CRAWFORDSVILLE -- The Monon Bell will remain in Crawfordsville for another year.
The DePauw Tigers lost the 113th annual meeting with the Wabash College Little Giants Saturday, 23-20, despite a second-half rally.
The Tigers entered the halftime break trailing Wabash 14-0, but managed to knot the score at 14-all midway through the third quarter.
DePauw struck early in the third, as Jeremiah Marks carried the ball into the endzone from five yards out with 10:46 to go in the period. The kick from Tyler Mallory was good, and the Tigers sliced the Little Giants' advantage in half, 14-7.
Marks made his way into the endzone again just more than three minutes later, as he rushed for a one-yard touchdown at the 7:09 mark. Mallory converted his second extra-point attempt of the day, and the Tigers and Little Giants were dead even.
But Wabash regained the lead late in the third, as Dustin Huff found Mike Russell for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put the Little Giants back up by a touchdown.
Huff was nearly unstoppable Saturday, compiling 304 yards in the air on 30-of-49 passing.
The fourth quarter was a virtual stalemate for the most part, with neither team taking advantage until DPU freshman quarterback Spud Dick was sacked in the endzone by Wabash's Frank Knez, giving the Little Giants a safety and a 23-14 lead with 4:58 to go in the game.
DePauw had a handful of opportunities to strike, but a late interception thrown by Dick sealed the deal for the Little Giants.
Dick was able to connect with David Araiza for a four-yard touchdown pass with six seconds to go in the game, but it was too little too late, as Wabash claimed its 34th win in 75 Monon Bell games.
The Little Giants stretched their all-time advantage in the series to 53-51-9 and shrank the Tigers' lead in Monon Bell contests to 35-34-6.
"We went up against the best team we faced all season," DPU coach Matt Walker said. "We gave them a good fight, though, and I didn't expect anything less from this team in this game."
Both teams struggled in the first quarter of play at Hollett Little Giant Stadium Saturday, but Wabash began to run away with the game in the second.
Shane Keffer carried the ball into the endzone from two yards out for the Little Giants with 14:53 remaining in the first half to put Wabash ahead 6-0.
The DePauw defense managed to keep the Little Giants in check for most of the quarter, though, as the Tigers' Dustin Hertel, playing in his final game at DePauw, tallied four of his 14 tackles in the period.
But Wabash finally managed to break through, as Huff threw a nine-yard pass to Tim Schirack with 22 seconds remaining in the half. Huff rushed into the endzone to complete the two-point conversion, and the Little Giants marched into the half with a 14-0 advantage.
Dick was 17-of-25 in his first Monon Bell game and gained 177 yards in the air. Saturday's game brought Dick's season passing yards total to 1,069, giving Dick the most passing yards by a DePauw freshman in a single season.
The previous record was 1,056 yards, set by Jon Clippinger in the 1994 season.
DPU junior Jeremiah Marks gained 94 yards on the ground for DePauw to carry the Tigers' rushing game.
DePauw gained just 73 yards on the ground. Bryan Berman carried the ball once to gain one yard, and Dick lost a total of 22 yards on the ground, carrying the ball five times.
Seventeen DePauw seniors played their final game for the Tigers Saturday, including Hertel, Araiza and Mallory.
"We're definitely going to miss all of those guys," Walker said of this year's senior class. "But we've got more than enough talent to come back next year and hopefully do a little bit better."
DePauw finished the season with a record of 6-4.
At Wabash College
DePauw 0 0 14 6 -- 20
Wabash 0 14 7 2 -- 23
Wabash -- Keffer 2 run (kick failed) 14:53
Wabash -- Schirack 9 pass from Huff (Huff rush) :22
DePauw -- Marks 5 run (Mallory kick) 10:46
DePauw -- Marks 1 run (Mallory kick) 7:09
Wabash -- Russell 10 pass from Huff (Finley kick) :55
Wabash -- Knez safety 4:58
DePauw -- Araiza 4 pass from Dick (kick failed) :06
First Downs -- DePauw 13, Wabash 20
Rushing Yards -- DePauw 73, Wabash 13
Passing Yards -- DePauw 177, Wabash 304
Total Yards -- DePauw 250, Wabash 317
Fumbles/Lost -- DePauw 1-0, Wabash 2-1
Penalties/Yards -- DePauw 3-18, Wabash 2-15
DePauw -- Marks 24-94, Berman 1-1, Dick 5-(-22)
Wabash -- Brown 5-11, Keffer 3-8, King 5-3
DePauw -- Dick 17-25-2-177
Wabash -- Huff 30-49-1-304
DePauw finished the season at 6-4