The Wittenberg Tigers seized control of the North Coast Athletic Conference race Saturday with one of their most dominant performances ever against a ranked opponent.
No. 13 Wittenberg routed No. 25 Depauw 52-6 in Greencastle, Ind., with contributions on the scoreboard from the offense, defense and special teams. This was Wittenberg's most lopsided victory on the road since a 46-0 win at Washington University in 2009.
"Honest to God, I'm speechless," Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham said. "I'm a big believer in keeping things in perspective. We did play against their third-string quarterback. Even so, I never would have guessed this."
With three games remaining in the regular season, Wittenberg (7-0, 6-0) sits alone in first place. DePauw (6-1, 5-1) suffered its first loss and fell into a tie for second place with Wabash (6-1, 5-1). Wabash beat Oberlin 35-21 and will host Wittenberg next Saturday in Crawfordsville, Ind.
There were numerous standout performances by Wittenberg:
• Jake Kennedy threw four touchdown passes. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 226 yards.
• Thaddeus Snodgrass caught two passes, both for touchdowns, for 18 yards.
• Jeff Tiffner, who missed the previous two games with injuries, caught five passes for 100 yards.
• Liam Duncan and Bryce Bailey had touchdown catches. Duncan leads the team with seven touchdown receptions.
• Nick Kendall returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown. It was the first punt or kickoff return for a touchdown by Wittenberg this season.
"I have been doing nothing but complaining about special teams for seven weeks," Fincham said. "We haven't had a big return. It's not that we've been bad. We just haven't been making difference-making plays. Today you get that punt return, which was huge at the time when our offense wasn't playing great."
• Adam Acquista kicked a 39-yard field goal, his longest of the season.
• After allowing a field goal on DePauw's opening drive, Wittenberg's defense forced five punts in a row. DePauw then fumbled the ball on two straight kickoff returns.
• DePauw's next drive also ended with a fumble. Wittenberg defensive lineman Chandler Ferko took the ball right out of the hands of quarterback Jake Lasky as he was trying to pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.
"He came off the edge and tomahawked him and ended up with the ball and took off with it," Fincham said. "That was a big one for us."
• Michael Ford returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown.