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Little Giants Down Tigers

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JAKE CHRISMAN ‘20 | STAFF WRITER • This past weekend the Little Giants upset the 11th ranked Wittenberg University Tigers on the road in an exciting 28-21 overtime win. The win pushes the Little Giants into a three-way tie for first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference with Denison University and Wittenberg. “This weekend was a really big step for us, especially since we’re in w three-way tie for the conference now,” Patrick Kelly ’21 said. “These last few games are going to be that much more important to us now.” The Little Giants win was there first on the road against Wittenberg since a win in Springfield, Ohio in 2012.

The heavily favored Tigers took the lead early with a 17-yard touchdown run to go ahead 7-0 in the first quarter. A dominant Wittenberg team was silence by the Little Giants in the second quarter, scoring nothing. However, the Little Giants managed to score themselves, first, in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jake Reid ’21 to Oliver Page ’19, tying the game 7-7. The Little Giants struck again just before the half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Isaac Avant ’20 to cap off an 80-yard drive and take a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The third quarter was dominated by the defenses as both offenses struggled to move the ball and ended scoreless. “I was happy to see us come out and play with a lot of heart and passion,” Jake Page ’21 said. “We focused on ourselves and knew if we came to play we could win in a tough environment against a good team.” Midway through the fourth quarter Wittenberg rallied for a score on a trick play, resulting in an equalizing touchdown pass to the Tiger’s quarterback. Wabash answered late in the fourth quarter with another Reid-Page connection to take a 21-14 lead. However, the Wabash could not hold off the Wittenberg Tigers in the final 1:18 and the Tigers connected on a pass with just two seconds left to push the game into overtime.

 

In overtime, the Little Giants started with the ball and scored quickly. A 15-yard pass from Reid to Matt Penola ’19 set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Avant to give the Little Giants the lead. Wittenberg went for the tie on their second play in overtime, targeting a receiver in the end zone; however, Page flew into position and intercepted the Tiger’s pass to seal the Wabash victory.

Defense played a key role in the Little Giants win over Wittenberg University. Page recorded nine tackles and two interceptions, including the game winner. “We had a good game plan and stuck to it,” Page said. “Both of my interceptions came on a route combination that we worked all week. When I saw it and recognized it, I broke on the ball and got myself into a position to make a play.” Page was also named the NCAC Defensive Player of the Week and was elected to the D3football.com Team of the Week for his efforts on Saturday. Jackson Garrett ’21, the former NCAC Defensive Player of the Week, had another impressive performance on Saturday recording eleven tackles and an interception.

The Little Giants return to action this weekend at home in Hollett Little Giant Stadium to take on Allegheny College, before looking on to Bell Week. “Allegheny is a good opponent, and we know that they want to beat us,” Kelly said. “They are also coming off of a good win this past weekend against DePauw. Our focus is just one game
at a time and we have to win both of these games for any of it to matter.” The game is at 1 p.m.