a lot of improvements,” Fincham said. “We certainly had a lot of big plays in the game.”

RELATED: What freshmen are playing for Wittenberg?

The play of quarterback Jake Kennedy impressed Fincham the most. He completed 27 of 34 passes for 310 yard with four touchdowns. He has seven touchdown passes in two games and has completed 72.1 percent of his passes.

“I thought he played good in the Westminster game,” Fincham said, “but he made some rhythm throws and things like that, which quite frankly we hadn’t seen him make in the past.”

If there was a negative for Wittenberg’s offense at Oberlin, it was the start. The Tigers scored three points on their first three possessions and trailed 7-3 entering the second quarter.

“The first drive,we have three pre-snap penalties, and we fumble inside the 20,” Fincham said. “You could make all the excuses — long bus ride, week off, all those things — but at the end of the day, they’re still excuses and you’ve got to go play.”

The defense also faltered in the first quarter. Oberlin scored a touchdown against Wittenberg for the first time since 2014. The Tigers won the last three seasons by scores of 62-0, 35-3 and 34-0.

RELATED: Kennedy climbing record books in third season as starter

Wittenberg’s defense played better the rest of the way. The Yeomen went three-and-out on two of their next three possessions and threw an interception.

“I thought we played more physical defense than what we did in the first ballgame,” Fincham said. “The resounding deal right now is we’ve got to find some consistency in our play. We’ve played two games now. You’re going to have some slow moments in any ballgame. It’s not just 60 minutes of gas on the fire. But you can’t start slow on the road like we did, and you can’t have the third quarter we had in the Westminster game and think you’re going to have success every Saturday.”

Note: After beating Oberlin for the 20th straight time, Wittenberg seeks its 26th straight victory against Kenyon. The Lords haven’t beaten the Tigers since 1914, though they did tie them once in 1921.



Reader Comments


Next Up in Sports

Cincinnati Bengals place 15th player on injured reserve this season
Cincinnati Bengals place 15th player on injured reserve this season

The Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday placed rookie linebacker Malik Jefferson on injured reserve with foot injury. Jefferson, the 15th Bengal to be placed on IR this season, injured his foot in Sunday’s win over the Raiders . Jefferson, a third-round pick out of the University of Texas, played in 12 games this season...
Versatile rookie Hubbard blossoming for Bengals
Versatile rookie Hubbard blossoming for Bengals

When Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor walked through the locker room after Sunday’s win against the Oakland Raiders , he paused behind a small group of media members interviewing defensive end Sam Hubbard, caught his attention and mouthed, “I tried.” Hubbard laughed and shouted back,...
College football recruiting: 5 things to know about the early signing period
College football recruiting: 5 things to know about the early signing period

High school football players across the country are set to lock in their college choices Wednesday, decisions that will be felt near and wide.  Here is what you need to know from a local and regional perspective as the second early signing period for college football takes place:  1. Ohio State has another strong class — but not as...
Western Michigan at Dayton: What to know about Wednesday’s game
Western Michigan at Dayton: What to know about Wednesday’s game

Who: Western Michigan (5-5) at Dayton (5-5) When: 7 p.m. Wednesday Where: UD Arena TV/Radio: ESPN+/ AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO » FOLLOW THE FLYERS: All the links you need for the season in one place Probable Dayton starters Josh Cunningham, 6-8, R-Sr., 14.8 Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, So., G, 13.3 Trey Landers, 6-5, Jr., G, 10.1 Ryan Mikesell...
Ohio State football will play a Friday night game next fall 
Ohio State football will play a Friday night game next fall 

The third year of the Big Ten’s experiment with Friday night football will included Ohio State.  The Buckeyes’ game at Northwestern, a rematch of the 2018 Big Ten championship game, will be played Oct. 18 in Evanston, Ill.  While the Big Ten’s decision to play three conference games and three nonconference games on Friday...
More Stories