September 25, 2010

No. 6 Wittenberg Survives Allegheny Scare, 24-21

More news about: Allegheny

MEADVILLE, Pa. – Nationally-ranked No. 6 Wittenberg remained unbeaten in the 2010 campaign after escaping with a 24-21 victory against Allegheny College at Frank B. Fuhrer Field on Saturday. Trailing 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter, the Tigers scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions before hanging on for the tough conference win.

After outscoring its first three opponents, 137-13, Wittenberg (4-0, 2-0 NCAC) faced a stiff test in North Coast Athletic Conference foe Allegheny. The Gators (2-1, 0-1 NCAC) showed a tremendous amount of poise against one of the nation's top teams, although the Tigers capitalized on a few key plays to clinch their fourth consecutive victory to start the season.

One of the game's defining moments occurred with just under 14 minutes left in regulation. Facing a third-and-22 from the Allegheny 40, junior signal caller Ben Zoeller eluded a near-sack before connecting with third-year wideout Michael Cooper for a 33-yard completion to set up the Tigers' go-ahead score. Zoeller dashed into the end zone from seven yards out on the next play to push Wittenberg in front, 17-14.

Zoeller displayed similar magic on the Tigers' next series, turning another near-sack on a third-and-12 into a 20-yard reception to Josh McKee. Three plays later, McKee made a spectacular catch at the back of the end zone to give Wittenberg a 10-point cushion mid-way through the final frame.

Allegheny senior quarterback T.J. Salopek brought the Gators back to life by orchestrating a superb drive on the ensuing series. Finishing 5-of-5 for 63 yards on the drive, Salopek methodically drove Allegheny down the field by targeting five different receivers. With first-and-goal from the Tiger two, fullback David Tate punched in his second score of the day to slice the deficit to three.

Wittenberg took over possession with four minutes left on the clock, although Allegheny's stout defensive forced a three-and-out, while giving the Gators one last chance to steal the victory.

Senior Trevor Cochran made an outstanding play on the punt, pinning Allegheny inside its own three yard-line with 2:38 remaining. Despite the poor field position, Salopek completed four straight passes, including a pair to David Strawser and a pair to tight end Robert Carlisle that gave Allegheny first-and-10 near mid-field. Down to the final minute of regulation, Wittenberg showcased its own defensive muscle by forcing two incompletions and a tackle for loss. With the game hanging in the balance, Allegheny's fourth-down attempt faltered as the Wittenberg rush forced Salopek out of the pocket and out of bounds on the near sideline, six yards short of the first-down marker.

Allegheny outgained Wittenberg, 295-288, although nearly every total was even. Salopek, who finished 19-of-29 for 177 yards with one touchdown and two picks, was sacked four times on the afternoon. Zoeller completed 10-of-15 for 170 yards while throwing one touchdown and one interception.

Senior Corey Webber rushed for a game-best 96 yards and a score on 20 carries, while Allegheny's Brian Tamburlin finished with 75 yards on 14 rushes. McKee, who set a plethora of offensive records in Wittenberg's victory over Washington University, made five catches and closed with 116 yards receiving. Carlisle hauled in a season-high eight catches and a touchdown for Allegheny.

Wittenberg opened the battle with a quick score as Weber broke through a hole on the right side from 26 yards out on a fourth-and-one on the game's opening drive.  Although the Tigers scored on their opening series for the fourth consecutive game, the Allegheny defensive tightened up by stopping two fourth-and-one attempts over the next quarter of play. Sid Facaros' third interception of the year set up Allegheny's first score of the day. A completion to senior Terry Hartford put Allegheny inside the Wittenberg 10, while Tate dove across the goal-line from one-yard out.

A two-yard pass by Salopek to Carlisle with three minutes left in the third quarter, capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive which dealt Wittenberg its first deficit of the season at 14-10.   

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
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7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
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TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
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McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
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Sewanee at Kenyon
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UW-Platteville at George Fox
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12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
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12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
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1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
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1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
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1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
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2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
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2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
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2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
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5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
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7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:00 PM
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7:10 PM
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8:00 PM
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8:00 PM
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8:00 PM
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8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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