Jake Kennedy has thrown 70 touchdown passes — four short of tying Reed Florence’s school record — in his Wittenberg Tigers career. He has rushed for 16 touchdowns in the last three seasons as well. Until Saturday, however, he had never caught a touchdown pass.
One of Kennedy’s favorite targets, fellow senior Jeff Tiffner, paid him back by throwing a touchdown pass to Kennedy in a 38-23 victory over DePauw at Edwards-Maurer Field. Kennedy handed the ball off to Tiffner, who rushed to the right and threw the ball across the field to a wide-open Kennedy, who walked into the end zone.
Wittenberg ran the play a year ago, and Kennedy was tackled before scoring. This time, the play worked to perfection, and it came during a second-half run that saw the No. 8 Tigers stretch a 10-6 halftime lead to 31-19.
“We don’t get to call it very often,” Tiffner said, “so when we call it, we want to go score a touchdown. When I get ot throw the ball, it’s pretty nice.”
No. 8 Wittenberg extended its regular-season winning streak to 21 games and improved to 7-0 and 6-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference with three games to play. It sits all alone in first place entering a game next week at home against Wabash. The Little Giants (6-1, 5-1), who beat Oberlin 32-7 on Saturday, play the Tigers at 1 p.m. Oct. 27.
“It’s the best game of the year,” Tiffner said. “We look forward to it every year. They’re a great opponent. They’re going to come in here ready to go especially because we beat them the last two years.”
Wittenberg may need a more complete game to beat Wabash. The Tigers struggled at times in the first half against DePauw. After kicking a field goal on their first drive, they didn’t get on the board again until Kennedy threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Thaddeus Snodgrass with 2:59 left in the first half, giving Wittenberg a 10-3 lead.
A long punt by Wittenberg’s Bryce Bailey set up that score. The punt sailed over the returner’s head and then bounced off a DePauw player. Wittenberg’s Jonathan Seay recovered it at the DePauw 26-yard line. Snodgrass scored three plays later.
“It was big because we came out a little sluggish,” Snodgrass said. “That was big going into halftime, and then we came out firing on all cylinders.”
NOTES: Kennedy completed 22 of 38 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns. … Troy Clay led the running game with 65 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. … Tiffner caught six passes for 116 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown.