Wooster Looking to Get Back on Track at Ohio Wesleyan

Mark Herron

Wooster Weekly Release (Sept. 10) | Wooster Media Guide

The College of Wooster football team (1-1, 0-1 North Coast Athletic Conference) saw its five-year run of winning league lid-lifters snapped on Saturday as Allegheny College (1-1, 1-0 NCAC) left John P. Papp Stadium with a 27-20 win thanks to a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:26 remaining. Wooster will be looking to bounce back this week at Ohio Wesleyan University (0-1, 0-0 NCAC). The Battling Bishops were idle last week after dropping their season-opener 10-7 against Otterbein University on Sept. 1. Kickoff from Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio is set for 1 p.m.

Live Coverage: Ohio Wesleyan will have a live stream of this week's contest available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/owu/. WKVX 960 AM will carry this week's contest live and online at https://wqkt.com.

All-Time Series: Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan have split 62 all-time meetings thanks to the Scots snapping the Bishops' three-game winning streak with last year's 38-20 win. The series dates back to 1901, making it the sixth-oldest in program history. That game was won by Ohio Wesleyan 28-0 in what marked Wooster's first game since 1890. Wooster had a campus ban on intercollegiate athletics from 1891-1900. Ohio Wesleyan has won the last three contests at Selby Stadium. Wooster's last win at Delaware came in 2010, a game won by the Scots 22-13. That contest took place during Wooster's six-game winning streak spanning 2006-11. Ohio Wesleyan logged a six-game winning streak of its own in the series from 1990-95.

Last Meeting: Wooster found the end zone on its first four drives to take a commanding 28-0 lead with 11:46 to go in the opening half, and the Scots went on to top the Bishops 38-20 to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2008. Wooster held Ohio Wesleyan to 11 yards of offense on the Bishops' first three possessions, and Ohio Wesleyan didn't move the chains offensively until its drive that started with 11:38 remaining in the opening half. Notable, Wooster's defense held an opponent scoreless in the first half for the first time since doing so at Allegheny in 2015.

Offense Notes: Sophomore Caden Croft (Coshocton, Ohio/Riverview) surpassed 300 yards for the first time of his career during Saturday's game. In fact, Croft's 376 yards are the ninth-most in program history, and the top mark since alumnus Gary Muntean threw for 384 stripes against Kenyon College in 2017. Junior Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) turned seven receptions into 179 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Strausbaugh's 179 yards were the eighth-most in a single game in the program annals, and he joined Chris Cabot and Darrian Owens as the lone players in program history with multiple 175-yard games. Classmate Jacob Lewis (Silver Creek, N.Y./Silver Creek Central) was another one of Croft's go-to targets, and the tight end's 92 yards marked a career-best. Senior Antonio Bailey (Duluth, Ga./Meadowcreek) surpassed the century mark for the second straight week with 114 yards on 20 carries. Bailey enters the week 37th in Div. III at 119 rushing yards per game.

Defense Notes: Sophomore Kea'Shaun Phillips' (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic) fourth-quarter interception gave the Scots possession on the Gators' 11-yard line, and the ensuing drive resulted in Wooster tying the game up at 20. Sophomore Mark Herron (Youngstown, Ohio/Chaney) made his presence felt in his second start with a team-leading seven tackles and a forced fumble. Wooster's starting defensive line - junior Robert Alvarez (Fort Washington, Md./Riverdale Baptist School), senior Marcus Bowers (Roseville, Mich./Fraser), junior D'Andre Brown (Atlanta, Ga./Benjamin E. Mays), and senior Cornelius Gyamfi (Atlanta, Ga./Chamblee) - combined for 22 tackles and played key roles in holding Allegheny to 3.4 yards per carry. As a team, Wooster enters the week 46th nationally in rushing defense at 79.5 yards per game.

Special Teams Notes: Sophomore Henry Whyte (North Huntington, Pa./Norwin) made his punting debut for the Scots on Saturday, and emerged as a game-changer when it came to field position. Whyte, who averaged 43.8 yards per punt, had a long of 48, and placed one boot inside the 20-yard line. The sophomore knocked a pair of field goals through the uprights to keep Wooster within one touchdown on both occasions.

This and That: Offensive coordinator Zach Dennis and running backs coach Kyle Adams are both graduates of Ohio Wesleyan. Dennis rolled up 1,913 yards and 11 touchdowns as a three-year starter at wide receiver, and ranked second in school history in receiving yards upon graduation. As a senior, Dennis was voted to the all-conference second team. Adams was the Bishops' leading rusher as a senior captain in 2008 and was named honorable mention all-conference. First-year Chase Flanagan (Dellroy, Ohio/Carrollton) is now listed as a defensive back after starting the year as a running back.