The College of Wooster football team (5-4, 4-4 North Coast Athletic Conference) concludes its 2019 season this Saturday at Hiram College (0-9, 0-8 NCAC). Kickoff from the 2,000-seat Charles A. Henry Field is set for 1 p.m. Wooster is coming off a 24-14 loss at Allegheny College, while Wabash College clinched at least a share of the NCAC title with its 24-0 win over Hiram on Saturday. Wooster needs a win and a loss by DePauw University to finish in a tie for fifth-place in the NCAC with the Tigers.
On The Air: Hiram will provide a live stream of this week's contest at https://boxcast.tv/view/hiram-football-vs-the-college-of-wooster-186919. WKVX 960 AM will carry this week's contest live and online at https://wqkt.com.
All-Time Series: Wooster leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1906, 40-5. Wooster won the first meeting 95-0. The Scots have dominated the series of late with victories in 14 of the last 15 meetings. Wooster logged a 23-game winning streak in the series from 1919-74. The Scots have scored at least 30 points in the last seven games in the series on the road.
Last Meeting: Then-junior Christian Santos (Yeadon, Pa./Penn Wood Senior) capped a tip-drill play with a 37-yard pick-six that bumped Wooster's lead out to two scores, and the Scots recovered an onside kick in the final minute to seal a 28-21 win on October 20, 2018. Just before Santos' interception, Wooster capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown pass from then-freshman Mateo Renteria (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) to then-junior Jacob Lewis (Silver Creek, N.Y./Silver Creek Central)
Later, Hiram was gaining traction and had just picked up a first down with an 11-yard completion to Jaris Foreman. On the next play, Randy Tucker tried to force a throw into a tight window. Then-sophomore Kea'Shaun Phillips (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic) logged Wooster's first two deflections on the play, and then alumnus Marcus Bowers tipped the ball toward Santos, who secured the interception in stride and crossed the goal line with 2:59 on the clock.
Alumnus Cyrus Boardman recovered the onside kick to clinch the game. Hiram did have two chances to recover the onside attempt, but the Terriers had an illegal procedure penalty on the first try.
Offense Notes: Senior Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) tied Brandon Good's (1995-98) career record for touchdown receptions when he snagged his 30th in the first quarter at Allegheny. Strausbaugh previously broke Good's career receiving yards record at Kenyon College on October 26, and he's now at 3,079 for his career. Renteria heads into the final game of 2019 with 2,210 yards passing, the fourth most in program history. Renteria needs 34 yards to pass Richard Barnes' 2013 ledger for the third-most in a single season at Wooster. Alumnus Gary Muntean holds the top two marks at 3,165 (2017) and 2,940 yards (2016). Renteria's already sixth in program history with 4,430 career passing yards, while his 27 passing touchdowns are the eighth-most. Sophomore Troy Baughman (McKinney, Texas/Frisco Independence) is two rushing touchdowns shy of being the first Scot since Robert Flagg in 2010 to have at least 10 in a season. Senior left tackle Mick Appel (Arlington, Va./Washington-Lee) and senior left guard Adam Clark (Stoneboro, Pa./Greenville) head into the final week of their collegiate careers having not missed a start in four seasons.
Defense Notes: Wooster heads into game 10 having allowed 150 points on the year, the program's fewest since the 2006 squad allowed 148 over the 10-game slate. Wooster's other years in which it allowed fewer than 200 points since 2006 include 2008 (152), 2010 (184), and 2011 (185). Wooster also has a realistic shot at holding the opposition to under 3,500 yards of total offense for the season for the first time since 2011, when the Scots allowed 3,283 yards. Wooster's nine opponents this year have combined for 3,115 yards. Thanks to freshman Matt Ulishney's (Greensburg, Pa./Serra District Catholic) interception versus Ohio Wesleyan University, Wooster now has 10 on the year, giving the Scots a double-digit pick log for the fourth straight year. Wooster last had at least 10 interceptions in four (or more) straight years from 2003-08, and it's just the fourth time since Div. III was established in 1973 where the Scots have had a stretch of four plus years with that feat.
Special Teams Notes: Wooster is the only team in the NCAC that hasn't had a punt blocked this year. Sophomore Dylan Carr (Heath, Ohio/Licking Valley) is still the team leader in special teams tackles with nine, eight of which have come on special teams. Sophomore Sky Crain (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon) had the Scots latest big special teams play when he tackled Allegheny's punter for a 23-yard loss after an errant snap on Saturday. Freshman Lake Barrett (Columbia, S.C./Hammond School) needs a field goal to break the four-way tie for most field goals in a season that he's currently a part of.
This and That: Wooster broke or matched seven school records the last time it played at Hiram. Then-freshman Cam Pollard (Cleveland, Ohio/John Hay) opened a 58-25 win with a school-record 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that bested the 93 yards alumnus Bryan Albani covered against Case Western Reserve University in 2009. Muntean was responsible for three of the records. In the second quarter, his 13-yard touchdown pass to fellow alumnus Connor Allan marked Muntean's 22nd of the season, and moved him past W Association Hall of Famer Rich Judd's 1997 school record. Muntean surpassed Barnes for the most passing yards in program history in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Muntean matched his program record with five touchdown passes, and he joined Judd as the only players in program history to have multiple games with five passing touchdowns. Strausbaugh completed a 55-yard touchdown pass in the game, and alumnus Jack Marousek fired Wooster's seventh touchdown pass of the game in the fourth quarter, which broke the team's single-game record. During the game, Wooster surpassed its single-season record for most team passing touchdowns, while then-sophomore Robert Alvarez (Fort Washington, Md./Riverdale Baptist School) rounded out the record performances with a single-game program-best 4.5 sacks.