Wittenberg wins NCAC; completes 10-0 season
SPRINGFIELD (Wittenberg Athletics)—For the seventh time in the last nine seasons, the Wittenberg Tiger football program has won the NCAC. Wittenberg disposed of Wooster 47-21 on Saturday afternoon, completing the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record. The 10-0 season for the Tigers is the sixth under Coach Fincham's tenure as head coach of the Tigers. Wittenberg clinched the perfect 10-0 season at home for the third time, as the last time that the Tiger's finished 10-0 was seven years ago. Wittenberg has won the NCAC championship for the second consecutive year, as the Tigers now await the 5:30PM NCAA selection show on Sunday to find out who they will play in the NCAA Division III Playoffs.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Tigers took an early 20-0 lead in the first quarter, after a 47-yard touchdown reception from Liam Duncan, a three-yard touchdown run from Jaheem Washington, and a 48-yard double-pass from Jake Kennedy, to Jeff Tiffner, to DeShawn Sarley. The two-point conversion on Washington's touchdown run was no good, as the Tigers lead stayed at 20-0 at the end of the first quarter. Quarter number two was more of the same, as Wooster spotted the Tigers 27 points, as Ryan Fallon opened the quarter with a one yard touchdown run. Wooster would answer back in the second quarter with two passing touchdowns, cutting in to the Tiger lead 27-14. In the third quarter, Tyler Everidge hauled in an 18-yard touchdown reception, followed by yet another Washington touchdown run, as the Tigers then led 40-14. After another Wooster passing touchdown, the Tigers put the finishing touches on the game with another touchdown pass from Quinn Cook to Andrew Tate.
WHO STOOD OUT: Wittenberg threw four touchdown passes in the game, as Kennedy logged two of them for the Tigers, as the junior signal callers recorded 302 passing yards and an interception. Kennedy concludes the regular season with 2,487 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Although he did not find the end-zone for Wittenberg, Thaddeus Snodgrass hauled in 108 receiving yards on five receptions for the Tigers. Duncan also surpassed the century mark receiving for Wittenberg, catching five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. The Tiger defense held Wooster to 84 total rushing yards, as Wooster was forced to go to the air 26 times on Saturday. Two of those pass attempts were picked off by Jonathan Seay, as the sophomore linebacker also recorded one sack. Jeremy Asiffo led the Tigers with nine tackles, including a sack, as the Tigers defense totaled five sacks and six tackles for a loss in the league clinching victory.
WHAT'S IT MEAN: The 2017 Tiger's football team becomes the 20th football team in school history to go undefeated in regular season play, as the league title is Wittenberg's 15th overall. Wittenberg will find out at 5:30 p.m. Sunday where and who it will play in the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Tigers rank second in the North Region behind Mount Union (10-0), who ranks second in the D3Football.com top-25 poll behind #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor, the defending 2016 Division III National Champions.