Wittenberg seeks 3-0 start in NCAC as it plays Hiram on homecoming

Tigers are 21-0 against the Terriers



The Wittenberg Tigers did not lose their composure after allowing Denison to score two fourth-quarter touchdowns last weekend to force overtime in Granville.

“You could hear them encouraging each other on the sidelines,” coach Jim Collins said. “That’s why I think we’ve got a really good senior class. Everybody was saying, ‘Hey, it’s overtime. It’s 0-0. We’ve just got to keep playing. Hang in there.’ I think that’s the key to it all. When you’ve got a gritty team that doesn’t give up, that’s mentally tough, they’re just going to play the next play. That’s what we did.”

Wittenberg beat Denison 27-24 on Max Milton’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyler May in overtime.

“We’ve battled through a lot of adversity through the whole offseason to camp and even in games this season,” May said. “So it just shows the resiliency that we’ve had as a team overall. We’re really close. We all trust one another. The defense kept us in that game for a while so we’re trusting them and they trusted us to go down and win the game at the end.”

Denison scored touchdowns on two of its last three drives in the fourth quarter and didn’t score on its last drive because the clock ran out when it had the ball at the Wittenberg 10-yard line. The defense gave Wittenberg’s offense a chance by limiting Denison to a field goal on the first possession of overtime.

“That was a great defensive stand there in overtime,” Collins said, “not just not to force the field goal but really to hold them to limited yards in that situation and force a long field goal.”

With the victory, Wittenberg (3-1, 2-0) kept pace with two other teams that haven’t suffered a North Coast Athletic Conference loss: DePauw (5-0, 3-0) and Wabash (3-1, 2-0).

The Tigers return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, playing Hiram (0-5, 0-3) on homecoming at Edwards-Maurer Field. Wittenberg beat Hiram 38-14 last season to run its record in the series to 21-0.

Wittenberg will honor its 1973 and 1975 national championship teams during homecoming festivities.

“It’s going to be great to have all those guys back,” Collins said. “A lot of them, I’m sure, have seen the new facilities. I’m sure a lot of them have not. I can’t wait for those guys to see The Steemer, the locker room, the weight room and and then just to be able to honor those teams. ... I’ve already talked to our guys about the fact that those teams are coming back, so it’s going to be awesome to have them on campus.”

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