Wittenberg players gather around Joe Fincham after a win at DePauw. Submitted photo

Wittenberg routs DePauw to improve to 7-0

Tigers all alone in first place with three games to play

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.

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