SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—#15 Wittenberg football returned to the field on Saturday against the Yeomen of Oberlin. While the Tigers had a bye in week two after opening the season 1-0 against Westminster, the Tigers returned home for 13 days of practice for an Oberlin team that jumped out to a 2-0 start. The Yeomen's run would be stopped dead in its tracks, as the Tigers defense pitched a 34-0 shutout. Wittenberg opened 2016 with a shutout against Capital in the home opener, as the Tigers 2017 home opener shutout came in front of a packed house, as Wittenberg's campus celebrated homecoming on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Wittenberg jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter after rushing touchdowns from quarterback Jake Kennedy and running back DeShawn Sarley. Kennedy found the back of the end zone on a designed six-yard run in the first quarter, and Sarley burst through the line for a two-yard score at the end of the second quarter. The Tigers were able to do what they wanted on the ground against Oberlin, but the passing game took off in the second half. After another touchdown run from Sarley to go up 21-0, Kennedy threw a strike to freshman wide-out to Sam Kayser, cruising to the end-zone untouched in the fourth quarter to go up 28-0. Backup quarterback Ryan Fallon put the finishing touches on the day, hanging on to the pigskin on a read-option, as the junior bolted 34 yards to the end-zone, giving the Tigers a 34-0 lead.
WHO STOOD OUT: Sarley stole the show for the Tigers on the ground, as the junior was a force to be reckoned with. Bouncing off would-be tacklers and putting together second-effort after second-effort, the running back exploded for 141 yards on the ground on 27 attempts, including two red-zone rushes for touchdowns. Defensively, the Tigers shutout Oberlin for the first time since 2013, as Michael Ford showed up in a big way for the Tigers, recording 12 total tackles, one sack, two pass-breakups, and an interception. The Tiger defense kept Oberlin from recording a single third-down conversion in 11 attempts on Saturday.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Tigers 34-0 drubbing of Oberlin gives the team their 19th straight victory over the NCAC opponent, and moves to 2-0 with four other NCAC teams. The Tigers travel to Gambier, Ohio next weekend to take on a Kenyon College team that is 0-3 overall, and 0-2 in NCAC play.