Fighting Scots Aiming to Finish in Tie for Second-Place in NCAC
The College of Wooster, which has outscored its opposition 52-3 the last five quarters, will attempt to force a tie for second-place in the final North Coast Athletic Conference standings this Saturday afternoon, Nov. 12, as it takes on archrival Wittenberg University (7-2, 4-1 NCAC) in Springfield, Ohio. With a win, Wooster would match Wittenberg's NCAC record, and also of note, Allegheny College (5-4, 3-2 NCAC) and/or Denison University (4-5, 3-2 NCAC) could possibly end up runner-up as well. Game time at 3,000-seat Edwards-Maurer Field, where the Tigers own an 18-game winning streak, is slated for 1 p.m. EST.
All-Time Series: Wittenberg and Wooster have put on some very memorable games recently, as eight of the last 15 have been decided by eight points or less, highlighted by the epic 2004 match-up, which the Fighting Scots won 64-58 in overtime after the Tigers came back from 48-17 and 58-37 deficits, and forced the extra session when they scored on 4th down from the 3-yard line with just :15 left. Despite all of the close games, Wittenberg has been a nemesis for Wooster, as the Tigers lead the all-time series 32-12-1.
Last Game: Robert Flagg (Dunedin, Fla. / Dunedin) became the first player in school history to achieve the 2,000-yard rushing and 1,000-yard receiving milestones in a career, and Wooster put together its most decisive victory of the season, handling NCAC foe Kenyon College 31-3 at McBride Field in Gambier, Ohio, on Nov. 5.
The Scots were winning the field-position battle early and got on the board when Trent Dunn (Louisville, Ky. / duPont Manual) split the uprights from 22 yards away, marking the freshman's first career field goal. That capped a nine-play, 46-yard drive, which featured a 21-yard scramble by quarterback Brett Frongillo (Haverhill, Mass. / Groton School) to convert a key 3rd-and-8.
Two Wooster offensive possessions later, Flagg added a 19-yard scoring burst to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter. The touchdown run was set up by a 17-yard Cameron Daniels (Clarksburg, W. Va. / Byrd) reception as well as a 16-yard Frongillo rush during the seven-play, 62-yard march.
The biggest play of the game came midway through the quarter. With Kenyon pinned back in its own end, defensive end Matt Reeder (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) forced a fumble while sacking the quarterback and linebacker Brendon Taylor (Aliquippa, Pa. / Hopewell) recovered the ball in the end zone for his second career touchdown.
A long run back on the ensuing kickoff allowed the Lords to boot a field goal (37 yards), cutting their deficit to 17-3, and that remained the score at halftime.
A scoreless third quarter followed, but on the Scots' initial series of the fourth they gained some breathing room. First, the defense forced Kenyon into a turnover on downs, and then Flagg did the majority of the work during a six-play, 34-yard drive, as he ran four times for 23 yards, including the last seven for his second touchdown of the day and a 24-3 cushion.
Wooster would cross the goal line once more, with John Battaglia (Akron, Ohio / Revere) taking one in from 29 yards out for his second rushing touchdown in as many weeks. It was almost all Battaglia on that final possession, as he covered 61 of the 80 yards on the ground.
Overall, the Scots ran the ball 45 times for 243 yards (5.4 average), with Battaglia and Frongillo winding up at 85 apiece and Flagg 72. Flagg's additional 47 receiving yards allowed him to reach the milestone, as he now has 2,100 rushing and 1,012 receiving over the last four seasons. Also, the two touchdowns upped Flagg's career rushing scores to 21, becoming the 13th in team history to surpass 20.
Frongillo was solid in the passing game as well, connecting on 12-of-17 for 148 yards, 38 going to Jordan McIntyre (Steubenville, Ohio / Steubenville).
The defensive effort included a team-high 14 tackles by Taylor and seven sacks, with 1.5 each by Rob Holtz (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Shaler Area) and Reeder.
Team Award Winners: For his efforts (see above), Robert Flagg (Dunedin, Fla. / Dunedin) was selected as the team's Offensive Player of the Week and Girard Ogletree-Crawford (Delaware, Ohio / Hayes) got the defensive honor. The junior cornerback was in on seven tackles, including his first career sack – a five-yard loss in the third quarter. The duo also split Wooster's Special Teams Player of the Week, as Flagg dropped a Kenyon player for a key loss during punt coverage and Ogletree-Crawford returned the opening kickoff of the second half 26 yards. Additionally, senior right tackle Kevin Orris (Rocky River, Ohio / Rocky River) won the "Mule" as the top offensive lineman and Matt Reeder (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) and Brendon Taylor (Aliquippa, Pa. / Hopewell) shared the "Game Breaker" for their respective forced fumble and fumble recovery that gave the Scots a 17-0 lead.
This and That: Wooster enters the season finale among the top-20 (tied for 12th) in NCAA Div. III in sacks with 29. That's the most since 36 during the 2006 campaign, and individually, senior Dan Terhune (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Orange) leads the way with 7.5 ... In the latest NCAC statistics, the Scots are first in red-zone defense, having held opponents to scores just 57.6 percent of the time inside the 20 (19-for-33), and they're tied for the lead in interceptions with 12. Wooster ranks second in the league scoring defense (15.9 ppg), total defense (307.9 ypg), pass defense efficiency (104.6 rating), and sacks, and on the offensive side, the Scots are second in rushing (166.3 ypg). Wooster trails NCAC champion Wabash College in every category, except for sacks, in which Ohio Wesleyan University leads with 31.