GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The College of Wooster led briefly thanks to a 23-yard field goal by Trevor Bowden on the game's opening drive, but DePauw University's high-powered offense clicked all afternoon during the Tigers' 51-24 win over the Fighting Scots on Saturday at Blackstock Stadium.
|Wooster's took a knee on its first offensive play with 10 men on the field in remembrance of Clayton Geib. Photo courtesy of DePauw University.|
On the game's first offensive play, Wooster (3-1, 2-1 NCAC) honored teammate Clayton Geib with 10 players on the field and took a knee. Prior to the game, both teams held a moment of silence, a tribute to Geib that extended across the board to every athletic event at all 10 North Coast Athletic Conference institutions.
"First, on behalf of the Fighting Scots players and coaches, I want to express our gratitude to head coach Bill Lynch, the DePauw Tigers, their fans, and the entire DePauw community for the compassion and respect with which you have embraced us," said head coach Frank Colaprete in a postgame statement.
"Clayton was with us today on the field," continued Colaprete's statement. "This team, and The College of Wooster, meant the world to him, and it was his inspiration that enabled us to go out there today and play our hearts out in memory of him.
"The outpouring of support this week for Clayton's family, friends, teammates, and the entire College of Wooster community has been just overwhelming. It is something we all will long remember, and we are grateful beyond words."
Wooster strung together a 13-play, 68-yard drive after the tribute to Geib that ended with the 23-yard field goal with 10:11 remaining in the opening quarter. On the drive, senior Gary Muntean found sophomore tight end Jacob Lewis for a 27-yard completion on a fourth-and-2 play, moving Wooster to 11-for-11 on the season in fourth down conversions.
Defensively, Wooster forced DePauw (3-0, 2-0 NCAC) to punt on the Tigers' first offensive series, but Hunter Sergo spiraled his boot 45 yards to pin Wooster at its own 2-yard line. That punt sparked the Tigers as DePauw forced a quick three-and-out prior to scoring 24 unanswered points.
Next, Wooster cut its deficit to 24-10 thanks to a sprawled out Nick Strausbaugh, who extended the ball just past the goal line on his way down to the turf. That play wound up measuring out as a 34-yarder to the sophomore, while earlier in the drive, Wooster converted a pair of big third downs, including a 10-yard Muntean-to-Jason Cerniglia hookup.
Later in the half, Muntean darted in from one yard out to make it 31-17 with just over a minute to go in the second quarter. Strausbaugh proved to be the hero on the drive with a 21-yard reception on a third-and-20 play and an 11-yard grab on a fourth-and-5 play.
In the fourth quarter, Wooster's lone senior starter on defense, Patrick Johnson, pried the ball loose from DePauw's Nick Delgado, and Wooster rode the momentum for a touchdown to pull within 45-24 with 11:57 remaining in the game. After the recovery by freshman Beau Greenwood, the Scots marched right down the field with the 13-yard Muntean-to-Antonio Bailey touchdown capping the scoring drive.
Earlier in the second half, Wooster was moving the ball with success and was in the red zone, but the Scots came up just shy of the first down marker on a fourth down rush by Muntean.
Muntean finished the day 36-for-53 for 365 yards and two touchdowns. Noteworthy, the 36 completions are one shy of Muntean's single-game program record of 37 set at Hiram College in 2015. Muntean spread his completions out to eight receivers with Strausbaugh surpassing 100 yards for the third straight game with a seven-catch, 102-yard day.
DePauw's Matt Laubus completed 17-of-22 throws for 303 yards and five touchdowns. Andy Hunt accounted for 133 of the yards and three touchdowns on four receptions.
Brooks Hepp paced DePauw's defense with nine tackles
Wooster returns home to take on 25th-ranked Wabash College (3-0, 2-0 NCAC) at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.