/seasons/2012/contrib/20120901i0a11k

Wittenberg Forces Six Turnovers In 44-17 Ambush Of Capital

More news about: Wittenberg

For the second straight year, the Wittenberg Tigers ambushed the Capital Crusaders in the season opener. A year after becoming the first non-Division I program to reach 700 all-time victories with a 45-28 win in Springfield, the Tigers turned the trick again with a 44-17 win on Capital's home field.

Wittenberg jumped out to a 30-3 lead by halftime and never looked back in the 2012 edition of the rivalry. The Tigers, who forced six Capital turnovers while racking up 475 yards of total offense, have now won 30 of 37 all-time meetings between the two Central Ohio Lutheran universities.

In his first collegiate start, junior quarterback Reed Florence (Springfield, Ohio/Southeastern) threw for 320 yards, easily a career high. He tossed a pair of touchdown passes and scored two more touchdowns on the ground, although he was intercepted three times by the Crusaders.

A fast start made all the difference, as Florence completed all four of his passes on Wittenberg's opening possession before finishing the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge.

"We had our first 10 plays set out for us, and we went over them about 30 times during the week," Florence said. "We executed just perfectly on each play."

The momentum carried throughout the first half, even after the Crusaders responded to the Tigers' first score with a field goal. Florence capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive near the end of the first quarter with a two-yard scoring run, and then senior kicker Sean Williams (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) added a 20-yard field goal. The barrage continued with a 41-yard scoring strike from Florence to junior wide receiver Jonathan Stoner (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green) and the first career touchdown from senior wide receiver Ethan Sharpin (Springfield, Ohio/Kenton Ridge), who picked up a blocked punt by junior cornerback Victor Banjo (Sugarland, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) and returned it 11 yards for the score.

Wittenberg stretched the lead to 37-3 with a five-yard connection between Florence and junior tight end Stephen Zumdick (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) in the third quarter. After Capital scored the next 14 points, the Tigers put the finishing touches on things with a 20-yard touchdown run by freshman tailback Jimmy Dehnke (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson).

Dehnke finished with 67 yards on 17 carries, while junior JaVanh Sanders (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) chipped in with 16 rushes for 45 yards. Through the air, junior Brendon Cunningham (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) was Florence's favorite target with 102 yards on five receptions. Junior Desi Kirkman (Lima, Ohio/Catholic Central) added three catches for 73 yards.

Defensively, Wittenberg was paced by junior linebacker Evan Killilea (Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) with nine tackles, including two for loss and a sack, which forced a fourth-quarter fumble by the Crusaders. Sophomore linebacker Nick Gibson (Marysville, Ohio/Fairbanks) added seven tackles and a pass broken up. Fumbles were recovered by senior defensive end Jon Daniels (Springfield, Ohio/South) and junior linebacker Erick Collins (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield), while Banjo, senior cornerback Karlos Marshall (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) and senior cornerback Jamaal Everett (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) all intercepted passes in the game.

The Crusaders were limited to 267 yards of total offense, including just 77 through the air for a team that finished in the top 30 nationally in passing in 2011.

"To come out of the gates and play the way we did, I couldn't be more pleased," said Head Coach Joe Fincham. "Considering how many first-time starters we have, especially the guys who are handling the football, we played very well."

The Tigers have a week off before opening North Coast Athletic Conference action with home date against DePauw. First kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Edwards-Maurer Field.

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
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at Stevenson 33, Wilkes 21
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at RPI 31, Hobart 24
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at MIT 13, Coast Guard 0
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Norwich 15, at Maine Maritime 7
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at Moravian 31, Juniata 14
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at Dean 53, Gallaudet 21
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Endicott 45, at Becker 13
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Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
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SUNY-Maritime 68, at Castleton 41
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at Trinity (Texas) 28, Sewanee 14
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Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
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N.C. Wesleyan 29, at Brevard 21
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at Misericordia 37, FDU-Florham 33
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Union 29, at St. Lawrence 7
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at Ithaca 28, Rochester 3
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at Colby 23, Hamilton 21
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at Middlebury 35, Bates 34
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Trinity (Conn.) 48, at Bowdoin 6
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Springfield 23, at Catholic 11
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Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 3
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at Plymouth State 17, Massachusetts Maritime 14
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at Husson 54, Anna Maria 14
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TCNJ 13, at Kean 8
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Carnegie Mellon 41, at Thiel 7
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Salve Regina 30, at Curry 21
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King's 37, at Albright 26
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Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
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Susquehanna 41, at Ursinus 35
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Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
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at Western New England 70, University of New England 13
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Franklin and Marshall 35, at Dickinson 14
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at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
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at Emory and Henry 52, Shenandoah 50
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at Wabash 32, Oberlin 7
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at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
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at Hampden-Sydney 38, Guilford 35
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at Randolph-Macon 44, Bridgewater 41
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Cortland 56, at Hartwick 3
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at Denison 27, Ohio Wesleyan 10
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Waynesburg 12, at St. Vincent 10
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Salisbury 33, at Southern Virginia 0
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at Methodist 42, Greensboro 6
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Christopher Newport 39, at William Paterson 10
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Albion 49, at Adrian 42
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Thomas More 35, at St. Scholastica 0
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at Westminster (Mo.) 25, Minnesota-Morris 7
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Lake Forest 24, at Grinnell 0
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at Greenville 41, Crown 14
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at Merchant Marine 25, WPI 24
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at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
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at Tufts 28, Williams 21
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Ohio Northern 49, at Capital 46
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Baldwin Wallace 35, at Wilmington 33
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at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
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at Lycoming 52, Alvernia 0
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at Rose-Hulman 44, Anderson 6
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at Franklin 64, Earlham 20
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Hanover 48, at Manchester 14
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Mount St. Joseph 20, at Defiance 0
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at Utica 30, Alfred 22
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Maryville (Tenn.) 37, at LaGrange 17
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Framingham State 27, at Westfield State 2
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Morrisville State 35, at St. John Fisher 7
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at Muskingum 21, Otterbein 14
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at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
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at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
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at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
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at Wooster 28, Hiram 21
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Allegheny 54, at Kenyon 10
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at Nebraska Wesleyan 23, Luther 15
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Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
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at Eureka 50, Benedictine 20
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
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at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
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Chicago 63, at Beloit 0
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at Concordia (Wis.) 45, Concordia-Chicago 34
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Aurora 25, at Rockford 7
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at Bethel 41, Concordia-Moorhead 13
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Lakeland 38, at Wisconsin Lutheran 12
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at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
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at Gustavus Adolphus 42, Augsburg 0
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Dubuque 38, at Buena Vista 7
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North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
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at Ripon 58, Macalester 34
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at Monmouth 51, Cornell 0
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at Simpson 38, Loras 33
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at Knox 20, Illinois College 6
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UW-Stout 31, at UW-Stevens Point 27
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Millikin 14, at Elmhurst 13
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at MacMurray 20, Iowa Wesleyan 13
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at UW-Platteville 16
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at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
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at Mass-Dartmouth 41, Worcester State 27
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at Wartburg 47, Central 20
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at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
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at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
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at Birmingham-Southern 47, Austin 35
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Centre 41, at Rhodes 14
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at Carroll 23, North Park 0
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at Kalamazoo 17, Alma 10
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at Pacific Lutheran 33, Willamette 20
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at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
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at Averett 45, Huntingdon 17
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Washington and Lee 38, at Ferrum 35
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at Pacific 54, Lewis and Clark 22
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Redlands 35, at La Verne 17
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Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
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Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 27, at Occidental 7
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Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
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at Hope 35, Olivet 30
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at Western Connecticut 50, Bridgewater State 48
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Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
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at Sul Ross State 28, Howard Payne 27
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East Texas Baptist 48, at Louisiana College 27
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Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
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St. Norbert 46, at Lawrence 0
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at Pomona-Pitzer 42, Whittier 17
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Chapman 33, at Cal Lutheran 29
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
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at RPI 31, Hobart 24
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Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
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at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
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at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
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Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
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Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
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at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
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at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
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Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
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at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
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at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
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Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
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at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
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at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
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North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
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at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
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at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
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at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
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at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
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Whitworth 47, at Puget Sound 13
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Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
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Case Western Reserve 27, at Geneva 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 27, at Washington U. 21
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