PATRICK MCAULEY ‘19 | SPORTS EDITOR •“We really are a force to be reckoned with this year,” Andrew Sanders ’21 said, who repre- sented the Wabash football team on the field against Oberlin College (1-6) this past week- end. Sanders is a sophomore at Wabash who is now in his second season as a linebacker. The team’s strong 32-7 win over the Yeomen put the Little Giants at 6-1 for the season, which almost matches their undefeated streak of 7-0 before heading into the final half of their 2016 season.
In the first half, Wabash put up fifteen points while keeping the Yeomen at one touchdown. “We really wanted to get up on them early,” student coach Joel Janak ’19 said, “That was our ultimate goal.” Janak is in his third year as a student assistant for the team. Overall, the Little Giants finished the game with 508-yards (245 passing and 253 rush- ing) and held Oberlin to a mere 299-yards. Furthermore, Wabash completed twenty-five first downs with nine third-down conversions.
In an interview, Sanders noted how the team’s practices in the week leading up
gave them confidence in the early parts of the game. During training, players brought much intensity on both offense and defense. Sanders stated how their coaching staff expected a strong Oberlin pass game, which gave them reasons to focus on defensive sce- narios in the few days leading up to the game.
“We expected a lot of long balls,” Janak said. “They had a lot of good receivers. We knew what plays we were going to run and we kept the defense relatively simple.”
According to Coach Janak, a few key players stood out in the game. On offense, Jake Reid ’19 passed for 245-yards. He had 14 com- pletions and two touchdowns overall. Reid’s performance against Oberlin was his second best next to his 273-yards against Hiram. Isaac Avant ’20 averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns. Avant made a career-high of thirty-seven carries. Ryan Thomas ’19 caught for a total of 165-yards and two touchdowns.
The team will be away for the highly anticipated game against Wittenberg University this Saturday. The Little Giants return to action at home at 1 p.m. Nov. 3 at Byron P. Hollett Little Giant Stadium.
On defense, the Little Giants made over twenty-five tackles to hold the Yeomen at seven points. Jackson Garrett ’21 made eleven tackles, two being sacks. The young gentle- men also had his first career interception. Brock Heffron ’19, who had a strong defensive game against OWU the week before, came back against Oberlin with another set of ten tackles. The defensive mindset was simple: play your role and focus on the little details every game.
After the Oberlin Game, the Little Giants look ahead to three more games this sea-
son. This weekend, the Little Giants take on Wittenburg in Springfield, OH for their eighth game of the season. “We have to match their physicality,” said Coach Janak, “They are a big team and they haven’t lost a conference game in two years. If we do the little things well, then we can compete with anyone.”