Three blocked punts led to 20 points as the University of
Chicago football team defeated Ohio Wesleyan University 30-6 in the
first-ever meeting between the schools Saturday on a rain-soaked
and wind-blown Stagg Field.
Chicago (3-2) scored the only points of the first quarter at the 7:43 mark when Cameron Grimes blocked a punt and Alex Dzierbicki returned it 15 yards to the end zone.
The Maroons' special teams came up with four key plays on consecutive series in the second quarter.
Joshua Burandt recovered a muffed punt return early in the
period, which led to a 20-yard field goal off the foot of Jeff
Sauer seven plays later.
On the Battling Bishops' next possession, Mychael Gilliam blocked a punt which Danny Polaneczky returned to the Ohio Wesleyan 3-yard line. A 1-yard touchdown plunge by Francis Adarkwa put the Maroons on top 16-0.
After the Chicago defense forced another three-and-out series, Steve Tsilimos recorded the Maroons' third blocked punt of the game which Ian Gaines scooped up and took 3 yards into the end zone.
On the ensuing kickoff, Tsilimos recovered an Ohio Wesleyan fumble at the Bishop 18-yard line, setting up a 1-yard run by Vinny Cortina on the final play from scrimmage in the first half.
Ohio Wesleyan (0-5) avoided the shutout when Mason Espinosa tossed a 10-yard scoring strike to Rayce Risser to cap a 12-play, 84-yard drive late in the contest. Espinosa completed 8 of 20 passes for 88 yards on the afternoon.
Relying on the running game in the heavy winds and rain, Chicago gained 208 yards on 58 carries while completing only three of seven pass attempts. Gaines led the Maroons with 72 yards on 12 runs from the wildcat formation.
Matt Sargent and Jake Longtin each had 1.5 sacks as the Maroons brought down Espinosa on four occasions.
Saturday's victory marked the 80th career win for Chicago Head
Coach Dick Maloney.