/seasons/2013/contrib/201311169bcfw7

Wittenberg Completes Run To NCAC Title With 56-0 Win Over Allegheny

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Tigers Complete Run To NCAC Title With 56-0 Win Over Allegheny

Photo by Erin Pence

Noah Johanson hands off to JaVanh Sanders, who rushed for a career-high 194 yards in a 56-0 win over Allegheny.

Photo by Erin Pence

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Wittenberg Tigers put the finishing touches on their eighth outright North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship with a dominating 56-0 victory over visiting Allegheny.

The 2013 title is Wittenberg's 12th overall since joining the NCAC in 1989, and its fourth in the last five years. The Tigers had already secured the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament with a win a week earlier over Wabash, but the shutout of the Gators ensured Wittenberg plenty of momentum heading into the Big Dance.

The day started with recognition of one of the largest senior classes in Wittenberg football history as more than 30 players lined the track in front of the stands with family and friends. The Tigers then proceeded to ambush Allegheny, which dropped to 0-10 overall and 0-9 in the NCAC, for 49 first-half points.

Senior quarterback Reed Florence (South Charleston, Ohio/Southeastern) continued his record-breaking season with two rushing touchdowns two passing scores before hanging up his helmet midway through the second quarter. Sophomore running back Jimmy Dehnke (Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) added a 14-yard touchdown run, senior tight end Stephen Zumdick (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) caught touchdown passes from Florence and sophomore Zack Jenkins (Frostproof, Fla./Frostproof), senior wide receiver Desi Kirkman (Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic) hauled in a TD pass, and senior tailback JaVanh Sanders (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) rounded out the first-half blitz with a 71-yard TD scamper.

It was the first of two scoring runs for Sanders, and it was the longest run from scrimmage of the season for the Tigers as a team. He carried the load for much of the second half, finishing with a team season-high of 194 yards on 18 carries.

Florence was efficient, completing 10-of-12 passes for 119 yards. Senior quarterback Noah Johanson (Medina, Ohio/Medina) added 7-of-8 passing for 88 yards and Jenkins went 2-for-3 for 37 yards. Nine different players caughts at least one pass in the game, led by sophomore wide receiver Zach Culvahouse (Fort Myers, Fla./Estero) with five catches for 63 yards.

A host of Tigers got into the act on the other side of the ball as well, but it was freshman defensive lineman Brady Vanover (Maineville, Ohio/Kings) who made two of the game's biggest plays. He blocked a first-half punt to set up one score and he made his first career interception to set up another.

Senior linebacker Spencer Leno (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) led the Tiger defense, which posted its third shutout of the season, with five tackles. Wittenberg has held five of its 10 regular season opponents to nine points or less.

Ranked 10th in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll and 11th by d3football.com, Wittenberg heads into the NCAA Division III Tournament with a record of 9-1, including nine straight wins since opening the season with a 49-24 loss to NCAA Division I Butler. The Tigers, ranked fourth in the latest North Region rankings, will learn their postseason fate on Sunday.

First round NCAA Division III Tournament games will take place at noon Saturday, Nov. 23. The Tigers have a 20-13 record in 15 all-time national tournament appearances.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 23: All times Eastern
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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