/seasons/2018/contrib/201809085a247a

Central defense denies DePauw in the rain

More news about: Central

Three times in the fourth quarter DePauw University (Ind.) challenged the Central College football defense on fourth down Saturday and three times the Dutch answered to preserve a rain-soaked 16-10 come-from-behind triumph.

Overcoming an early 10-0 deficit, a fierce Tigers' defense and some uncharacteristic misadventures in the punting game, Central improved to 2-0 for the second time in three seasons.

The Dutch also had to endure a day-long downpour as Greencastle was drenched with more than five inches of rain in the past 24 hours.

"We showed a lot of grit," coach Jeff McMartin said. "We got put in some tough positions all day but we kept making plays and coming up huge."

It was a statement win for the young Dutch as DePauw (0-1) was among those receiving votes in the d3football.com top 25 poll and returned a veteran squad, particularly on defense, where the Tigers start nine seniors. Last year's squad yielded just 63.7 yards rushing a game, which ranked sixth in Division III, and Central had to scrap for every inch Saturday. The Dutch mustered just 7 rushing yards in the first quarter and 86 for the day. Central failed to get a first down on its first four possessions.

"DePauw's defense played really well," coach Jeff McMartin said. "Their defensive line did a good job up front and they made it hard on us. I give them a lot of credit. They've got a really good front seven."

But Central's defense was equally stingy, surrendering only 78 yards rushing. Sophomore linebacker Drew Smith (Joliet, Ill., West HS) racked up a career-high 17 tackles.

"He was all over the place," McMartin said. "The defense did a nice job up front, winning their gaps and winning their blocks. That funneled some things to him and he made some great plays."

Linebacker Connor Lewin (junior, Stillman Valley, Ill.) had nine stops and a breakup while cornerback Trevor Smith (junior, Audubon) made seven tackles, including six solos, with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. And strong safety Jordy Borman (junior, Eagan, Minn.), filling in for injured starter Tate Jensen (senior, DeSoto, ADM HS), recorded his fourth interception in two games along with five tackles.

"They all played well," McMartin said. "We had a good pass rush and got some big sacks. Connor Lewin was all over the field, Jordy Borman got another big interception, (Free safety) Collin Erickson (senior, Gilbert, Ariz., Dobson HS) had a great game. Our veteran secondary played like veterans and our young guys grew up a lot."                                                                                                    

The Dutch held a slim 292 to 257-yard advantage in total offense.

Central's defensive effort was especially crucial amid the first-quarter Dutch offensive struggles. DePauw capitalized on a short first-quarter Central punt and a 27-yard return to set up a 24-yard scoring pass. A blocked Central punt then gave DePauw another chance inside the 20-yard line but it had to settle for a 32-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 1:35 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers appeared to be in command, but were shut out the rest of the way as the momentum slowly turned. The Dutch offense sprang to life, starting the second quarter with a 14-play, 66-yard drive and a 22-yard Jon Alberts (junior, Huntley, Ill.) field goal. Central then drove 80 yards in nine plays as quarterback Blaine Hawkins (sophomore, Ankeny) tossed a 21-yard scoring pass to Erik Knaack (sophomore, Reinbeck, Gladbrook-Reinbeck HS) to tie it with 6:02 left in the half.

DePauw had a chance to take a lead into intermission, with a first-and-goal from the Central 2-yard line, but was stymied, then botched a field goal try to leave it 10-10.

Central used the opening possession of the third quarter for the winning score. The Dutch were stopped on the DePauw 4-yard line but opted to take a successful Alberts field goal off the board after a penalty to take another shot. Running back Nathan Fitzgerald (senior, Elkader, Central HS) scooted 2 yards into the end zone on the next play, although the point-after try was blocked.

McMartin said the dicey conditions factored into his decision to void the field goal.

"You're down in there and you've got a chance to score a touchdown in a game like that, you've got to do it," he said.

The Dutch were stopped at the DePauw 34 on their next possession, then could grind out just 17 yards the rest of the game, leaving the outcome up to the defense, which was pushed to its limit. Compounding Central's offensive issues were some execution woes in handling punt snaps in the rain.

"We made it hard on ourselves," McMartin said.

Borman's interception in the end zone squelched one DePauw third-quarter threat and the Tigers had three other second-half drives end in Central territory. A failed fourth-down pass at the DePauw 45 with 44 seconds remaining finally sealed it.

"You hope to not be in those situations, but we ended up handling them really well," McMartin said.

DePauw faced some adversity as well, losing starting quarterback Matt Labus to injury late in the first half. Two Tiger quarterbacks combined to complete 17 of 37 passes for 179 yards and were sacked twice.

Hawkins kept Central's offense churning. Despite being sacked four times, he rushed for a team-high net 48 yards on 28 carries and completed 18 of 29 passes for 206 yards with no interceptions.

Knaack had four catches for 61 yards while Tylor Obermeyer (sophomore, Papillion, Neb., Papillion-La Vista HS) had four receptions for 57 yards and running back Pat Gray (senior, West Des Moines, Waukee HS) had four receptions for 39 yards.

The heavy rains frustrated both squads.

"Every play you've got to make sure you're handling the ball well," McMartin said. "Some of the tough catches are harder to make because a ball on your fingertips might slip through. Your footing isn't as good and you don't cut as well. You've got to go back to things you do well and every play has to be really well executed."

Central finally makes its home season debut next Saturday against Luther College in a 1 p.m. game at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium. McMartin is happy to head into American Rivers Conference play with a 2-0 mark after two long road trips with a young club.

"We grew up a lot today," he said.

And for McMartin, who has fond memories of his four seasons as an assistant at DePauw (2000-03), Saturday was an enjoyable rainy day.

"It was a lot of fun to be back," he said. "It was nice to get a win in Greencastle." 

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Cancelled
Maryville (Tenn.) at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats Audio
Sep. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Morrisville State 34, St. Lawrence 26
Video Box Score
Final
at Bridgewater State 42, Fitchburg State 15
Box Score Recap
Sep. 22: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 41, Alvernia 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Endicott 27, Hobart 24
Video Video Box Score
Final
Framingham State 28, at Massachusetts Maritime 13
Video Box Score
Final
at RPI 44, Buffalo State 14
Video Recap
Final
at MIT 34, Catholic 24
Video Box Score
Final
Springfield 17, at WPI 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Lycoming 27, at FDU-Florham 21
Video Box Score
Final
Emory and Henry 52, at Rochester 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Nichols 43, Alfred State 7
Box Score Video
Final
Southern Virginia 14, at Kean 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Merchant Marine 35, Maine Maritime 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Middlebury 37, Bowdoin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Amherst 37, Hamilton 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Williams 36, Colby 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Ursinus 21, Moravian 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final - OT
Montclair State 17, at Christopher Newport 14
Video Box Score Live stats
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 42, St. Vincent 27
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Union 49, Curry 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Franklin and Marshall 14, Susquehanna 7
Video Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 59, Bates 16
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 62, Dickinson 14
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Misericordia 47, at Wilkes 45
Video Box Score
Final
at Frostburg State 34, Rowan 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
McDaniel 25, at Gettysburg 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Wooster 24, DePauw 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Stevenson 38, at King's 17
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Alfred 38, Cortland 33
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 62, Grove City 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 21, Bethany 3
Video Box Score
Final
at Allegheny 25, Ohio Wesleyan 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 43, William Paterson 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at LaGrange 42, Apprentice 13
Video Box Score
Final
Denison 52, at Oberlin 27
Video Box Score
Final
at Western New England 59, Anna Maria 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Martin Luther 63, at Greenville 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 23, Westminster (Mo.) 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Minnesota-Morris 13, Iowa Wesleyan 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Muhlenberg 62, Juniata 7
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Widener 69, Albright 0
Video
Final
at Coast Guard 38, Norwich 35
Box Score Recap
Final
Anderson 18, at Defiance 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Mount Union 23, John Carroll 10
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Hanover 28, at Bluffton 10
Video Box Score
Final
Westfield State 42, at Worcester State 22
Video Box Score
Final
at Waynesburg 10, Geneva 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Virginia-Lynchburg 16, Brevard 14
Final
at Ferrum 81, Greensboro 0
Video Box Score
Final
Ithaca 21, at St. John Fisher 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Muskingum 31, at Wilmington 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Ohio Northern 13, at Otterbein 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Austin 12, Hendrix 9
Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 35, at North Park 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Rhodes 29, at Birmingham-Southern 10
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Stout 49, Cal Lutheran 24
Video Box Score
Final
Millsaps 21, at Sewanee 14
Video Box Score
Final
Thomas More 38, at Huntingdon 35
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington U. 51, Carthage 31
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Olaf 33, Augsburg 3
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 55, Hamline 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 59, Carleton 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Chicago 56, Illinois College 9
Box Score Photos
Final
at Bethel 31, Gustavus Adolphus 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wartburg 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 14
Video
Final
Coe 35, at Buena Vista 14
Video Box Score
Final
Central 35, at Dubuque 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Norbert 91, Grinnell 0
Video Box Score
Final
Loras 35, at Luther 28
Video
Final
at Ripon 28, Knox 3
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Monmouth 37, Macalester 0
Video
Final
Carroll 16, at Elmhurst 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Cornell 28, at Beloit 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Lake Forest 35, Lawrence 34
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 49, UW-Eau Claire 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Mount St. Joseph 59, at Earlham 2
Video Box Score
Final
Dean 42, at Becker 15
Video Box Score
Postponed
N.C. Wesleyan at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Final
Western Connecticut 40, at Salve Regina 21
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 21, Plymouth State 16
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Tufts 16, Wesleyan 13
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Salisbury 38, TCNJ 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Rose-Hulman 19, Manchester 12
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Case Western Reserve 63, Thiel 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Baldwin Wallace 34, at Heidelberg 10
Video Box Score
Final - OT
Berry 38, at Centre 35
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Wittenberg 45, Kenyon 3
Video Box Score
Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 38, at Crown 18
Video
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 65, Howard Payne 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 41, at Augustana 24
Video
Final
at McMurry 35, Sul Ross State 24
Video
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 63, Millikin 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-Platteville 49, Lakeland 12
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Louisiana College 21, at Southwestern 19
Video Box Score
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 47, at Texas Lutheran 14
Video Box Score
Final
East Texas Baptist 46, at Belhaven 20
Video
Sep. 22: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 41, Alvernia 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 44, Buffalo State 14
Video Recap
Final
at Wesley 43, William Paterson 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 62, Grove City 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Frostburg State 34, Rowan 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Franklin and Marshall 14, Susquehanna 7
Video Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Mount Union 23, John Carroll 10
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Ithaca 21, at St. John Fisher 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. John's 59, Carleton 0
Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 35, at North Park 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 49, UW-Eau Claire 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wittenberg 45, Kenyon 3
Video Box Score
Final - OT
Berry 38, at Centre 35
Video Box Score Recap Live stats Audio
Final
at Case Western Reserve 63, Thiel 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 47, at Texas Lutheran 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 65, Howard Payne 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 63, Millikin 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 41, at Augustana 24
Video