October 27, 2012

Wabash Defense Shines in 28-0 win at OWU

More news about: Wabash

For the second week in a row, the Wabash Little Giant defense blanked its opponent. The Little Giants held Ohio Wesleyan scoreless in a 28-0 victory.

The score was tied 0-0 at halftime, but the Wabash offense scored 4 second-half touchdowns in a game that will go a long way in deciding the 2012 NCAC Champion.

"The defense did a great job every possession," Coach Erik Raeburn said. "It started right off the bat where Ohio Wesleyan had the nice little drive to the goal line but our defense came up with the big stop on fourth and goal."

The Bishops were knocking on the door on the opening drive of the game but running back Scott Jenkins was stuffed by the Little Giant defense on a fourth-down plunge from the one-inch line.

Wabash's offense took the ball in the shadow of its own goal post but was unable to make much happen. Poor field position and not sustaining drives were common themes for the Little Giant offense in the first half. However, it broke the game open after halftime, led by Chase Belton and Tyler Holmes.

"We didn't make too many adjustments at half time," Holmes said. "We just stopped beating ourselves. Once again, our offensive line was dominating and we were able to put some explosive plays together."

Holmes one-upped himself to set a new personal best with 210 yards rushing a week after posting 189 last week. He added a touchdown on a career-long 67-yard scamper with 23 carries for the day.

After last week's 30-0 victory over Wooster, the Little Giant defense forced a shutout in back-to-back games for the first time since 1983. Today's achievement was not as easy as the score may suggest.

Ohio Wesleyan quarterback Mason Espinosa completed 52 passes of an astronomical 75 attempts. He gained 428 yards through the air without a single completion going for more than 25 yards. The dink-and-dunk offense moved the ball until it approached the red zone, where the passing windows were tighter and Wabash defenders made plays.

"Their offense was frustrating because the ball would be gone as soon as we came off the line," linebacker Cody Buresh said. "We went from cover 2 to cover 4 in the second half which put our outside linebacker on the slot receivers so that helped with the quick bubble routes."

Buresh was one of four Little Giants to record 10 or more tackles. Justin Woods led the unit with 16 stops, including 12 solos. Denzel Wilkins added 13, while Nate Scola finished with 10. Scola added a team-high 3 tackles for losses and made 1-1/2 sacks. Wabash sacked Espinosa 6 times throughout the game, adding to the negative rushing totals for the Bishops. OWU finished the contest with minus-22 yards rushing. Zach Breuckman made two sacks, with Tyler McCullen finishing with 1-1/2. Pat Clegg recorded the final sack.

After stalling out in Wabash territory twice in the first half, the Bishops tried to put points on the board with two field-goal attempts. The first try sailed wide right from 41 yards out while Buresh swatted the second.

The 0-0 deadlock ended in the third quarter when Belton lofted a deep pass down the right sideline to  Houston Hodges for an 82-yard strike. The starting corner and wide receiver would later add another touchdown catch --- this time for 26 yards --- and an interception.

"We called a couple of 'all goes' and I was able to get behind the defense," Hodges said. "Chase threw a great ball and I can't ask for much more."

Two series later, Belton found Sean Hildebrand on the same play, except this time down the left sideline for a 71-yard score and 14-0 lead.

"I trusted my line more in the second half," Belton said. "(James) Huddleston was a great player but I hung in the pocket longer and receivers did a great job getting open."

Huddleston, a two-time All-Conference defensive end for OWU, made his presence known with 2 sacks. Despite Huddleston's disruptiveness, Raeburn knew the offense had to loosen up the defense with big pass plays.

"We were leery of their pass rush but we felt like we were playing too conservative in that first half," he said. "Their defensive backs were creeping up so we took some shots down the field. Obviously Houston and Sean did a great job getting behind the defense."

Once the defense softened up, Holmes and the Little Giant offensive line went to work wearing down the Bishop's front seven. The group muscled open big holes on a 67-yard touchdown run by Holmes. On the next drive, Belton found Hodges again, this time on a 26-yard touchdown pass for the game's final score.

Wabash will still need some help to win a second-consecutive NCAC Championship. All the team can do is win its final two games, starting on Senior Day Saturday November 3rd against Oberlin College. The Little Giants will remain home the next week when they host Depauw in the 119th Monon Bell Classic.

comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 37, Gettysburg 14
Box Score Recap
Oct. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Hobart at RPI
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Mass-Dartmouth
Preview Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at Nichols
Preview Live Stats
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Alfred
Video
12:00 PM
Salisbury at Ithaca
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Plymouth State
Preview Live Stats
12:00 PM
Morrisville State at Southern Virginia
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
12:30 PM
Bowdoin at Wesleyan
Preview Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Middlebury at Trinity (Conn.)
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Alfred State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Colby at Bates
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Tufts at Amherst
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wesley at Virginia-Lynchburg
Audio
1:00 PM
Husson at Castleton State
Preview Live Stats Video Tickets
1:00 PM
Williams at Hamilton
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Stevenson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
DePauw at Allegheny
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Moravian at Franklin and Marshall
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Olivet
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Albion at Trine
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Mount Ida at Gallaudet
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Cortland State at Kean
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Adrian
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Shenandoah
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Emory and Henry
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hope at Alma
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at St. Vincent
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Dickinson at McDaniel
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Guilford at Randolph-Macon
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Methodist at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Ursinus
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Rowan at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Springfield at St. Lawrence
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hiram at Ohio Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Lebanon Valley
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Juniata at Muhlenberg
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
King's at Albright
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
William Paterson at TCNJ
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Sewanee at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Endicott at Coast Guard
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Mount Union
Preview Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Capital at John Carroll
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Rose-Hulman at Franklin
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio
1:30 PM
Grove City at Thomas More
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Widener at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Marietta at Heidelberg
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Waynesburg at Thiel
Video
1:30 PM
Rochester at Union
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Anderson at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Manchester at Bluffton
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Otterbein at Baldwin Wallace
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Utica at Buffalo State
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Brockport State at Hartwick
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Becker at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Benedictine
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
LaGrange at Huntingdon
Video Audio
2:00 PM
Aurora at Lakeland
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Birmingham-Southern
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Rockford at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at UW-River Falls
Preview Video Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at St. Olaf
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Illinois College
Video
2:00 PM
Loras at Simpson
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Dubuque
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Beloit at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Carroll at Ripon
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Augustana at Carthage
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Illinois Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Millikin at North Park
Audio
2:00 PM
Central at Coe
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Cornell at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
2:00 PM
Crown at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Greenville
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Knox
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Concordia (Mich.) at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Live Stats Video Video
2:30 PM
Defiance at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Washington U. at Chicago
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Norwich at Anna Maria
Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Stout
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
WPI at Merchant Marine
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Linfield at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Pacific Lutheran
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at La Verne
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Pacific at George Fox
Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Western New England at MIT
Live Stats Video
5:00 PM
Worcester State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
5:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Audio
6:00 PM
Ferrum at Averett
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Muskingum at Ohio Northern
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Denison
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Christopher Newport
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Bethany at Geneva
8:00 PM
Eureka at St. Scholastica
Live Stats Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Chapman at Cal Lutheran
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Occidental
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Whittier at Pomona-Pitzer
Live Stats Video
Oct. 25: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
Chapman at Cal Lutheran
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Grove City at Thomas More
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Mount Union
Preview Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Capital at John Carroll
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wesley at Virginia-Lynchburg
Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Shenandoah
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Alfred State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Stout
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at RPI
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Linfield at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 37, Gettysburg 14
Box Score Recap

What We're Reading