GRANVILLE— Denison University got 302 yards passing from Canaan Gebele and a stellar performance from the defense as the Big Red rolled to a 34-10 victory over Wabash on Saturday at Piper Stadium.
The victory marks the first win over the Little Giants since Sept. 15, 1990, snapping a string of 16 consecutive losses to Wabash. Unranked in the D3football.com Top 25, Wabash is ranked No. 22 by the AFCA.
It was nearly a shutout as the Denison defense held Wabash scoreless through 57-plus minutes. Wabash broke the tie with a 39-yard field goal with 2:08 left and they tacked on a touchdown in the final minute to set the final at 34-10.
Leading 7-0 late in the second quarter, Gebele hit Weimar on a fade route on third-and-six to take a 14-0 lead.
After another three-and-out by the Denison defense, the Big Red took over on their own 35-yard line and Minton ripped off a 58 yard run down to the Wabash seven. On second down, Gebele completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Biddle to go on top 21-0 with 4:16 left.
Denison took over on their own 34-yard line and on first-and-15, Gebele connected on a long pass to Malik Webster to get deep into Little Giant territory. Pat Kramer completed the drive with a 32-yard field goal to make it a 24-0 game.
The Big Red put things away early in the fourth when Gebele found Biddle in space over the middle. Biddle turned on the jets and went 68 yards down, nearly scoring on a dive for the pylon. The ball was spotted on the three and on the next play, Biddle ran it in for the score to put Denison up 31-0.
Subtract the pair of late scoring drives by Wabash and the Little Giants totaled only 219 yards of offense against Denison starters. DU piled up 491 yards of total offense.
Gebele was 26-of-36 for 302 yards and three touchdowns. In the third quarter, he became Denison's all-time passing leader, unseating Max Paulus '13 who finished his career with 6,545 yards. With five games to play, Gebele has passed for 6,651 yards and 53 touchdown passes which also ties Paulus for the most TD passes in a career.
Minton rushed for over 100 yards for the third time this season. On 18 carries he finished with 126 yards. Biddle posted his first career 100-yard receiving day after a six-catch 122-yard and one TD afternoon. TJ Oursler had five grabs for 38 yards including a pair of critical third down receptions. Webster followed with four catches for 63 yards and tight end CJ Davis hauled in four catches for 25 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter.
Wabash quarterback Jake Reid was 11-of-29 for 179 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Matt Penola led Wabash with nine carries for 62 yards.
The Denison defense was stout up front and the linebackers had an outstanding day. Making his first career start, Andrew Smith had seven tackles, one-half sack, and one pass break-up. Tristan Knoer added seven stops and a fumble recovery while Sam Ray posted eight tackles. Cory Swartzmiller had the game's only interception while Michael Flanagan chipped in four stops and two pass break-up's.
Denison improves to 3-2 and 3-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference while Wabash drops to 4-1 and 3-1 in conference play. This is Denison's second win over a nationally ranked team over the last three seasons. The last was a 24-21 victory over No. 14 Wittenberg in 2016. The Big Red will hit the road next Saturday when they take on DePauw at 1 p.m. in Greencastle, Indiana.