Tigers air it out against Dutchmen; Win streak reaches nine
HOLLAND, MICH.-- Senior quarterback Bernie Haskins (Elkhart/Central) set one school record and tied another in leading the Tigers to a 33-20 win at Hope College. The Tigers trailed 13-7 at the half, but Haskins and the offense rallied the Tigers, while the defense slowed the Flying Dutchmen possession after possession. The win lifted the Tigers record to 2-0 and was their ninth straight. The nine-game win streak is the longest by a DePauw team since the 1933-34 squads won a school-record 14 in a row.
Haskins completed 28 of 48 passes for 413 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception. The 413 yards was just two shy of the DePauw record of 415 set by current Tiger offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Voris in 1987. His 419 yards of offense set a new record and the five TD passes tied a record.
Hope began its second possession of the game on its own 15-yard line and very quickly marched down the field for a score in just six plays. All-American back Brandon Graham was the main reason for the quick strike as he carried the ball three times for 65 yards including the final 36 for the score.
The Tigers began their first possession of the second quarter from their own 29 with a nine-yard run from fullback David Schubert (Jr., Coatesville/North Putnam) and 20-yard pass play from Haskins to Johnathon Stigall (Jr., Oxford, Ohio/Talawanda). Following two incomplete passes, Haskins found Stigall open for a 42-yard score with 10:47 left in the half. Jason Gardner's (Sr., Milan/Rockville) extra point made it 7-7.
Hope's Justin Wormmeester was intercepted by Matt Cunningham (Sr., Anderson/Anderson) on the second play of the next series, but the play was nullified after a roughing the passer penalty was called against the Tigers. The penalty tuned things around dramatically as the Flying Dutchmen scored 11 plays later on Graham's three-yard run. The point-after was wide right and the score was 13-7 with 5:42 left in the half and that's how it stood at halftime.
Perhaps the biggest play of the game came early in the second half as Graham was stopped for just a three-yard game, but was forced to leave the game with a knee injury. Graham, who had gained 158 rushing yards in the first half would not return and the Hope offensive attack was never the same.
The Tiger offense was still trying to get its bearings and it had help from the defense. Linebacker Matt MacPherson (Jr., Dayton, Ohio/Northridge) intercepted a Wormmeester pass at the Hope 45 and returned it to the 23. Haskins connected with Joe Rogowski (So., Park Ridge, Ill./Fenwick) for a 16-yard gain to the seven-yard line. Two incomplete passes were followed by a 13-yard sack making it fourth-and-goal from the 20. On the fourth down play the Flying Dutchmen were flagged for pass interference and the Tigers had the ball on the Hope five. Haskins found Jon Clippinger (Sr., Indianapolis/North Central) on the next play for a five-yard score. Gardner's extra point was blocked and the score was tied 13-13 with 2:57 left in the third.
Hope fumbled on the second play of their next possession and the Tigers' Jon Secrest (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) recovered on the Hope 17. Six plays later Haskins teamed with tight end Tyler Kelley (So., Fort Wayne/Concordia Lutheran) for a nine-yard score. Gardner's kick made it 20-13 with 48 seconds left in the quarter.
The hosts advanced to the DePauw 19, but a sack by Frisky Williams (Fr., Tampa, Fla.) on third down and a defensive stand on fourth gave the ball back to the Old Gold with 11:53 left. Haskins and Stigall teamed for a 60-yard score with 8:50 remaining to make it 26-13 Tigers. Seven minutes later Haskins and Stigall connected again for a 23-yard score.
Hope scored a late touchdown and the Tigers ran out the clock and brought home the victory.
Stigall tied a school record with three touchdown receptions as he finished with nine catches for 176 yards. Joe Cheshire (Jr., Indianapolis/North Central) caught seven passes for 118 yards. The Tiger running games struggled with just 28 yards on 20 carries.
Despite playing just over half the game, Hope's Graham finished with 172 yards rushing in 20 carries. Hope quarterback Wormmeester completed 22 of 31 passes for 206 yards.
DePauw's Cunningham was credited with 15 tackles, MacPherson 14 and Dan Thompson (Jr., Danville/Danville) 10. Todd Tester had 10 for Hope.
The Tigers host Albion on Saturday, September 27 in the home opener at Blackstock Stadium.