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Wittenberg Tigers


Wittenberg holds off Wooster to clinch share of NCAC title

The Wittenberg Tigers clinched a share of the North Coast Athletic Conference championship for the third straight season with a 27-21 victory at Wooster on Saturday. The No. 21 Tigers finished the regular season 9-1 and 8-1 in the NCAC. Wittenberg, Wabash and Denison all tied for the NCAC championship with 8-1 marks. Denison earns the league’s NCAA Division III playoff berth because it owns...
Wittenberg dominates Ohio Wesleyan in second half to win on road

Wittenberg dominates Ohio Wesleyan in second half to win on road

The Wittenberg Tigers bounced back from their first loss with a 42-13 victory Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, shutting out the Battling Bishops in the second half. Wittenberg (8-1, 7-1) remains tied for first with Wabash, which beat the Tigers 28-21 in overtime last week, in the North Coast Athletic Conference with one game to play. Wabash beat Allegheny 54-17 on Saturday. Denison, which will...
Denison has edge over Wittenberg, Wabash in NCAC tiebreaker

Denison has edge over Wittenberg, Wabash in NCAC tiebreaker

Every time the Wittenberg Tigers lose to their biggest rival, Wabash, it seems as if their season is over — at least in the immediate aftermath of the game. That’s how hard the players and coaches take the defeats. Wittenberg’s 28-21 overtime loss last Saturday at Edwards-Maurer Field hit especially hard. Wittenberg fell short of beating the Little Giants three straight years for...
With new indoor facility comes lofty goal for Wittenberg football

With new indoor facility comes lofty goal for Wittenberg football

Two years ago, when plans were announced for a new indoor athletics complex at Wittenberg University, the man responsible for getting the project going talked about his big dreams for the football program. “Mark my words, within five years of this facility being built, we will have a national championship,” said Wes Bates in October 2016. On Saturday, Bates, the chairman, CEO and founder...
Wabash ends Wittenberg’s 21-game regular-season win streak

Wabash ends Wittenberg’s 21-game regular-season win streak

Wabash turned back the clock 16 years on Saturday at Edwards-Maurer Field, celebrating a 28-21 overtime victory over Wittenberg. The game brought back memories of another overtime thriller, one that kick-started the best rivalry in the North Coast Athletic Conference. After a pass by Wabash quarterback Jake Reid on the first play of overtime gave the Little Giants a first down at the 10-yard line...
Fincham expects another classic game between Wittenberg, Wabash

Fincham expects another classic game between Wittenberg, Wabash

The Wittenberg Tigers have taken a slight lead over Wabash, their biggest North Coast Athletic Conference football rival, in the series history since 2000. That’s significant because six years ago Wabash had won eight of the last 12 games. Momentum switched in 2013 when Wittenberg won 35-17 in Springfield, and Wittenberg has won four of the last five. TIFFNER FEATURE: Witt’s leading receiver...
Wide receiver Jeff Tiffner makes Wittenberg look good on the field and at the barbershop

Wide receiver Jeff Tiffner makes Wittenberg look good on the field and at the barbershop

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham remains loyal to Mike Minette, his longtime barber on East Main Street. He doesn’t plan to switch to Jeff Tiffner, his senior wide receiver whose cuts on the field after catches match the tight trims he makes at Nice Cuts, his barbershop on Mitchell Boulevard adjacent to Carleton Davidson Stadium. “I have these reoccurring thoughts of walking out of...
Wittenberg’s regular-season winning streak reaches 21 games

Wittenberg’s regular-season winning streak reaches 21 games

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...
Wittenberg starts two-game stretch against Indiana opponents

Wittenberg starts two-game stretch against Indiana opponents

The No. 8 Wittenberg Tigers sit four victories away from a rare feat: back-to-back 10-0 seasons, three straight outright North Coast Athletic Conference championships and a regular-season winning streak that would reach 24 games if they beat DePauw, Wabash, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster. It’s all so close but so far. Even this late in the season, the players don’t want to focus on the big...
Wittenberg men’s basketball team gets back to work after 27-3 season

Wittenberg men’s basketball team gets back to work after 27-3 season

Seven months after falling to Wisconsin-Oshkosh — a team that would advance all the way to the NCAA championship game — in the final minutes, the Wittenberg Tigers men’s basketball team returned tothe court this week at the HPER Center. Unlike Division I teams, Division III teams don’t get to practice together at all in the offseason. Any work they do on the court is informal...
Alter grad steps up as leader for Wittenberg offensive line

Alter grad steps up as leader for Wittenberg offensive line

Four poster boards listing goals for the team, offense, defense and special times line a wall outside the Wittenberg football team’s locker room at the HPER Center. For years, coaches have used these boards, which list a number of specific goals but one general goal at the top of each board: Win. For just over two years now, at least in the regular season, the Wittenberg Tigers have succeeded...
Wittenberg wins 20th straight regular-season game

Wittenberg wins 20th straight regular-season game

The ninth-ranked Wittenberg Tigers routed Allegheny 41-14 on Saturday in Meadville, Pa., breaking open a close game with a 31-0 run in the second half and extending their regular-season winning streak to 20 games. Jake Kennedy, who became Wittenberg’s all-time leader in passing yards in the previous game, completed 21 of 31 passes for 378 yards with five touchdowns. Jeff Tiffner led the receivers...
Wittenberg faces improved Allegheny on the road Saturday

Wittenberg faces improved Allegheny on the road Saturday

Coach Joe Fincham dives deep into the history book to inspire the Wittenberg Tigers when they play Allegheny as they will do at 1 p.m. Saturday in Meadville, Pa. “Anytime I start to talk about Allegheny, I start off with how much of a bloodbath it was through the ’90s and early 2000s,” Fincham said. Fincham needed the old examples in recent years as a way of warning his team to take...
Wittenberg running game showing progress in recent weeks

Wittenberg running game showing progress in recent weeks

Wittenberg hasn’t been Running Back U. for many years. The days of Casey Donaldson, Tristan Murray and Dave Merritt — the three leading rushers in school history — passed long ago. If an offensive record falls these days, it’s a passing or receiving mark. Nine of the leading receivers in school history finished their careers between 2001 and 2015. The current starting quarterback...
Greenon, Wittenberg graduate leading turnaround at Marietta

Greenon, Wittenberg graduate leading turnaround at Marietta

Few programs in college football, at any level, have made more progress over the past seven seasons than Marietta College. A graph charting the win totals of the Pioneers would veer steadily upward: from 0-10 in 2012 to 1-9, 2-8, 2-8, 3-7 and then 6-4 last season. This season, Marietta has started 5-0, its best record through five games since 1923. Overseeing the resurrection on the banks of the Ohio...
Wittenberg football moves into the top 10 of AFCA poll

Wittenberg football moves into the top 10 of AFCA poll

Wittenberg moved into the top 10 of the American Football Coaches Association poll for the first time this season Monday. The Tigers (5-0, 4-0) rank ninth at the halfway point of the regular season. They moved up three spots after a 47-28 victory Saturday against Hiram at Edwards-Maurer Field. It’s the second year in a row Wittenberg has entered the top 10. It climbed as high as No. 9 last season...
Wittenberg alone in first place in NCAC after routing Hiram

Wittenberg alone in first place in NCAC after routing Hiram

Jake Kennedy threw three touchdown passes to lead the Wittenberg Tigers to a 47-28 victory against Hiram on Saturday on homecoming at Edwards-Maurer Field. Wittenberg (5-0, 4-0) sits alone in first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference with five games to play because Denison (3-2, 3-1) followed its 68-66, four-overtime loss to Wittenberg with a 34-10 victory at home against Wabash. The Little...
Wittenberg coach: Offense gets share of blame for defense’s troubles at Denison

Wittenberg coach: Offense gets share of blame for defense’s troubles at Denison

Wittenberg’s offense padded its stats in a 68-66 four-overtime victory at Denison last Saturday. The defense, on the other hand, plummeted in the national rankings. Wittenberg ranked 26th in the nation in total defense (250.1 yards per game) through three games. It fell to 95th (336.3) this week. Wittenberg allowed more points in one game than it allowed in the entire 2009 regular-season...
Crowe brothers enjoying being teammates, making impact for Wittenberg

Crowe brothers enjoying being teammates, making impact for Wittenberg

Terrance and Tavian Crowe posed for a photo together Wednesday before the Wittenberg Tigers got to work at practice on the grass field off McCreight Avenue. Tavian, 19, has a 1-inch and 25-pound edge over Terrance, 23, these days, going by the heights and weights listed on the Wittenberg roster. For most of their lives, it was the other way around. When Terrance was a senior at Springfield High School...
Wittenberg quarterback earns NCAC weekly honor after record-breaking night

Wittenberg quarterback earns NCAC weekly honor after record-breaking night

Wittenberg Tigers quarterback Jake Kennedy won the North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week award Monday after a record-setting performance at Denison. The Bellefontaine grad Kennedy threw seven touchdown passes Saturday in a 68-66 four-overtime victory in Granville. He tied the single-game NCAC record set by Earlham’s Justin Rummell twice in the early 2000s. Kennedy completed...
Jablonski: Ranking 10 best Wittenberg football games I’ve covered in last 18 seasons

Jablonski: Ranking 10 best Wittenberg football games I’ve covered in last 18 seasons

In 18 seasons covering Wittenberg Tigers football, I have seen every sort of game. Few have measured up to what I witnessed Saturday in Granville when Wittenberg blew a 35-10 halftime lead and still managed to beat Denison 68-66 in four overtimes in the highest-scoring game in North Coast Athletic Conference history. I admit I had one story written at halftime and ready to publish at the end of the...
Wittenberg quarterback after 68-66 victory: Funnest game ever

Wittenberg quarterback after 68-66 victory: Funnest game ever

Quarterback Jake Kennedy could still walk. He might have been the last Wittenberg football player to leave the field Saturday. Everyone wants to talk to you when you’ve just thrown seven touchdown passes. Wide receiver Jeff Tiffner could still stand. He emerged from the locker room in one piece — one of the many minor miracles on a night to remember at Denison’s Deeds Field &mdash...
Wittenberg wins four-overtime thriller at Denison

Wittenberg wins four-overtime thriller at Denison

Wittenberg blew a 25-point lead in the second half but pulled out a 68-66 victory in four overtimes Saturday against Denison at Deeds Field. Jake Kennedy threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Thaddeus Snodgrass to tie the game in the fourth ovetime, and then Kennedy scrambled to score on two-point conversion run, diving to just into the front corner of the end zone. His teammates piled on him as they...
Wittenberg returns to Denison two years after shocking loss

Wittenberg returns to Denison two years after shocking loss

The Wittenberg Tigers haven’t lost many North Coast Athletic Conference games to teams not named Wasbash in the last 20 years. There were defeats at Ohio Wesleyan in 2004 and 2006. Wooster beat Wittenberg in 2004 and 2008. Allegheny last beat the Tigers in 2003. DePauw knocked off Wittenberg in 2015. All those losses came on the road. None of those defeats rank as high in the shock department...
Seay latest Florida native to find success at Wittenberg

Seay latest Florida native to find success at Wittenberg

Wittenberg University football coaches don’t have a special pitch for recruits they visit in Florida every year. No one would believe them anyway if they told players, “It’s not that cold in Springfield, and the beach at the reservoir is open year round.” Coach Joe Fincham said his coaches sell Florida players on Wittenberg the same way they do Ohio recruits. “Great academics...
Wittenberg’s new athletic facility, opening in 2019, has a catchy name

Wittenberg’s new athletic facility, opening in 2019, has a catchy name

The new $40 million indoor athletic facility rising on the campus of Wittenberg University will be known simply as  “The Steemer,” Wittenberg Athletic Director Gary Williams said Tuesday. “It’s just the Steemer,” Williams said. “That’s what Wes wanted to call it. It’s kind of catch.” Wes Bates, the chairman and CEO of Stanley Steemer...
Wittenberg offering free admission to all athletic events

Wittenberg offering free admission to all athletic events

Wittenberg University will stop charging admission for regular-season football and men’s and women’s basketball games, athletic director Gary Williams said Tuesday. The athletic department already had stopped selling tickets for other sporting events. Fans got in free for a football game Saturday for the first time when Wittenberg played Kenyon at Edwards-Maurer Field. “Attendance...
Wittenberg Tigers blast Kenyon 45-3 to improve to 3-0

Wittenberg Tigers blast Kenyon 45-3 to improve to 3-0

Wittenberg University junior Nick Kendall knew he had to pay homage to the players who came before him. After finishing a 75-yard touchdown run, Kendall ran over the alumni section in attendance for Champions Night where he gave high-fives to multiple former Tigers football players. Kendall finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries as the 14th-ranked Tigers cruised to a 45-3 victory...
Fincham seeks consistency in Wittenberg’s third game

Fincham seeks consistency in Wittenberg’s third game

The skeleton of Wittenberg’s new $40 million indoor facility rises behind the stands at Edwards-Maurer Field. The football players see it take shape every time they take the field, though it won’t be ready in time for them to use it this season. Coach Joe Fincham’s focus now is on the present. That means a 2-0 start and a 7 p.m. home game Saturday against Kenyon. The Tigers, ranked...
Freshman starting on O-line at Wittenberg for first time in 16 years

Freshman starting on O-line at Wittenberg for first time in 16 years

The John Denver song “Country Roads, Take Me Home,” a famous ode to West Virginia, played over the loudspeaker at Edwards-Maurer Field as the Wittenberg Tigers warmed up for practice Wednesday. Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham, a native of Williamstown, W.Va., heard it and claimed he had nothing to do with the playlist. That seemed true moments later as Drake’s “Big Rings&rdquo...
College of Wooster to induct South High standout into its Hall of Fame

College of Wooster to induct South High standout into its Hall of Fame

James Cooper didn’t have a favorite basketball court growing up in Springfield. He knew the rims all over town. “I played hoops everywhere, anywhere, all the time,” Cooper said. “I had a rough home life, so getting away from home was always important. Basketball was my answer. Get the ball and get away for a while.” In those formative years, Cooper developed the shot...
Wittenberg routs Oberlin for 16th straight regular-season win

Wittenberg routs Oberlin for 16th straight regular-season win

The No. 14 Wittenberg Tigers trailed Oberlin 7-3 after the first quarter Saturday but quickly squashed the Yeomen’s upset hopes with touchdowns on four straight possessions in the second quarter en route to a 45-14 victory at Knowlton Stadium. The Tigers (2-0, 1-0) won their North Coast Athletic Conference opener and first road game of the season, stretching their regular-season winning streak...
Wittenberg back in action after ‘focused week of practice’

Wittenberg back in action after ‘focused week of practice’

The Wittenberg Tigers have gotten used to the routine of playing their first game and then getting a week off before their second game and the start of a stretch of nine North Coast Athletic Conference games in nine weeks. That’s the way the schedule has looked the last seven seasons. “I think we, as a staff, kind of understand what we want to do,” Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham said...
Wittenberg quarterback climbing record books in third year as starter

Wittenberg quarterback climbing record books in third year as starter

Jake Kennedy accomplished a rare feat just by stepping onto the turf at Edwards-Maurer Field for the Wittenberg Tigers on Sept. 1. The Bellefontaine High School graduate Kennedy became the first Wittenberg quarterback since Aaron Huffman, the starter from 2006-09, to start the season opener in three straight seasons. With the 14th-ranked Tigers (1-0) opening North Coast Athletic Conference play Saturday...
Comparing Ohio State-Rutgers to other series in Buckeye football history  

Comparing Ohio State-Rutgers to other series in Buckeye football history  

Saturday at Ohio Stadium, Ohio State and Rutgers are scheduled to play for the fifth time.  The Scarlet Knights are not only winless in the series, they have been outscored 219-24 with none of those Rutgers points coming in the past two meetings.  Having spent an (almost) unhealthy amount of time examining Ohio State records over the years, I was struck by how this looked on paper more like...
Ohio State-Rutgers

Ohio State-Rutgers

Ohio State's Mike Weber runs for 49 yards against Rutgers on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
Kennedy leads Witt past Westminster in season opener

Kennedy leads Witt past Westminster in season opener

When Wittenberg quarterback Jake Kennedy sets up in the shotgun, he’s looking around at the defense. He’s also looking to see who his receivers are because there are so many of them. And he’s looking to see where the double-teams are. Early in Saturday’s opener at home against Westminster, Kennedy saw speedy wide receiver Thad Snodgrass on the left side with single coverage...
2018 World Cup: Who are local coaches, fans rooting for?

2018 World Cup: Who are local coaches, fans rooting for?

The World Cup begins Thursday in Russia without the United States for the first time since 1986. While TV viewership in the USA for the tournament soared from 3,273,000 in 2010 to to 4,557,000 in 2014, those numbers could plummet this year because of the absence of the Americans. Soccer may be more popular than ever in this country — witness the rise of FC Cincinnati — but the non-soccer...
Wittenberg improves to 15-0 with win at Wooster

Wittenberg improves to 15-0 with win at Wooster

The No. 10 Wittenberg Tigers beat their biggest rival, Wooster, on the road at Timken Gymnasium for the first time since 2011, pulling away in the final minutes for an 86-75 victory Saturday. Jake Bertemes led the Tigers with 22 points. Jordan Pumroy scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Chad Roy had 18 points. Landon Martin scored 13 points off the bench. Wittenberg had lost three straight games...
Wittenberg earns home game in first round of playoffs

Wittenberg earns home game in first round of playoffs

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham's thinking on Selection Sunday never changes. "Expect the unexpected," he said. Seventeen years after the Tigers were sent to Abilene, Texas, in the first round — still the biggest playoff surprise for the Tigers after all these years — they were handed an unknown opponent in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III playoffs. The bracket...
Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham after big win: ‘The guys stuck together’

Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham after big win: ‘The guys stuck together’

Coach Joe Fincham had a typical Sunday planned for the Wittenberg Tigers: weightlifting, film sessions, meetings, etc. It’s the same routine every week. There was nothing typical about Saturday for Fincham and the Tigers, however — other than the fact that they won. No. 13 Wittenberg beat Wabash 21-14 to improve to 8-0 and maintain its grip on first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference...
Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg has fielded a football team for 123 seasons. The four-overtime playoff thriller at Thomas More last season was the program’s 754th victory. Only Mount Union, the perennial national powerhouse, has more. Close to 90 freshmen football players showed up on Wittenberg’s campus Tuesday. An army of 160 Tigers will hold their first practice of the 2017 season Wednesday. They reported...
NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

North Coast Athletic Conference football coaches voted Wittenberg the preseason favorite Thursday. The Tigers received six of 10 first-place votes. They finished 10-2 in 2016 and won the league championship with an 8-1 mark. Wittenberg has won the NCAC title outright or shared it in six of the last eight seasons. Wabash, which tied for second with Denison and DePauw last season at 7-2, received three...
Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Wittenberg University removed the interim tag from Kelly Mahlum’s title, and she will continue to coach the women’s basketball team in the 2017-18 season. She is the eighth head coach in school history. Wittenberg made the announcement Friday. Mahlum took over the program when Sarah Jurewicz went on maternity leave last season. The Tigers went 10-16 under Mahlum. Jurewicz will remain with...
Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

The Wittenberg Tigers recorded the most impressive victory of the Matt Croci era so far, upsetting No. 9 Denison 71-70 in Granville on Saturday. Shawnee grad Jaelin Williams, a Wittenberg senior, blocked a shot by Denison’s Bret Woolard at the buzzer. Williams led the Tigers with 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting. He had a team-high eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Wittenberg trailed...
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