Little Giants Force Eight Miscues in Win.by Jocelyn Hopkinson '15 • October 26, 2013
- Denzel Wilkinson makes a play on a pass.
- Sean Hildebrand fakes out a defender en route to his first TD.
- Tyler McCullen gets a tackle for a loss.
- Houston Hodges bangs his way forward on the pass play.
- Denzel Wilkinson recovers one of the four Oberlin fumbles.
- Grant Klembara rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries against the Yeomen.
- Wabash Defense had a strong outing forcing 8 turnovers on the day.
- Eric Downing stiff arms the defender.
- Eddie Cmehil returns this interception for a touchdown.
- Jon Laird celebrates Sean Hildebrand's first touchdown of the afternoon.
- The wind played a major factor for Ian MacDougall and special teams unit.
- Grant Klembara Heismans his way past the defender.
- Anthony Stella ran for 31 yards on the day.
- Quarterback Michael Putko found some yards on this read option play.
- Tyler McCullen and the defensive line controlled the tempo of the Yeomen offense.
- Evan Rutter dislodges an attempted fumble recovery.
- Andrew Gibson (far left) forced the Yeoman to cough up ball on this pass play.
- Sean Hildebrand had 4 receptions for 54 yards and 2 TDs on the day.
- AJ Akinribade makes an aerobatic stop.
- Denzel Wilkinson celebrates his interception. The Little Giants had 4 on the day.
- Micheal Putko had 12 completions for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- The Wabash defense held the Yeomen to 1.4 yards per rush.
- Lucas Poggiali of Oberlin was sacked 4 times on the day.
- Sean Hildebrand catches his second touchdown in the back of the end zone.
Wabash endured chilling winds and an early Oberlin score Saturday to rally for its seventh win, 27-10. Eddie Cmehil ‘16 scored his first-career touchdown on an interception return and Sean Hildebrand '14 caught two scores.
“We played well offensively [in the first half], we just didn’t have the ball very much,” Raeburn said. “But when we did, we scored on most of our possessions. We still squandered a couple of opportunities in the first half.”
The second half was another story. The Yeomen stalled the Little Giant offense twice on the goal line.
“We weren’t blocking up front like we needed to,” Raeburn said. “Tight end, o-line not getting the blocking done. Twice we had second-and-one, but we couldn’t punch it in. It’s an embarrassment. We’ve run the ball well to this point in the season, so to play so poorly in the second half because we couldn’t run it was real disappointing.”
The Little Giants started shaky too. Their defense forced a punt on Oberlin’s first series, but Justin Woods '16 fumbled the return gave the Yeomen excellent field position. Erickson Andrews converted on a 28-yard field goal and Wabash trailed for this first time this season.
The lead did not last. Michael Putko '16 engineered a quick scoring drive culminating in a nine-yard pass to Hildebrand. On the next Oberlin possession, Cmehil stepped in front of a short pass for a 44-yard interception return, 14-3.
“I was actually in the wrong coverage,” Cmehil admitted. “But I ended up sinking on the route and taking the ball. I heard a couple of pads popping on the return so it was a team effort.”
Ian MacDougall '14 connected on a 31-yard field goal and the Putko-to-Hildebrand connection worked again before halftime, 24-3.
MacDougall added a third-quarter field goal, but the kick was the only Wabash second-half score in seven possessions.
Oberlin finally broke through the Wabash defense early in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Logan Poggiali made plays with his arm and feet on a nine-play, 80-yard drive.
Wabash responded by forcing Oberlin turnovers on its next two possessions. The Little Giants took the ball away eight times.
“Obviously with losing 31-16 last year, there was a big emphasis to come in and not play flat,” Cmehil said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we got the job done.”
Grant Klembara '15 led Wabash in rushing with 109 yards, but Saturday marked the first time a Little Giant running back did not find the end zone. Putko picked up the slack with his two touchdown throws and 12-of-20 passing for 156 yards.
Defensively, AJ Akinribade '15 recorded a team-high 8 tackles. Klembara doubled as a nickel back and paced the Little Giants with 2 sacks. Denzel Wilkins '15, Austin Brown '17, and Delon Pettiford '17 each intercepted a pass.
The Little Giants return home next week for a Family Day matchup against Hiram. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m.