DePauw University trailed Birmingham South 21-13 with 6 minutes and 50 seconds left in the third quarter, so it made perfect sense for DePauw University football coach Matt Walker to send in kicker Jordan Havercamp on fourth and goal from the 2-yard line for a field goal.
"The other nine guys didn't even know it was happening. It was a pretty fun for everybody to have that. It was fun and really got us going," Walker said after DePauw's 31-21 come-from behind victory at Blackstock Stadium.
The re-energized Tigers dominated both sides of the football, as quarterback Spud Dick threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Nick Etzcorn and Havercamp kicked a 45-yard field goal to cap DePauw's fifth straight Old Gold Day victory.
"Coach Walker preached all week this was kind of our statement game. It was how we were going to respond to the loss (at Millsaps last week). This was a great way. We showed heart coming back and just fight to the end is kind of our way of playing football," North Putnam graduate Brayden Dahlstrom said.
DePauw's Dahlstrom, a wide receiver who caught three passes for 32 yards, scored his first touchdown of the season running the football. Dahstrom scored on a four-yard run that capped a 12-play, 97 yard drive.
"The line opened the hole perfect. It was exactly how we drew it up. Scoring that touchdown was big, I think. That got us back on track. The second half we really turned it on and made plays the second half," Dahlstrom said.
Dahlstrom lined up at wide receiver and some running back because DePauw entered the contest without injured running backs Jon Ellis, Chris Collins and Derrick Karazsia. Those injuries led to a lot of unusual DePauw tactics.
With just three days of practice DePauw came out in a five-receiver, spread offense. Quarterback Spud Dick responded with a career-high 395-yard passing performance and sophomore running back Mitchell Willsley ran for 132 yards.
But after scoring on the opening drive of the game, DePauw turned the ball over four times and trailed 21-7 halftime. Birmingham's mixed-bag offense of single-wing and split backs roll up over 315 yards of total offense.
"Part of what happened (in the first half) is that we ran (the new offense) for three days in practice, that's it, and it took us a little bit of time to work out some kinks. And the second half we got going," Walker said.
DePauw's defense got going too. The Tigers not only shutout the Panthers, but also held them to 39 yards of total offense the second half.
"I think the offense helped them a lot. (The offense) really hurt them the first half. We couldn't get (the defense) off the field, we put them in bad situations. It's the ultimate team game," Walker said.
DePauw, 4-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play, travels to San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday to play Trinity College in a must-win contest for the Tigers' title hopes.
DePauw 31, Birmingham-Southern 21
|Birmingham||7 14 0 0 -- 21|
|DePauw||7 0 6 18 -- 31|
DPU -- Nick Etzcorn 2 pass from Spud Dick (Jordan Havercamp kick), 7-0, 9:28.
BS -- Eric Nordgren 80 pass from David Langston (Jared Spooner kick), 7-7 9:15.
BS -- Walter Arrington 9 [pass from Chandler Bares (Spooner kick), 14-7 12:11.
BS -- Arrington 8 run (Spooner kick), 21-7, 4:12.
DPU -- Brayden Dahalstrom 4 run (kick failed) 21-13, 6:50.
DPU -- Havercamp 2 run (Bryan Mulligan pass from Dick), 21-21, 14:10.
DPU -- Alex Koors 38 pass from Dick (Havercamp kick), 28-21, 11:55.
DPU -- Havercamp, 45 field goal, 31-21, 2:02.
Rushing -- Birmingham: Langston 4-65, Arrington 13-62, Bares 6-15, Williams 1-(-9), Thigpen 2-(-10). DePauw: Willsey 20-132, Gasbarra 3-18, Dahlstrom 5-6, Dick 3-6, Morgan 1-2, Havercamp 1-2.
Passing -- Birmingham: Bares 9-19-1--132, Thigpen 2-5-0--27, Langston 1-1-0--80. DePauw: Dick 37-45--1--395.
Receiving -- Birmingham: Arrington 4-47, Chapman 3-55, Langston 3-40, Nordgren 1-80, Walker 1-17. DePauw: Mulligan 11-77, Dahlstrom 8-77, Koors 7-104, Willsey 4-46, Etzcorn 4-41, Gasbarra 2-46, Doran 1-4.
Next game -- DePauw (4-1, 3-1 in SCAC) travels to San Antonio, Tx, on Saturday to play Trinity (5-0, 2-0 in SCAC).