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Wabash College used a first half barrage to defeat North Coast Athletic Conference at home on Saturday 31-12.
The Little Giants scored all of their points in the first half, including 21 in the first quarter.
Wabash coach Don Morel said the coaches have been preaching to their players to not take anything for granted and to come out focused on the game. He said his team did just that against a Lord squad that has now lost 15 straight games to the Little Giants.
“Our kids played well and they were focused,” Morel said. “When you jump out ahead 31-0 in the first half there really is nothing to prove in the second half. It got a little boring but we wanted to take the opportunity to play our young kids.”
Wabash (6-2, 6-1 NCAC) dominated Kenyon (3-5, 2-5 NCAC) in the first half. The Little Giants out-gained Kenyon 345 yards to just 62 yards. Wabash racked up 19 first downs in the first two quarters and held the Lords to a mere three.
Covington High School graduate and Little Giant senior offensive tackle Conner Phelps said the Wabash offense found its groove early which was a key in the game. The Little Giants scored on their first three possessions.
“We always try to get better each game and we got the quick start today,” Phelps said. “We came in and we knew what we were up against and we played well.”
Wabash substituted freely in the second half while the Little Giant starters watched from the sidelines.
Kenyon was able to put up two scores on the board in the fourth quarter although the Lords failed on both of their extra point conversions.
Wabash will host Hiram College Saturday. The Little Giants continue to be in the drivers’ seat for an NCAA Division III playoff bid . If they can defeat 0-9 Hiram next week and defeat DePauw the following week, they will earn the NCAC automatic bid to the national tournament.
Super Frosh stay hot
The dynamic freshman duo comprised of quarterback Liam Thompson and wide receiver Devon Anderson continued their exceptional play. Thompson threw two scoring passes to Anderson in the first half. Anderson led all receivers with 74 yards.
Thompson threw for three touchdowns giving him 13 for the season. With Saturday’s total of 244 passing yards, all the first half, the freshman has now thrown for 1,713 yards this season.
Neither player played in the second half.
Little Giants’ defense stuffs Lords
Wabash’s defense set the tone early in the game. The Lords’ first four drives were three plays and a punt. Kenyon got their only first quarter first down with 4:53 left in the initial period. Kenyon senior quarter back Thomas Merkle was only 7-17 for 16 first half yards.
Saturday expected to be emotional
Wabash’s final game to ever be played at Bryon C. Hollett Field will be Saturday. The Little Giants have announced plans to build a new stadium which will open next season.
“It is going to be emotional for a lot of Wabash alumni,” Morel said. “We know it will be a competitive game and we have to be ready to play.”
Wabash officials have said construction crews will begin demolition after next week’s game. In the event Wabash would make the NCAA playoffs and host a game, it will be played at Crawfordsville High School.
Wabash 31, Kenyon 12
Kenyon 0 0 0 12 – 12
Wabash 17 14 0 0 – 31
Team Statistics Kenyon Wabash
Rushing att.-yards 21-67 26-187
Passing 167 244
Total yards 234 431
First downs 13 26
Fumbles/lost 0/0 2/2
Penalties 4/38 7/59
Scoring by quarters
Wab- Schuler Nehrig 25 yd. FG, 10:42
Wab- Cooper Sullivan 17 yd run (Jacob Handley kick), 7:36
Wab- Devon Anderson 56 yd pass from Liam Thompson, (Handley kick), 5:11
Wab- J. Clayborn 9 yd. pass from Thompson (Handley kick) 9:26
Wab- Anderson 13 yd pass from Thompson (Handley kick) :31
Ken- Jack Provenza 23 yd. pass from Thomas Merkle (kick failed), 11:56
Ken- James Scotto 21 yd. pass from Merkle (run failed), :37
Rushing: Kenyon Finn Murray 10/66, James Scotto 1/3, Jack Provenza 6/1, Thomas Merkle 3/(-1), Team 1-(-2). Wabash Isaac Avant 28/138, Mason Durrett 16/53, Cooper Sullivan 1/17, Liam Thompson 8/(-11), Team 2/(-10).
Passing: Kenyon Merkle 20/37 167 2Td, Int. Wabash Thompson 16/21 244, 3 Td. 0 Int.
Receiving: Kenyon Andrew Scharre 4/58. Provenza 6/36 Td, Scotto 1/21 Td, Andres Baladis 4/16, Murray 2/