Wittenberg takes the field before a game against Wabash on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

Washington & Jefferson rallies in fourth to beat Wittenberg in opener

The No. 18 Wittenberg Tigers took an 8-7 lead into the fourth quarter but lost 16-8 to No. 21 Washington & Jefferson on Saturday in Washington, Pa.

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It was the first matchup since the 2014 playoffs when the Presidents beat the Tigers 41-25. Turnovers dominated that game, with Wittenberg throwing eight interceptions, and the teams combined for nine turnovers in this game.

Momentum turned on the first play of the fourth quarter. Washington & Jefferson’s Jacob Sarver punted from his own 32-yard line. The 33-yard punt bounced once before hitting a Wittenberg player. Nick Freiwald recovered the ball for the Presidents at the Wittenberg 35.

Seven plays later, Ian Phillips kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Presidents a 10-8 lead with 12:57 to play.

Wittenberg drove to the Washington & Jefferson 38 on its next drive, but quarterback Blake King, making his first career start, fumbled after being sacked. Nick Getz recovered the ball at the 48 and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown, giving the Presidents a 16-8 lead.

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Wittenberg got the ball three more times but did not threaten to score.

Wittenberg trailed 7-0 early but got on the board with a safety at the 5:09 mark in the first quarter and took an 8-7 lead on a 35-yard touchdown pass from King to Thaddeus Snodgrass with 7:54 left in the first half.

Washington & Jefferson won despite throwing four interceptions in the first half. Each team recorded 10 first downs. The Tigers gained more than twice as many yards (256-120) but were 1 of 16 on third down.

King completed 11 of 20 passes for 122 yards. He was sacked five times. The Tigers lost three fumbles.

Jake Saus led Wittenberg receivers with three catches for 55 yards. Jaheem Washington rushed eight times for 55 yards.

Logan Jewsikow led the defense with six tackles. Trevor Good had three sacks.

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