/seasons/2012/contrib/20121110wtt2mq

Wittenberg Punches Playoff Ticket With Win At Oberlin

More news about: Wittenberg

OBERLIN, Ohio – For the 11th time since joining the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and the third time in the last four years, the Wittenberg Tigers stand atop the league's final standings after a 47-20 victory over host Oberlin in the 2012 regular season finale.

The Tigers, who came into the day tied with Ohio Wesleyan and Kenyon for first place, finished the 2012 campaign with records of 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the NCAC, good for a first-place tie with Ohio Wesleyan. More importantly, Wittenberg earned the conference's automatic berth in the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament by virtue of tiebreaker criteria that would have favored Kenyon if not for the Lords' loss to Denison.

The Tigers will learn their postseason fate during the NCAA's selection show at 6 p.m. Sunday. Wittenberg was ranked fifth in the latest Great Lakes Region rankings, which were released on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

The key against Oberlin, which had pulled off the upset of the NCAC season a week earlier at Wabash, was a fast start for the Tigers, who scored the game's first 35 points in a little more than 21 minutes of game time. That cushion allowed the Tigers to overcome some ragged play, including four fumbles (three lost), an interception and several dropped passes.

"We obviously feel very good about the way we played overall today, but there were some uncharacteristic mistakes," said Head Coach Joe Fincham, who has led Wittenberg to nine league titles in his 17 seasons at the helm. "The important thing is that we took care of what we could today, and I guess we'll need to send a thank-you note to Denison for their assistance."

The Tigers rolled up 580 yards of total offense, with most of the damage done over the first three quarters as junior quarterback Reed Florence (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) passed for 286 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 completions and freshman tailback Jimmy Dehnke (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) carried 16 times for 127 yards, including a 55-yard burst that set up one of three second-quarter touchdowns for Wittenberg. Florence's scoring strikes went to three different receivers, highlighted by junior Desi Kirkman (Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic) with career-highs of six receptions for 125 yards to go along with scores both rushing and receiving.

Junior wideout Brendon Cunningham (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont) added three catches for 80 yards and a score and junior wide receiver Jonathan Stoner (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green) made the most of his lone catch with a 50-yard touchdown. Also of note was the play of junior quarterback Noah Johanson (Medina, Ohio/Medina), who turned what appeared to be a short gain into a 52-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, Wittenberg held Oberlin in check, allowing 152 of the Yeomen's 381 total yards in the fourth quarter and forcing three turnovers, including a fumble in the first quarter that junior safety Heath Eby (Medina, Ohio/Cloverleaf) returned 30 yards for a score. Oberlin threw 70 passes in the game as the Tigers completely stifled the Yeomen's rushing attack, allowing just 13 yards on 17 attempts.

Junior cornerback Victor Banjo (Sugarland, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) and junior linebacker Evan Killilea (Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) led the Tigers with seven tackles apiece. Eby was one of three players to finish with five tackles in the game.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
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Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
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at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
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Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio Audio Video
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap