Crawfordsville, Ind., October 8, 2011 – No. 12 ranked Wabash College remained undefeated with a 24-3 win over the Washington University in St. Louis football team on Saturday afternoon at the Byron P. Hollett Little Giant Stadium in Crawfordsville, Ind.
Wabash improves to 5-0 with the victory, while Washington University suffered its third-straight defeat and falls to 2-3 overall. The Bears will look to snap their three-game losing skid at home on Saturday, Oct. 15, against the College of Wooster. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Francis Field.
Wabash took an early 3-0 following a 41-yard field goal by Ian MacDougall with 1:40 remaining in the first quarter. The Little Giants forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Washington U. offensive possession, and then senior Wes Chamblee returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the quarter to make it 10-0. The punt return for a touchdown was Chamblee's second of the year. Wabash outgained Washington University 100-28 in the opening quarter of play.
The Bears' defense continued to keep the high-scoring Wabash offense in check, and a late drive by Washington U. got the Bears' on the scoreboard just before half. Junior quarterback Dan Burkett got the Bears across midfield for the first time in the contest following a 33-yard scramble.
Burkett found senior tight end Phill Stoecker for a seven-yard reception on a key 3rd-and-6 to push the ball inside the Wabash 20, and then junior kicker Eric Chalifour booted a 33-yard field goal with 3.3 seconds left to make it 10-3 at half. The Bears were 0-for-6 on third down before Stoecker's reception.
Wabash had a 139-124 advantage in total offense in the first half, and the two teams combined for 11 first downs and 11 punts. Senior punterAustin Morman had six punts for a 46.2 average with a long of 56.
Special teams mistakes continued to haunt the Bears in the third quarter. Washington U.'s defense stopped Wabash on the WU 46-yard line early in the third, but sophomore Tate Byers was called for running into the punter on fourth down allowing the Wabash offense to stay on the field. Seven plays later, quarterback Chase Belton connected with John Horn for an 18-yard fade route to make it 17-3 with 8:05 remaining.
Belton scored from one-yard out to push the lead to 24-3 on a 4th-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter to round out the scoring. He finished the contest 18-of-30 for 199 yards and a TD.
Burkett was 18-of-39 for 190 yards through the air and was sacked three times. He also rushed for a team-high 49 yards on eight carries. Morman hauled in three catches for 51 yards, while Stoecker added three catches for 40 yards. The Bears were limited to 249 yards of total offense, and were 4-of-15 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth down.
Washington U.'s defense allowed 300 yards of total offense (199-passing; 101-rushing), and limited the Little Giants to 3-of-12 on third down. Senior Nick Hillard led the defensive unit with 10 tackles, while senior Marcus Shelby added a career-best nine stops.
Bear Notebook: The two teams met for the 44th time in school history, with Wabash leading the all-time series, 26-16-2 … Senior Joe Rhein made his 35th-consecutive start at center on Saturday … Byers recorded the second interception of his career late in the third quarter … The Bears are 0-2 against ranked teams this season … Wabash entered the contest ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III allowing 5.2 points per game … Wabash honored the late James E. McLeod, Washington University Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, with a moment of silence prior to kickoff.