Wittenberg can’t build on 16-0 lead in loss to Denison

Wittenberg players run onto the field before a game against Hiram on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff
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Wittenberg players run onto the field before a game against Hiram on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Tigers score on first three possessions but shut out in final three quarters

The Wittenberg Tigers built a 16-0 lead by scoring on their first three drives but couldn’t score again in a 21-16 loss to Denison on Saturday night in Granville.

The Big Red scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run on fourth-and-1 by Andrew Blanchard with 10 minutes, 30 seconds to play. That capped a 19-play, 88-yard drive that took almost 10 minutes off the clock.

Wittenberg answered with a 61-yard drive that stalled at the Denison 21-yard line.

The Tigers had one more chance in the final minutes. They had third-and-2 at the Denison 10-yard line when Sam Kayser was tackled for a 12-yard loss. Bobby Froehlich threw an incompletion near the goal line on the next play. Denison took over on downs and ran out the clock.

Wittenberg began the game with sophomore Collin Brown, who missed the second game of the season after being injured in the opener, at quarterback. He threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kayser on the first drive and a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jake Saus on the second drive. Wittenberg’s third possession ended with a 24-yard field goal by Brandon Goodwin.

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Denison cut the deficit to 16-14 at halftime with two touchdown passes from Drew Dawkins to Mack Marston.

Wittenberg (1-2, 1-1) suffered its second loss in a row to Denison and third in five years. Denison (3-1, 3-0) is tied for first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference with Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 3-0). Wittenberg plays at Ohio Wesleyan at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Wabash (3-0, 2-0) and DePauw (2-1, 2-0) are the other NCAC teams without a league loss.