GREENCASTLE -- DePauw hosted Sewanee Sunday, imposing to 3-0 on the season with a 35-7 win. It may have been Family Day at Blackstock Stadium but the action on the field was anything but family friendly for the visitors.
Sewanee will not mind having DePauw left off the schedule as the Tennessee-based school fell for the 12 time in 13 meetings, losing 35-7 to the host Tigers.
The visiting Tigers elected to receive the opening kickoff and soon found themselves in DePauw territory. The drive's fifth play would be its last as freshman Curtis Johnson's 16-yard run ended with a fumble that was recovered by DePauw.
The hosts wasted little time in chewing up yardage as five consecutive plays went for first downs. Senior Derrick Karazsia capped the drive by slamming home from two yards out to give the host Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Sewanee's next possession also ended with a turnover. Quarterback Lee Schurlknight attempted to throw a screen pass to his right, only for senior defensive end Kyle Sherer to grab the ball at the same time as the receiver. The defender eventually wrestled the ball away and set DePauw up on the Sewanee 36 yard line.
DePauw drove inside the Sewanee 10 before being faced with a 4th and 2 situation. The Tigers handed off to Karazsia but was stopped inches short of the first down marker. Sewanee took over but punted three plays later with the punt only getting the ball out to the visiting 32 yard line.
With the ball still in Sewanee territory, DePauw failed to score again after kicker Eric Malm's 34 yard field goal attempt hammered the right upright, keeping the visiting Tigers alive for a while longer.
Sewanee punted three plays later but still could not get the ball out of its own half of the field. The Tiger offense again moved deep into Sewanee territory but stalled out at the 18 yard line. Malm lined up for another field goal attempt but instead had his 36-yard attempt blocked.
The visitors, still hanging around in the contest, again went three and out and punted, finally placing DePauw in their own half of the field to start a drive. The distance mattered little as quarterback Michael Engle hit fellow senior Alex Koors for a 61-yard touchdown strike to give the Tigers a little breathing space at 14-0.
Sewanee's next possession saw the visiting Tigers advance into the DePauw half of the field before a third turnover hated the advance. Schurlknight kept possession on an option play but was belted by Ryan Pruess. Tyler Doane came up with the ball and set DePauw up for their next scoring drive.
Engle began to systematically move the Tigers down field, completing passes to five different receivers, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Mark Branigan to stretch the lead to 21-0 going into halftime.
DePauw and Sewanee would trade possessions to start the third before a 17-yard hookup between Engle and Koors was enough for the receiver to become DePauw's all-time leading yardage receiver, passing the record held by Dan Ryan since 2002 of 2,193 yards.
Koors would catch two more passes on the drive, including a five-yard touchdown grab that put the Tigers out of sight at 28-0.
The Tigers would add one more score to the tally. It would be the Engle to Koors connection yet again. Engle had fired long balls toward Koors a few times before he finally hit Koors in stride for a 43-yard touchdown reception.
Sewanee broke the shutout bid on its next possession. Starting from their own 24, the visiting Tigers went on a 11-play drive that culminated with Schurlknight hitting junior running back Ben Cleveland on a 22-yard score strike to put the visitors on the board.
Depauw traded possessions again with Sewanee as the home side ran out the clock and won a fairly comfortable outing in front of 2500 spectators.
Even as the Tigers have now beaten Sewanee 11 straight times, DePauw coach Robby Long was not willing to let his team think the visiting Tigers were pushovers.
"The main thing is we're not concerned about the opponent. We have to prepare for the opponent, we have to know what they're going to do," Long said. "We're out there fighting for each other. We don't prepare necessarily based on what the opponent's record is, whatever the case is there. We had a goal today (Saturday) and that was to get our third win."
"You can't make mistakes that hurt yourself. You've got to keep drives going and stay on schedule, and we're going to continue working on that and get better. But we got it figured out and started putting points on the board and had a good day," Long said when asked about his squad's early red zone woes.
The ground game was the key going both ways, Long said.
"The key was to stop the run on defense and run the football on offense, then set up some play action passes, which we were able to do."
"I was very happy that we went into halftime under 100 yards [of rushing] against a hard offense to prepare for. For the most part, we didn't make many mistakes as far as not being in the right place at the right time. Overall, I'm happy with the way we played today but we're going to come back on Sunday and Monday and get better."
Asked about the squad's performance, Long made sure to note his new record receiver.
"I think you have to mention Alex Koors on a day where he breaks the all time receiving record at DePauw. He had a great game. Our offensive line did a great job and Michael Engle had a pretty good game on offense.
"The running backs ran the ball well, and defensively we had a great team effort. It was a group effort and those guys, when you're playing an option team, you've got to win as a team, not as individual guys."
A trip to Mississippi awaits the Tigers, who will go against fellow unbeaten conference squad Millsaps.
"We've got to get the best 52 guys on the bus to go down there and we've got to prepare well for Millsaps," Long stated. "We have to know what they do well and what their weaknesses are and we've got to go down there and play as a team to get win number four."
Asked about a potential 3-0 conference start, Long replied, "It'd be a great start. Any team in this conference can bite you at any time. We've got to do a great job preparing for each team and play well as a team and get wins."
At Blackstock Stadium, Depauw
Sewanee 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Depauw 7 14 7 7 -- 35
10:44 -- Karazsia 2 yard run (Malm kick) 7-0
7:48 -- Koors 61 yard pass from Engle (Malm kick) 14-0
1:11 -- Braingan 12 yard pass from Engle (Malm kick) 21-0
4:29 -- Koors 5 yard pass from Engle (Malm kick) 28-0
14:15 -- Koors 43 yard pass from Engle (Malm kick) 35-0
8:50 -- Cleveland 22 yard pass from Schurlknight (Knighton kick) 35-7
Individual Stats (Depauw)
Passing -- Engle 25-37-384, 4 TD; Schwier 1-2-10
Rushing -- Karazsia 13-67, TD; Ellis 11-39; Engle 2-11; Morgan 3-8; Schweir 1-7; Cato 2-3
Receiving -- Koors 6-157, 3 TD; Dahlstrom 6-76; Ellis 5-53; Evans 4-39; Doran 3-43; Wagner 1-14; Branigan 1-12, TD
Next game -- Depauw (3-0, 2-0 SCAC) travels to Millsaps College (2-2, 2-0 SCAC) for a 1 PM kickoff next Saturday.