DPU wins with last-second FG

Sunday, November 1, 2015

GRANVILLE, Ohio - Marko Adams booted a 42-yard field goal with 2.5 seconds left Saturday to give DePauw a 31-29 North Coast Athletic Conference win at Denison. With the win, the Tigers improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the NCAC, while the Big Red dropped to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the conference.

Denison's Connor Dunn gave the Big Red a 29-28 lead after booting a 33-yard field goal with 1:43 left which capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive.

The Tigers started their game-winning drive on their own 20 and a key play was Matt Hunt's 4-yard pass to Jake Hagan on fourth-and-two from the DePauw 28. Hunt then completed one to his brother, Andy, for 16 yards and another to Hagan for six yards to the Denison 46.

Faced with a third-and-four, Matt Hunt completed a 22-yarder to Andy Hunt to the Denison 24. Following an incomplete pass, Adams came on to attempt the game-winner on second down.

DePauw wasted little time in jumping out to a 7-0 lead as Matt Hunt connected with tight end Tyler Leising for a 56-yard gain on the game's first play to move the ball to the Denison 14. Three plays later, Jack Gruber scored on a 1-yard run just 1:33 into the game.

The Tigers' defense stopped Denison on its next possession, but the Big Red's David Weimar landed his punt at the DePauw 1. Gruber was tackled in the end zone for a safety on the first play.

Following the free kick, Denison started at its own 47 and on the first play Denison quarterback Canaan Gebele teamed with Dushawn Brown for a 53-yard score. The extra point gave Denison a 9-7 lead with 10:16 remaining in the first.

Adams booted a 49-yard field goal with 6:00 left in the opening stanza and a 35-yarder with 29 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 13-9 lead. The 49-yard boot was the longest by a DePauw kicker since Tom Downham's school-record 54-yard kick in 1987.

Early in the second, DePauw moved into Denison territory, but Matt Hunt fumbled and Denison recovered on its 38.

Later in the half, the Big Red took the lead, 16-13, when Gebele scored on a 1-yard run. The touchdown was set up by a 26-yard pass play on fourth-and-eight from the DePauw 28.

On Denison's opening drive of the second half, Gebele was sacked by Joel Kauth and fumbled. Gebele recovered in the end zone for a safety and Denison's lead was trimmed to 16-15 with 11:50 left in the third.

After the ensuing free kick, DePauw drove 56 yards in nine plays with Matt Hunt tossing a 15-yard strike to Connor Jeffers to put the Tigers back in front, 21-16, at the 7:14 mark of the third.

Denison answered with Connor Dunn's 31-yard field goal with 3:36 left in the third to cut the Tigers' lead to 21-19, but DePauw came right back with a 7-play, 73-yard series capped by Matt Hunt's 15-yard scoring pass to Andy Hunt to make it 28-19 with 32 seconds remaining in the third.

Early in the fourth after a short Denison punt, the Tigers drove to the big Red 6-yard line. but a false start and sack on third down forced DePauw to try a field goal. Adams' 33-yard attempt was wide left.

Denison needed just six plays to cover 80 yards as Gebele completed four-of-four passes including three to Brown for 67 yards. Gebele then scored on a 7-yard run to make it 28-26 with 8:34 left in the fourth.

Andy Hunt's 45-yard return on the ensuing kickoff gave DePauw the ball at the Denison 44, but the Tigers netted just five yards in three plays and punted the ball back to the Big Red who then drove for the go-ahead score late in the fourth.

DePauw outgained Denison, 436-420 and including 128-71 on the ground. Matt Hunt led the Tigers in rushing with 75 yards and added another 308 through the air for 383 total yards. Ten of Matt Hunt's completions went to Andy Hunt for 124 yards, while Jeffers caught five for 61 yards.

Gebele rushed for 60 yards and two scores and threw for 349 yards and one touchdown. Seven of those went to Brown for 138 yards, while Hunter Winans caught six for 62 yards.

Philip Ganser led the DePauw defense with 13 tackles, while Cody Baker added 10. Chris Hawk and Nate Orrison each had 2.0 tackles for loss, while Hawk and Kauth had 1.5 sacks apiece.

Alex Raynor paced Denison with 12 tackles with Joel Lohoua, Ryan Zinkula and Andrew Baird each totaling 10. Lars Soderberg and Zach Neufeld each had 1.5 tackles for loss, while Sonderberg had 1.5 sacks.

DePauw returns to Blackstock Stadium next Saturday when it hosts Oberlin in a 1 p.m. contest.

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