It may not have been pretty, but it was certainly exciting.
Trailing the winless Colorado College Tigers with 13.1 seconds to play on Saturday, DePauw quarterback Spud Dick found Alex Koors for a six-yard touchdown to force overtime. Then in the OT, Jordan Havercamp kicked a 20-yard field goal to give the home team a 37-34 lead.
The DPU defense held, forcing a 41-yard field goal that came up short off the foot of Tyler Brickell.
DePauw (5-2, 3-2 SCAC) had held on for its third SCAC win of 2008.
"First of all, I'd like to say that Colorado did a really good job today," DPU coach Matt Walker said. "They got in a rhythm offensively. They've struggled a little this year and have been searching and, boy, they found something today against us because we had some trouble.
"Hats off to them, but we didn't play well in any phase of the game, whatsoever. We're turning it over. We couldn't stop them on defense."
While his team continues to search for answers to the problems of defense, penalties and turnovers, though, Walker can't deny its ability to find a way.
"If there's one thing you'd pick that you'd have in your team it's this will and this feeling that you've always got a chance to win; you're never going to give up. We have that," he said. "We didn't play great very much today, but we never lost that feeling that the kids thought they were going to win. That's an important thing that's hard to teach, and our kids kind of have that swagger about them. Thank goodness because it came through today."
Colorado (0-6, 0-5 SCAC) put DePauw in a tight spot when Sean Farrell scored on a one-yard plunge with 1:41 to go in regulation. Colorado had its biggest lead of the day at 34-27.
But that was when Spud Dick and the two-minute offense took over. The junior quarterback was 7-of-8 for 64 yards in moving his team from its own 35-yard line to the Colorado one.
So close to the goal line, though, things got tougher. On third-and-goal from the one, Dick ran for no gain. On fourth-and-goal, he appeared to cross the goal line, but the play was whistled dead for a false start. That moved the ball back to the six.
So, the Tigers faced fourth-and-goal from the six-yard line with 17.6 seconds on the clock, the Tigers had to make a play to keep the game alive.
The extra breathing room may have helped the passing game, as Dick found Koors on the right side of the end zone with 13.1 remaining.
After a kickoff return and a kneel down, the game went to overtime.
Mitchell Willsey got the offense going in overtime, taking a pass from Dick from the 25 down to the eight for a first-and-goal. Another completion to Koors got it to the two, but DePauw couldn't make it in on two rushes.
Havercamp's third field goal of the day gave DePauw the lead.
Then the defense stepped up. Having struggled as they had much of the day, they made the biggest plays of the game, giving up just two yards before forcing Brickell's field goal attempt.
"It seems like we say this every week, but you take a win however ugly it is. We are like the kings of winning ugly, but we'll take it," Walker said.
Stopping the Colorado offense was really the challenge of the day for DePauw, as the visitors compiled season-highs in points (34), rushing yards (243), passing yards (166) and total offense (409).
DePauw struggled against McDonald and the veer option offense, as the quarterback led the team with 71 yards. Farrell was just behind at 65.
McDonald's passing became more of a threat than in games past, as well. With DePauw keying on the run, the junior found wide-open receivers in the secondary, to go 7-of-16 for 166 yards and a touchdown.
"We're happy to get a win playing as poorly as we did."
On the offensive side, DePauw didn't struggle with yards or points. The issues were in turnovers and penalties. The Tigers put the ball on the ground three times, losing two, as well as throwing two picks.
DePauw also committed nine penalties for 82 yards, with many of these coming at just the right time to kill drives.
But from a statistical standpoint, the offense was clicking. Dick was 32-of-44 for 404 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
"They were bringing a lot of pressure and not playing as much coverage on us. We'll take our wide receivers against just about anybody in one-on-one coverage," Walker said. "We were getting a lot of matchups that we liked. We couldn't throw it real far down field sometimes because they were bringing a lot of pressure on us so we had to get it out of his hands fast.
"Spud has a unique ability to drop back and then it seems like he always find the open guy. It's one of those uncanny ability that it's hard to teach," he added.
Bryan Mulligan caught 10 passes for 115 yards. Koors caught eight for 82 and a pair of touchdowns. Chris Gasbarra also caught a touchdown.
With the return of running back Derrick Karazsia, DePauw also saw the return of a rushing attack, although the sophomore had less success in the second half.
Karazsia had 21 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.
"It was nice to have Derrick back and get his experience back," the coach said. "Part of what you saw was a little bit of fatigue factor. He hadn't played for a couple of weeks. It's hard to simulate what it takes to play the game and be in game condition."
Another unique portion of the game came in the third quarter, when DePauw ran fake punts on three straight possessions. The only successful attempt was the second one, which was a 33-yard completion from punter Adam Hill to Brayden Dahlstrom.
"The first one was my fault," Walker said. "We had a miscommunication and the punter was the only one running the fake. The fullback checked out of the fake we went out with and evidently the punter didn't hear him. He took off and no one went with him.
"The other one that happened was kind of an automatic thing we had all week," he continued. "We had seen on film that they weren't afraid to leave the gunners uncovered. We said, 'If Dahlstrom is uncovered, throw it to him.' Even after our kid failed the first fake, he had the courage to stand up and throw it out there. I'm glad it did. It led to a big score for us."
DePauw travels to Austin College at 1 p.m. Saturday.
At Blackstock Stadium
|Colorado College||7 7 13 7 0 -- 34|
|DePauw University||14 7 3 10 3 -- 37|
DPU -- Gasbarra 12 pass from Dick (Havercamp kick) 9:17
CC -- McDonald 2 run (Brickell kick) 5:24
DPU -- Karazsia 2 run (Havercamp kick) 1:43
CC -- Northam 4 pass from McDonald (Brickell kick) 11:03
DPU -- Koors 4 pass from Dick (Havercamp kick) 8:05
DPU -- Havercamp 28 FG 5:24
CC -- Alexander 8 run (Brickell kick) 2:35
CC -- McDonald 11 run (Brickell kick blocked) 1:35
DPU -- Havercamp 31 FG 6:12
CC -- Farrell 1 run (Brickell kick) 1:41
DPU -- Koors 5 pass from Dick (Havercamp kick) 0:13
DPU -- Havercamp 20 FG
Colorado College (0-6, 0-5 SCAC):
Rushing (64 carries, 243 yards) -- McDonald 21-71, Farrell 23-65, Alexander 10-53, Northam 4-41, Mauro 5-15, TEAM 1-(-2)
Passing (7-16-1-0, 166 yards) -- McDonald 7-16, 166 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Receiving -- Mauro 2-62, Alexander 2-44, Northam 2-32, Nichols 1-28
DePauw University (5-2, 3-2 SCAC):
Rushing (32 carries, 86 yards) -- Karazsia 21-95, Dahlstrom 3-8, Willsey 2-3, Dick 4-(-8), Hill 2-(-12)
Passing (33-45-3-2, 437 yards) -- Dick 32-44, 404 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT; Hill 1-1, 33 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Receiving -- Mulligan 10-115, Koors 8-82, Gasbarra 5-57, Dahlstrom 4-67, Etzcorn 2-25, Willsey 2-17, Karazsia 1-61, Branigan 1-13
Next game -- DePauw visits Austin College at 1 p.m. next Saturday.