Big Plays on Defense Lift Tigers to 7-3 Win over Albion; Tigers Win Third Straight
DePauw's defense and special teams came up with some big plays which helped the Tigers take a 7-3 victory over Albion on a sunny afternoon at Blackstock Stadium.
The win was the Tigers' third straight as they improved to 4-4, while the Britons who are headed to the NCAA Division III postseason, dropped to 5-4.
Albion drove to the DePauw 23 on its second possession of the game, but DePauw's Damon Megerle forced Albion back Wes Dolen to fumble on fourth-and-three and the Tigers' Jack Quinn recovered at the DePauw 27.
The Britons drove to the Tigers' 20 early in the second, but Nick Pendell's 37-yard field goal was off the mark. Later in the quarter, Albion started from its own 29 after a 57-yard punt by DePauw's Eric Malm lifted the Tigers out of poor field position.
After Albion picked up a first down, DePauw's Mafileo Tupou picked off Alex Harris' second-down pass and returned it to the Albion 11. Bryan Coleman (right) picked up four yards on first down and then scored on the next play from seven yards out for what would be the game's lone touchdown as DePauw took a 7-0 lead with 5:50 left in the half.
Megerle picked off Harris on the next possession and the Tigers drove to the Albion 11, but Eric Malm's 29-yard field goal hit the left upright with 25 seconds remaining in the half.
The Britons' next best chance came on their second possession of the third quarter, but Pendell's 30-yard field goal effort was wide.
Early in the fourth quarter the Britons started at their own 10 and drove to midfield where they converted on a fourth-and-one. The Britons eventually advanced to the DePauw 17, but an incomplete pass and a third-down sack by the Tigers' Michael Fultz forced the guests to attempt a field goal which Pendell nailed from 38 yards to cut the DePauw lead to 7-3 with 9:31 remaining.
Albion later downed a punt at the DePauw 7 with 5:11 left and the Tigers picked up a first down on Will King's 22-yard pass to Jordan Hickam but were forced to punt. The Britons started on their own 49 and drove to the DePauw 31, but four straight incomplete passes gave the ball back to DePauw and the Tigers ran out the clock.
The Britons outgained the Tigers 380-126, held a 20-8 edge in first downs and ran 33 more plays, but committed three turnovers to DePauw's zero.
Coleman rushed for 40 yards on 18 carries, while King completed 7-of-16 passes for 69 yards. Hickam and Bobby Coburn each caught two in the win.
Dolen totaled 102 yards on 29 tries with Harris completing 26-of-52 for 286 yards and two interceptions. Brian Spencer hauled in nine catches for 101 yards, while J.C. Cruse had seven grabs for 102.
Dwenger and Ben Brandstatter each totaled 13 tackles, while Steve Valdiserri finished with 10. Fultz had one sack, while Graham Wilkerson and Patrick Keller shared one. The Tigers totaled eight pass breakups with Dennis Callicutt leading with three.
C.J. Carroll and John Lesinski each had seven tackles for Albion with Carroll recording one sack and Julian Paksi and Jacob Heinrich splitting one.