Scots' Rally Falls Short, as Tigers Hang On For 31-26 Victory

Cole Hissong
Cole Hissong

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – Sophomore Cole Hissong's extra effort landed The College of Wooster football team's tight end in the end zone with :32 remaining, but DePauw University's Gavin Ritter sealed the game by recovering the Fighting Scots' onside kick attempt, as the Tigers held on for a 31-26 victory on Saturday afternoon at Blackstock Stadium.

Up 31-17, DePauw (2-2, 2-1 North Coast Athletic Conference) punter Ty Johnson elected to run out of the end zone with 1:38 remaining after receiving a snap from the Tigers' 5-yard line. Leading up to that, Wooster's (2-2, 1-2 NCAC) defense did its part to keep the Scots in the game after the offense turned the ball over on downs at the Tigers' 2-yard line. Fortunately, Wooster had all three timeouts left, and sophomore Angelo Petracci rose to the occasion with a pair of solo stops, while junior Kobe Matesic brought down the Tigers' Noah Jones after a 3-yard gain on first down.

Freshman Korey Simmons breathed new life into Wooster by running the free kick back to Wooster's 44-yard line, and four plays later, sophomore Mateo Renteria connected with Hissong on a 24-yard touchdown. Prior to the score, Renteria found senior Jacob Lewis for a 24-yard gain on a second-and-20 play, while sophomore Troy Baughman's reception went for 18 stripes.

Wooster had a chance to recover the onside kick, as DePauw touched it first, but it was Ritter who emerged from the pile with the pigskin.

Wooster, which has had a lot of success through the air in recent years versus DePauw, wasted no time testing the Tigers' secondary. Hissong sprinted past his man on the game's first offensive play, caught a pass from Renteria in stride down the sideline, and was off to the races for what went down as a 75-yard touchdown strike.

Similar to last game, Wooster's opponent found success in the early going, as DePauw was at the Scots' 20-yard line after four plays. Senior Christian Santos slammed the brakes on the drive, as he drilled DePauw signal-caller Chase Andries as he released a throw. Senior D'Andre Brown found himself in the right spot at the right time, as the standout defensive tackle easily snatched the pigskin out of the air for his first career interception.

Andries redeemed himself on the next drive with a 27-yard touchdown strike to Ethan Hudson, and Jack Drake's ensuing extra point tied the game at seven with 2:41 left in the first. On the touchdown, the Tigers' junior's play-fake successfully got the Scots' safeties to bite, and Andries deposited a perfect toss over the top to Hudson.

Baughman edged Wooster back in front, with assists from the likes of Petracci – playing fullback this time - and senior left tackle Mick Appel, who made sure the Scots' running back was pushed far enough across the goal line for a 1-yard score on a third-and-goal play. Leading up to the score with 9:33 to go before halftime, it was Renteria's magical footwork keeping the chains moving, first with a 12-yard scamper on a third-and-3 play, and later with a 2-yard sneak on fourth-and-1.

Jones scored for the Tigers on a 2-yard pitch play with 5:35 left in the half, and Drake's extra point knotted the clash at 14.

Wooster freshman Lake Barrett upped his season-long in the field goals' department to 42 yards, and that resulted in the Scots taking a 17-14 lead into halftime.

DePauw pulled ahead with 6:49 left in the third quarter, as Jarrod Stiver weaved through the defense to the tune of a 28-yard touchdown reception after catching a short screen pass from Andries. Drake knocked through a 42-yard field goal that upped the Tigers' lead to 24-17 with 14:46 left in the fourth, while Andries' 10-yard touchdown on a quarterback draw made it a 31-17 game with 6:16 left after Drake's extra point.

Renteria's 344 passing yards marked the second-most of his career, trailing only the 388 he logged versus the Tigers last season. The sophomore completed 24-of-38 passes and had two touchdowns. Hissong had a career day with seven receptions for 194 yards, while Baughman toted the ball 15 times for 39 stripes.

Freshman Dorion Talley led Wooster with eight tackles, while freshman Brandon Holt had the Scots lone sack in the game.

Andries completed 14-of-21 throws for 280 yards and two scores. Hudson was the difference-maker among the receivers with three catches for 120 yards. Jones led the Tigers with 17 carries for 55 yards.

Jake Labus and Henry Locke tallied 10 tackles each, while Anthony Sansone logged a game-high two sacks.

Next, Wooster's back home to take on Wabash College (3-1, 3-0 NCAC). Kickoff from John P. Papp Stadium is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 12.