Tailgate Talk: Week 8

By Noah

#14 Wittenberg University (5-1, 5-0 NCAC) vs. Kenyon College (0-6, 0-5 NCAC)

Edwards-Maurer Field, Springfield, Ohio.

1 p.m.

Know the Enemy

Nickname: Tigers.

All-Time Record vs. Kenyon: 7-27-2.

Current Steak: 24- Wittenberg .

Location: Springfield, Ohio.

Enrollment: 1,910.

School/ Nickname Anagram: Bitter green twigs.

Most popular majors: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Social Sciences and Communications.

Notable alumnus: American author Sherwood Anderson. Though he only penned one best-seller in his novel Dark Laughter, Anderson is credited with exerting a heavy influence on the next generation of American writers, including Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and John Steinbeck.

When Last They Met

While the #16 Tigers only held a 24-7 lead most of the game, 14-points in the last 3:05 of regulation blew things open for Wittenberg, who cruised to a 38-7 victory. Though the score may indicate the contrary, Kenyon’s defense had one of its best outings of the season, holding the high-powered Wittenberg offense to just three points during a 42-minute block. Unfortunately, Wittenberg was able to jump out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, putting the Kenyon offense in hole of which they just couldn’t manage to get themselves out.

Going Into This Week

Despite holding Wabash to their lowest amount of rushing yards on the year and winning the time of possession, Kenyon fell short 52-10 to the #10 Little Giants. The Tigers defense locked down against Wooster, forcing four turnovers out of the Fighting Scotts and racking up four sacks en route to their 42-7 victory.

By the Numbers

100– years since Kenyon last beat Wittenberg in 1914 (a bright spot on an otherwise bleak year for Kenyon and the world at large, given the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the start of World War I).

83.8– receiving yards per game for Kenyon So. WR #7 Brian Hunca, fifth in the NCAC.

33:48– average amount of time Kenyon possesses the ball each game, the most in the NCAC.

Players to Watch

Kenyon Sophomore DB #9 Marcus Townsend

Townsend has made noticeable strides in the secondary since the beginning of the year, faring well in one-on-one coverage against Wabash and breaking up some key passes. Townsend will be challenged with the high-flying Wittenberg pass game, and it’ll be interesting to see who he matches up against with such a talented wide receiver corps.

Wittenberg Junior WR #4 Zach Culvahouse

Leading the NCAC in both receiving yards per game (104) and touchdowns on the season (9), Culvahouse accounts for over 1/3 of Wittenberg’s offensive TDs thus far. After picking up a season-high 169 receiving yards against Wooster, Culvahouse will look to wreak havoc against the young Kenyon secondary.

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Postgame Notes: #10 Wabash 52, Kenyon 10

By John

 

The #10 Wabash College Little Giants rolled into Gambier and handed the Lords’ a 52-10 loss. On the surface it looks ugly, but under further inspection the Lords did play well in certain respects. Here’s my take:

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Johnson tries to get by a Wabash O-lineman.

Wabash will probably be the biggest team Kenyon will face this season. The hogs up front were massive and their running backs were built like linebackers, punishing any opposing tackler who tried to go high. Entering the contest averaging a whopping 238.3 rushing yards per game, the Lords defense held the Little Giants to just 142 yards, their lowest output of the season. Thanks to a fantastic effort from every Lords defender, the rush defense also only let up two runs of over 20 yards. Kenyon Sr. LB #35 Jack McDonald and Jr. DL #48 Marquis Johnson did their best to contain the Wabash running backs at the point of attack, and Kenyon Fr. DB #4 Curt Williams and Jr. Co-Captain #24 Alec McQuiston did a great job of coming in from the secondary for additional support. Brought up earlier for his presence against the rush, Johnson was an animal in pursuit of the quarterback Saturday afternoon. Though only credited with one sack on the day, Johnson was on the scene whenever a Wabash quarterback was pressured or flushed out of the pocket.

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McQuiston marks a Wabash WR.

Despite the strong performance from the rush defense, Kenyon ultimately got beat by the Wabash passing attack. Picking up on the fact that Kenyon was stacking the box more often than not, Wabash was able to make big plays through the air. To his credit, Kenyon So. DB #9 Marcus Townsend did make some fantastic plays while in man-to-man coverage. On one occasion, Townsend exhibited expert timing while swatting away a pass in the end zone that looked like a sure- touchdown for Wabash . With Kenyon Fr. DB #14 Brandon Byrd also making some nice plays in the secondary, the two can become a dangerous duo for NCAC quarterbacks if they continue to hone their skills and mature.

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Bates warms up his arm while Kenyon Sr. WR #6 Jake Genachowski looks on.

Before taking a look at the Kenyon offense, it’s important to note that Wabash boasts a pretty impressive defense. With two All-American candidates on the frontline and a host of ball hawks behind them, the Wabash defense forces opponents to only 52 rushing yards, 183 passing yards and 13 points a game. Now there is no denying that the Kenyon rushing attack struggled; holes never seemed to open up for Kenyon Sr. RB #5 Brandon January, who was still able to pick up 52 yards on the day. The Kenyon offensive line got great jumps off the line of scrimmage; however, the sheer size of the Wabash defenders really closed all the gaps.

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Bell weaves through the Wabash defense.

Coach Mono’s game plan appeared to be quick passes to the outside. His longest completion on the afternoon being a gain of 14 yards, Kenyon Jr. Co-Captain QB #13 Jake Bates was successful on about 50% (17/32) of his passes, which mostly consisted of quick hitters to So. WR #5 Brian Hunca and Fr. WR #2 Ian Bell; this was Kenyon’s only option, since the run game was stalling. Kenyon also effectively made use of quick rollouts to buy Bates a little more time and open up more alleys to throw to receivers. Even when pressured, Bates did a good job of keeping his eyes downfield in hopes of finding a receiver in the flats.

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Kenyon So. LB #37 Ryan Angelo checks the Wabash read option.

Hunca remains to be the model possession-receiver for the Lords. Hunca caught nearly every pass thrown his direction, including a beautiful snag near the sidelines on a fourth down conversion. It’s hard to find a more reliable receiver than one who brings his “A” game every week like Hunca does.

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The Kenyon D converges on a Wabash ball carrier.

One last note: One moment that resonates with me from Saturday is McQuiston’s reaction to a late Wabash touchdown after a Bates interception. Following the score, the Co-Captain ran towards the sidelines, threw off his helmet and yelled, “We can stop them! We need to keep fighting!” This is exactly what you want to see out of one of your leaders: McQuiston’s emotions were raw, but they were also positive; he was trying to pump up his teammates when sideline morale was low.

Tailgate Talk: Week 7

By Noah

Kenyon College (0-5, 0-4 NCAC) vs. #10 Wabash College (5-0, 4-0 NCAC).

McBride Field, Gambier, OH.

1 p.m.

Know the Enemy

Nickname: Little Giants.

Favorite sports movie: Little Giants.

All-Time Record vs. Kenyon: 9-1.

Current Steak: 9- Wabash.

Location: Crawfordsville, Ind.

Enrollment: 902.

Most popular majors: English language and literature, history and economics.

Degree given to graduates: A.B.; Wabash is one of the few schools that awards A.B.s (Latin abbreviation of artium baccalaureus, or, “bachelor of arts”) instead of B.A.s to its graduates.

When Last They Met

Then-#16 Wabash College rolled to a 48-7 win over Kenyon, holding their opponent to less than 200 yards of total offense. To Kenyon’s credit, the Lords took care of the ball, committing no turnovers in the game, and went a perfect 1/1 in the red zone. Sophomore FB #3 Blake Calcei provided the sole scoring play of the game for the Lords via a two-yard touchdown run, following which he was the victim of a late hit personal foul, which took him out of the game. Freshmen WR #15 Jack Hanratty and DB #9 Marcus Townsend also suffered injuries in the game, leaving Kenyon under-staffed for the next week’s game against #14 Wittenberg University.

Going Into This Week

Kenyon’s inability to come away with points at the end of drives did them in against an athletic Hiram squad which picked apart the Lords pass defense for 410 yards through the air in the Terriers’ 31-8 victory. Wabash, on the other hand, took care of business against Ohio Wesleyan, coming away with the 45-13 win over the Battling Bishops.

By the Numbers

444.6- average number of yards per game accumulated by the Wabash offense.

266- passing yards for Kenyon Junior Co-Captain QB #13 Jake Bates against Hiram, a career high.

168- yards picked up through the air by Kenyon Sophomore WR #7 Brian Hunca against Hiram, the most receiving yards by any Kenyon receiver since 2009 (courtesy of the latest Weekly Release for NCAC Football).

Players to Watch

Kenyon Junior OL #76 Alex Oles

The only veteran O-lineman for the Lords, Oles and the Lords’ front five will have their hands full with a stringent Wabash defense that averages 5.6 six sacks a game while conceding only 64.4 yards a game on the ground. If Oles and the O-line can protect Bates and push forward against the Wabash D-line, Kenyon will be in good shape; otherwise, if the offense is forced to go three-and-out consistently, the defense will lose stamina early from lack of rest on the sidelines.

Wabash Fr. WR #8 Drake Christen

After Hiram Sophomore WR #11 Josh Philander ravaged Kenyon’s secondary last week, the Lords pass defense will have to deal with another serious playmaker in Christen. Already having tallied five TDs and averaging 84.4 receiving yards per game, Christen presents a daunting challenge to a defense that has continuously struggled this season against big-play receivers.

Conference Calls: Week 7

By Charlotte

Kenyon Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Meredith Buzzi sat down with Charlotte to share her picks for this week’s slate of NCAC games. First, let’s take a look at the results from this past week:

Week Six


Allegheny 21

Wooster 42

Conference Call: Allegheny.


Kenyon 8

Hiram 31


DePauw 54

Oberlin 14

Conference Call: DePauw.


#10 Wabash 45

Ohio Wesleyan 13

Conference CallWabash.


#15 Wittenberg 30

Denison 23

Conference CallWittenberg.


Week Seven Conference Calls, Featuring Coach Meredith Buzzi (10-2):

 

Ohio Wesleyan (3-2, 2-2 NCAC) at DePauw (4-1, 3-1 NCAC):

Conference Call: DePauw. After their strong showing vs. Oberlin last week, I think DePauw is on a roll. And they are at home.


Oberlin (1-4, 1-3 NCAC) at Allegheny (1-4, 1-3 NCAC):

Conference Call: Oberlin. Although they have to make the trip to Allegheny, I think Oberlin has the team to beat Allegheny.


Wittenberg (4-1, 4-0 NCAC) at Wooster (3-2, 3-1 NCAC):

Conference Call: Wittenberg. Wooster has performed well at home, but Wittenberg looks well prepared from a good game vs. Denison last week


Check back next week to see how Coach Buzzi’s predictions held up!

Postgame Notes: Hiram 31, Kenyon 8

By John 

The game was within reach at halftime, but the Hiram Terriers took to the air and left Kenyon grounded during the second half, beating the Lords 31-8. Here are my thoughts:

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Freshman DB #14 Brandon Byrd goes mono-a-mono with Philander.

Kenyon’s struggles against the pass continued, only this time at a record rate. Hiram Senior QB #15 Robert Partridge threw for a school record 410 yards against the young Lords secondary, as the Lords simply had no answer to the big play capabilities of Hiram Sophomore WR #11 Joshua Philander, whose mere six receptions resulted in 203 yards and two touchdowns. Philander’s speed makes him a dangerous athlete who will give Kenyon’s defense headaches for years to come.

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Freshman DB #4 Curt Williams finished the game with six tackles.

Despite being outsized, the Lords really launched themselves into Hiram ball carriers and the Terriers weren’t able to rack up many yards after contact. This is an improvement from the DePauw game, in which it seemed like the DePauw running backs just tore through would-be tacklers. Unfortunately, the blazing speed of the likes of Philander made it difficult for the Lords to wrap up an opposing player in the first place. The D-line struggled to apply pressure against the hulking Hiram O-line, and the Kenyon defensive backs struggled to maintain their coverage on opposing receivers as a result. This, in turn, allowed Partridge to have a record-setting day against the Lords.

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The Lords defense drives an opposing ball carrier into the sidelines.

Speaking of the Hiram O-line, those guys were dirty. I love hard-hitting football as much as the next guy. I lived for NFL Countdown’s “JACK’D UP!” segment every Monday night before Monday Night Football. But there is a difference between playing hard and playing dirty, and Hiram was blatantly playing dirty. It didn’t matter how far away from the play they were; Kenyon players were at constant risk of getting blindsided, grabbed by the genitals or gouged in the eyes. Totally uncalled for, but the Lords were smart enough not retaliate in a malicious manner.

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Led by Junior Co-Captain #24 Alec McQuiston, the Kenyon defense pursues a Hiram ball carrier.

The Lords did make a couple of nice defensive plays. Kenyon Junior DB #12 Max Boyd picked off Partridge in the 1st quarter, marking the first Lords interception since last year’s Hiram game. After the Lords went three-and-out on the following drive, Kenyon Senior WR #6 Jake Genachowski downed the Kenyon punt at Hiram’s one-yard line to pin the Terriers deep and Junior DL #48 Marquis Johnson sniffed out a run on the very next play, tackling the ball carrier in the end zone for a safety.

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Bates passed for a career-high 250 yards against the Terriers.

On the offensive side of the ball, Kenyon beat Hiram in time of possession 30:48 to 29:12. The Lords were driving early in the second quarter, constructing an 11 play 53-yard drive, only to throw an interception in the red zone. A 48-yard pass from Junior Co-Captain #13 Jake Bates to Sophomore WR #7 Brian Hunca set up the lone offensive score of the game, a one-yard TD run from Junior FB #3 Blake Calcei. Hunca continued his stellar play with 8 receptions for 168 yards. The Lords came within striking distance thrice in the second half, but a forced-fumble, missed field goal and interception spoiled all three attempts.

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Hunca and Freshman WR #2 Ian Bell run to space in the flat.

The biggest problem for the Lords offensively was their lack of big plays. While putting together long, clock-draining drives is nice for ball control purposes, it also increases the likelihood of mistakes, to which young teams such as the current Kenyon squad are especially prone. When you take a look at the Lords’ scoring drives from this season, most came off of big plays, including the lone TD against Hiram set up by a deep pass to Hunca. This is where the loss of WR #11 Jibri McLean is really apparent; with all due respect to Hunca and Genachowski, McLean was the big play receiver for the Lords last season and they are really missing him now.

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Lords and Terriers shake it up.

The Lords must regroup and get ready for their next two matchups against nationally-ranked opponents. Wabash, the #10 team in the country, will be coming to McBride Field next weekend. They’re big up front and this will be a real test for the struggling O and D lines. Things won’t get any easier the following week, as the Lords travel to Springfield, OH to take on #14 Wittenberg University.

This young team keeps gaining experience and keeps fighting till the end. As the long season wears on, they are going to have to keep their morale up and continue to battle.

Tailgate Talk: Week Six

By Noah

Kenyon College (0-4, 0-3 NCAC) vs. Hiram College (2-3, 1-3 NCAC)

Charles A. Henry Field, Hiram, OH.

1 p.m.

Know the Enemy

Nickname: Terriers.

All-Time Record vs. Kenyon: 24-25-3.

Current Steak: 2-Kenyon.

Location: Hiram, Ohio.

Enrollment: 1,283.

School-Nickname Anagram: Rare trim heirs.

Notable Alumnus: Renowned American economist, Allyn Abbott Young.

Most popular majors: Business, management and marketing.

When Last They Met

Trailing Hiram 13-7 at the half, Kenyon came from behind to topple the Terriers 20-16 behind Senior RB #5 Brandon January’s 181 yards on 28 carries (6.5 yards per carry) and touchdown. Down 20-16 with a chance to score the go-ahead touchdown on a 1st and goal from the Kenyon six yard line, Hiram turned the ball over on downs after Kenyon’s defense held strong with a tackle for a loss on 1st down and three incomplete passes on the following plays. On the impending drive, January picked up eight yards on a 3rd down and five to secure the victory for the Lords.

Going Into This Week

Fresh off of a BYE week, the Lords’ are eager to redeem themselves after their 24-0 loss to DePauw. Following a 48-0 loss at the hands of #14 Wittenberg University, Hiram enters Saturday’s game riding a three-game losing streak.

By the Numbers

27- Net passing yards for Oberlin against Brockport last weekend.

8- Turnovers conceded by Hiram against #14 Wittenberg AND number of games since Kenyon’s defense registered an interception.

Players to Watch

Kenyon Freshman WR #2 Ian BellAveraging 188 yards in his past two games, Bell has been a big part of facilitating Kenyon’s small-ball passing game. Relying mostly on quick slants, curls and screens, the Lords haven’t pulled off many big plays through the air, but don’t be surprised if Bell has a hand in one such play today.

Hiram Sophomore LB #36 Kyle Burchett

Burchett has a knack for disrupting opposing offenses, leading the Terriers defense with 7.5 tackles for a loss and tallying an average of seven tackles a game. Kenyon’s o-line has done a good job protecting Junior Co-Captain #13 Jake Bates as of late; we’ll see if they can keep it up against Hiram.