The Little Giants improved to 4-0 while Kenyon remains winless. Wabash improves to the 12th ranked team in Division III. The Little Giant Defense is only letting up an average of 5.2 points a game. That ranks them 2nd in the nation on points allowed by opponent.
Chase Belton found a wide open Wes Chamblee for 47 yards to open the onslaught. Six minutes later Tyler Holmes ended an 85-yard drive with a one-yard plunge for 14-0. Belton then found Jonathan Horn for a 61-yard catch Horn wrestled free of a defender and dashed for another score. Then to open the second quarter Belton scooted 47 yards for 28-0.
If that wasn’t a bad enough start for the Lords they made it worse on the ensuing kickoff by fumbling the kick and handing the ball right back to the Little Giants at the 21-yard-line. Then Belton found sophomore tight end Jeff Bell for a 7-yard TD, 35-0.
“Obviously, we played well on offense,” Coach Erik Raeburn said. “We made some mistakes but we had some guys make some unbelievable plays to kind of bail us out of a couple mental errors in the first half. But this was obviously the best we’ve played offensively.”
Belton’s numbers were staggering, accounting for five touchdowns. He rushed the ball five times for 110 yards and two scores. He threw for three more touchdowns on 11-of-13 passing and 203 yards.
Quarterbacks Andy Walsh and Tyler Burke saw second half action and combined for 4-of-8 throwing the ball. A second half highlight for Wabash was junior running back Troy Meyers 67 hard-earned yards on 12 carries. He also picked up Wabash’s final score of the game on a 7-yard run. Plenty of backs touched the football. Derek Rowe had 45 yards on 10 carries. Vann Hunt ran eight times for 41 yards. Tyler Holmes had six carries for 15 yards and a score.
Overall, the Little Giants ran the ball 46 times for 283 yards.
“I’ve been pretty happy with our running game three of the first four games,” Raeburn said. “I thought we ran the ball well today. We got a couple different run plays going today we had not run as well to this point. All in all, I’m happy with how we played.”
Houston Hodges had a huge strip on the first Kenyon possession, and had an interception return 74 yards for a Touchdown only to be called back due to a penalty. Houston was voted the,” Wabash Player of the Game” and the “Defensive Player of the Game”.
Twenty-five different defensive players were credited with at least one tackle.
“It’s a very good opportunity for a lot of younger guys to get some experience,” Senior defensive linemen Tyler Buresh said. “It’s great for them to get time on the field, especially with a homecoming crowd like this. That’s really special.”
The final team numbers obviously reflected the individual accomplishments. Wabash had 545 total yards of offense to the Lords’ 278. The Little Giants had a 287-89 edge rushing and 262-189 difference passing.
Wabash will be home for the second straight week Saturday for Washington University. While some may see it as a simple non-conference game, Coach Raeburn remembers all too-well the Bears’ 24-20 win last year.
“We had a bad week of practice and then we went out and played that way,” he said after Saturday’s game. “We just did some really stupid things defensively. We gave up a 70-yard screen pass with like 20 seconds to go in half. Then we managed to get the lead and got a pass interference on third-and- 20 something. We ultimately gave up a touchdown pass. Defensively, they really put the clamps on us. We couldn’t get much going. I felt they beat us in all three phases last year. I guess I wasn’t surprised because we had a terrible week of practice.”
The Bears lost 13-10 to North Park Saturday and to Wittenberg 20-17 a week earlier. They won their first two games.