Wittenberg’s comeback vs. Wabash stalls in fourth quarter

Wittenberg gets ready to run onto the field before a game against Allegheny on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff
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Wittenberg gets ready to run onto the field before a game against Allegheny on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

Tigers fall into tie for second place

Wittenberg fought back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to make a game of it in the second half but gave up two late touchdowns and lost 31-13 to Wabash on Saturday in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Wittenberg (4-2, 4-1) suffered its first North Coast Athletic Conference loss of the season, while Wabash (4-2, 4-1) moved into a tie for first. Wabash began the day tied with Denison, DePauw and Ohio Wesleyan at 3-1.

After a scoreless first quarter, Wabash took a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Liam Thompson to Cooper Sullivan seven seconds into the second quarter. With 8:26 left in the half, Heisman Skeens threw an 8-yard touchdown to Mason Durrett. A field goal with 2:57 to play gave the Little Giants a 17-0 lead.

» WITT-WABASH: History of the rivalry

Wittenberg’s comeback started with a 14-yard touchdown run by DeShawn Sarley early in the third quarter. With 13:30 left in the fourth quarter, Bobby Froehlich threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Thaddeus Snodgrass on fourth down. Wittenberg trailed 17-13 after a blocked extra point.

Wittenberg got the ball back and had a first down at the Wabash 45-yard line when the game turned for Wabash. A deep pass by Froehlich into the end zone fell incomplete. Jaheem Washington, who rushed for 163 yards on 26 carries, rushed for no gain. Then Froehlich was sacked for a loss of 12 yards.

Wittenberg punted, and on the first play of the next drive, Wabash’s Isaac Avant rushed 69 yards. Thompson then scored on a 2-yard run on fourth down, giving Wabash a 24-13 lead.

Froehlich threw his second and third interceptions of the game on Wittenberg’s next two possessions, and Wabash put the game away on a 1-yard touchdown run by Thompson with 2:28 to play.

Wabash beat Wittenberg for the second straight season and now leads the series 11-10 since joining the NCAC in 2000.

Wittenberg plays Dension at 1 p.m. Oct. 26 on homecoming at Edwards-Maurer Field.

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