/seasons/2013/contrib/20130914neplf0

Wabash Muscles Past Hanover

More news about: Wabash

Wabash opened its season Saturday with a convincing 69-0 win over Hanover. The 69 points was the most in eight years.

Freshman Delon Pettiford shone in his college debut and Sophomore Michael Putko excelled in his first start as a college quarterback. Putko completed an efficient 12-of-15 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a third touchdown running.

Pettiford, an Indianapolis Lawrence Central graduate, scored touchdowns on a blocked punt and interception return. Pettiford's interception was one of six for the Little Giant defense. The defense compiled an impressive 15 tackles for loss and five sacks.

"His last high school game was winning the state championship, and first college game he scored two touchdowns on defense and special teams so he got off to a pretty good start I guess," Coach Erik Raeburn said, a little tongue-in-cheek perhaps.

Pettiford scored the first touchdown of the Little Giant season recovering a blocked punt in the end zone after Hanover's first series. Pettiford also ended the Panthers' first series of the second half intercepting an Adam Gutermuth pass and returned it 32 yards for the touchdown.

Pettiford explained in the Wabash cover two defense the play was designed to bait Hanover into throwing the ball into the flats giving defensive back a chance to jump the route.

Putko orchestrated five scoring drives on his first seven series, leading the offense to 31 of Wabash's 38 first half points.

"When we're getting the ball inside the 30 every time, there's not much to it," Putko said. "Just execute and the rest will take of itself."

Putko earned his first touchdown on a bubble throw to Houston Hodges, who knifed his way into the end zone from seven yards out.

On the first play of the second quarter, Putko made perhaps his best throw of the day threading the ball into tight coverage for a 26-yard score to Sean Hildebrand, 21-0. Hildebrand caught four passes for 66 yards.

Wabash then turned to its ground game. Tyler Holmes carried the ball eight times in the second quarter for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including one 71-yard run that came up just short of the goal line. He finished the day with 146 yards on 19 carries.

Ian McDougall converted a 31-yard field goal late in the quarter to give the Little Giants a half-time lead of 38-0. McDougall converted two field goals and made all nine extra point attempts.

As Putko noted, the Little Giant defense and special teams made life easy. The Panthers crossed midfield just once in the first half, and it was only to the Wabash 49.

"We feel like our defense can have a really strong year," Raeburn said. "We have a lot of talent and experience on that side of the football. We were happy to see it pick up where it left off last year."

Nate Scola set the pace for the defense with six tackles including two sacks and two more for loss. AJ Akinribade posted similar results; he had five tackles, two sacks, and two-and-a-half for loss.

Pettiford, Eddie Cmehil, Jack Montgomery, Andrew Gibson, Denzel Wilkins, and Peter Fouts each snagged interceptions. The group added up 103 return yards — 58 more than the offensive output for Hanover. Raeburn felt the pass rush was just as responsible for forcing the interception as was the coverage.

"No matter how good the quarterback is, he's going to struggle if he has pressure," he said.

Wabash starters only committed one penalty in the first half — a vast improvement compared to last year's opener at Hanover when the team caused 15 thrown yellow flags.

"When you play the first game, that's a huge fear as a coach," Raeburn said. "We had some penalties and very few mental errors. Particularly considering it was the first game, I thought our guys were focused in."

The Little Giants host Denison Saturday Denison. Kickoff is schedule for 2 p.m.

Sep. 16: All times Eastern
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at Worcester State 42, Fitchburg State 26
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at Ursinus 35, Juniata 28
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Salve Regina 27, at Dean 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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Massachusetts Maritime 34, at Maine Maritime 25
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at RPI 31, Western New England 14
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Buffalo State 53, at Morrisville State 48
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at Rochester 14, Alfred State 7
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Stevenson 52, at FDU-Florham 14
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Union 31, at Gallaudet 21
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at Williams 28, Bowdoin 14
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Sewanee 29, at Austin 17
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at Middlebury 30, Wesleyan 27
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at Tufts 35, Hamilton 28
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Salisbury 21, at Kean 13
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at Olivet 37, Aurora 21
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at Amherst 41, Bates 17
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at Trinity (Conn.) 35, Colby 0
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at Franklin and Marshall 43, McDaniel 41
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Montclair State 24, at Southern Virginia 0
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Rowan 41, at William Paterson 14
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Springfield 66, at Mount Ida 20
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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DePauw 55, at Hiram 28
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at Alma 45, Benedictine 40
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at Trine 55, Wisconsin Lutheran 7
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at Albion 79, Concordia (Wis.) 7
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Dickinson 24, at Gettysburg 21
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at Wooster 38, Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Thiel 28, at Bethany 13
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LaGrange 39, at Methodist 30
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at Wabash 62, Kenyon 7
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King's 44, at Lebanon Valley 39
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at Martin Luther 42, Iowa Wesleyan 20
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at MIT 31, Endicott 26
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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Maryville (Tenn.) 56, at Emory and Henry 46
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Averett 19, at Ferrum 7
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at Catholic 25, Randolph-Macon 20
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Susquehanna 14, at Muhlenberg 11
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at Cortland 31, Hartwick 30
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Brevard 63, at Greensboro 7
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Ithaca 24, at St. Lawrence 13
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at St. Scholastica 48, Westminster (Mo.) 18
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MacMurray 48, at Crown 34
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at Greenville 21, Northwestern (Minn.) 15
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Eureka 48, at Minnesota-Morris 20
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UW-Whitewater 40, at Washington U. 21
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at Widener 34, Misericordia 21
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at Coast Guard 13, Nichols 0
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at Hope 37, Lakeland 35
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Heidelberg 40, at Ohio Northern 21
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Carnegie Mellon 30, at Waynesburg 20
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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at Centre 52, Hendrix 42
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Albright 21, at Lycoming 17
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Bluffton 32, at Mount St. Joseph 31
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at Franklin 42, Defiance 12
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at Anderson 27, Earlham 16
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SUNY-Maritime 38, at Merchant Marine 31
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Concordia-Chicago 41, at Kalamazoo 29
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at Rose-Hulman 38, Hanover 28
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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at Otterbein 56, Wilmington 28
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Trinity (Texas) 28, at Millsaps 26
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at Buena Vista 39, Central 38
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at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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Gustavus Adolphus 42, at Augsburg 37
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Coe 35, at Nebraska Wesleyan 25
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Wartburg 40, at Simpson 31
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Elmhurst 23, at North Park 20
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at Huntingdon 41, N.C. Wesleyan 30
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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UW-River Falls 30, at Missouri Baptist 3
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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Denison 62, at Allegheny 26
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Lewis and Clark 40, at Pomona-Pitzer 29
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Plymouth State 29
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Washington and Lee 24, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 14
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Warner at Pacific Lutheran
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Cal Lutheran 28, at Willamette 13
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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at Mass-Dartmouth 51, Westfield State 26
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at Castleton 28, Norwich 14
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at Berry 34, Rhodes 13
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Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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at WPI 38, Becker 0
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at Adrian 62, Rockford 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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at Hobart 56, Shenandoah 30
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at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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at Davidson 42, Guilford 21
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at Bridgewater 52, The Apprentice School 0
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at Capital 39, Muskingum 28
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at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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at McMurry 33, Howard Payne 21
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at Dubuque 27, Loras 24
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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at Texas Lutheran 37, Belhaven 0
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at Carroll 28, Augustana 25
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St. Vincent 31, at Geneva 27
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East Texas Baptist 28, at Southwestern 10
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Pacific at Occidental
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Sep. 16: All times Eastern
Final
Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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