Tigers Fall Behind Early and Drop NCAC Contest at Ohio Wesleyan

Delaware, Ohio - Host Ohio Wesleyan scored all of its points on its first four possessions of the game and held on for a 28-13 North Coast Athletic Conference victory over DePauw. The Tigers dropped to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in the NCAC, while the Battling Bishops improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference.

After DePauw was forced to punt following the game's first series, Ohio Wesleyan took over near midfield. The hosts needed just four plays to get on the board as Zane Ries connected with Mher Tcholakian for a 22-yard scoring pass just 2:35 into the game.

The Tigers came right back with a drive that advanced to the Bishops' 20 but Jack Drake's 37-yard field goal was blocked. Three plays later, Trey Dixon ran up the middle for a 55-yard score to make it 14-0 with 5:35 left in the opening frame.

DePauw's next drive stalled, but the Tigers' pinned Ohio Wesleyan back to its own 12 after Ty Johnson's 39-yard punt. The Bishops' Curtis Duren picked up 28 yards on the first play from scrimmage and needed just nine plays before Ries teamed with Justin Lowry for a 20-yard score on third-and-three to push the lead to 21-0 with 14:24 left in the half.

Collin Knecht entered in relief of DePauw starting quarterback Chase Andries on the Tigers' next series and, after picking up a couple of first downs, the Tigers were forced to punt. Again the Bishops started inside their own 20 at the 18, but Ries and Lowry teamed up for a 35-yard play to the DePauw 43 on the fourth play of the drive which set up the final Ohio Wesleyan score. Duren took a lateral from Ries and fired the strike to Lowry in the end zone for the 20-yard score which made it 28-0 with 5:37 left in the half.

DePauw was forced to punt on its next possession, but a high snap resulted in a 3-yard punt and Ohio Wesleyan took over on its own 38. The teams then exchanged punts before Ohio Wesleyan turned the ball over after Ries was sacked by Joe Zanca and fumbled with Brody Gude recovering at the Ohio Wesleyan 44 with 48 seconds remaining in the half. 

After an incomplete pass on first down, Knecht completed four straight to the Bishops' 8. On the final play of the half, Knecht teamed with James Deaton for an 8-yard scoring pass. The point-after was blocked and DePauw trailed at the intermission, 28-6.

Ohio Wesleyan received the opening kickoff of the second half, but DePauw's Dylan Hyatt picked off Ries at the DePauw 48 and returned it to the Ohio Wesleyan 40. On the drive's seventh play, Knecht tossed a 3-yard scoring pass to Deaton to cut the the hosts' lead to 28-13 with 8:11 remaining in the third. 

DePauw's defense forced a three-and-out and the offense drove to the Ohio Wesleyan 29 before Tigers' running back Jarrod Stiver fumbled and the Battling Bishops recovered to end the threat. The Tigers forced another Bishops punt and, again, the offense was on the move driving to the Ohio Wesleyan 10. The drive stalled and Drake's 27-yard field goal missed to the right.

Ohio Wesleyan drove into DePauw territory on its next series, but Dixon fumbled and the Tigers recovered at their own 23.

Later in the quarter, the Tigers drove to the Ohio Wesleyan 8, but four straight incomplete passes gave the ball back to Ohio Wesleyan with 1:24 remaining. DePauw got the ball back one more time but turned the ball over on downs at the Ohio Wesleyan 36.

Ohio Wesleyan outgained DePauw, 423-399 with DePauw holding a 24-21 edge in first downs. The Battling Bishops held a 187-131 edge in rushing yards, while the Tigers outgained Ohio Wesleyan in the air, 268-236.

Knecht completed 30 of 56 passes for 218 yards with two scores and no interceptions, while Andries was 7 of 11 for 50 yards. The Tigers' 37 completions equaled the fifth-highest single-game total in school history, while the 67 attempts are third. Knecht was the leading rusher with 44 yards in seven tries, while Jackson Hamersly caught a team-high eight passes for 52 yards with Ethan Hudson totaling six for 63 yards.

Dixon rushed for 90 yards on 15 tries and Duren added 64 on 13 carries. Ries completed 17 of 23 passes for 216 yards with two scores and one interception. Tcholakian caught five for 74 yards.

Josh Coons paced the DePauw defense with 10 tackles, while Nathan Seifert and Jake Labus each added eight. Zanca had the Tigers' only sack and led with 1.5 sacks. Shane Quin led Ohio Wesleyan with 13 tackles.

DePauw hosts Allegheny at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 26.