Tigers drop first game of season in 31-21 decision against Hanover
September 21, 2002
Greencastle, Ind. - The Tigers fell behind by as many as 17 points before rallying to within three, but visiting Hanover's defense came up big late in the game and the 22nd-ranked Panthers held on for a 31-21 victory over DePauw. Hanover improved to 3-0, while DePauw fell to 2-1.
In a game with the advance billing of being an offensive shootout, the teams were scoreless through the first 15 minutes. Hanover's Drew Starck drilled a 22-yard field goal on the second play of the second quarter to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Hanover's Robert Shipley intercepted Andy Yoder's third-down pass on DePauw's next possession and returned it to the DePauw 31. Three plays later, backup quarterback Brett Dietz completed a 17-yard scoring pass to Jeffrey Jourdan to make it 10-0 with 11:47 left in the half.
DePauw put its first points on the board when Jamarcus Shephard returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a score. The 99-yard return tied an SCAC record set by John Beasley against Trinity in 1999. It was one-yard short of the DePauw mark set by Alan Hill against Valparaiso in 1980. The touchdown was Shephard's first on the collegiate level.
Hanover was marching down the field on its next possession before Matt Stahley picked off Dietz's pass at the DePauw 16. The Hanover defense stuffed the Tigers and Hanover then took over on their own 43. Dietz connected with Clint Bobb for a 25-yard score with 6:29 left in the half to push the Hanover margin to 17-7. Starck later missed a 35-yard field goal try as time expired in the first half.
Both defenses tightened up early in the second half as six minutes passed before Hanover picked up the half's initial first down. Dietz's three-yard pass to Jourdan with 7:49 left in the third boosted Hanover's lead to 24-7.
DePauw's offense got back on track on the next possession after Mark Rinehart took the kickoff from his own end zone to the DePauw 45. Yoder completed all four passes he attempted and the Tigers twice picked up first downs by keeping the ball on the ground in short yardage situations. Yoder then teamed with Dan Ryan for a six-yard score to cut the gap to 24-14 with 3:27 left in the third. That marked the 13th straight game that Ryan has caught a touchdown pass and the 21st time in his last 22 contests that he's scored.
The Tigers closed to within three early in the fourth. After taking over on their own 20 late in the third, the Tigers quickly made their way to paydirt. Jackson Rust picked up four yards on the first play before Yoder completed four of five passes. He teamed with Dan Ryan twice for 18 yards each and twice with Shephard for 20 yards each including the one that cut the Hanover lead to 24-21 with 13:53 left.
Hanover came back with a scoring drive of its own, but it had to convert one third down and another fourth down to do so. Faced with fourth and four from the DePauw 14, Dietz put the Panthers up by 10 as he connected with Jourdan for the third time in the contest. The score gave Hanover a 31-21 lead with 11:08 left.
Later in the quarter, DePauw's Josh Angel picked off Dietz at the DePauw 13 and the Tigers drove to the Hanover 29, but couldn't convert on either third or fourth down and never threatened after that.
Hanover outgained DePauw 409-370 including 343-309 through the air. Dietz completed 23 of 40 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns, while starter Justin Pelley connected on nine of 25 for 67 yards. Jourdan caught 11 passes for 104 yards and the three scores, while Clint Bobb finished with seven catches for 124 yards.
Yoder completed 35 of 57 passes for 309 yards and all were career highs. Shephard hauled in a career-best 12 for 103 yards. Ryan added nine for 119 yards and Andy Tolle caught seven for 36 yards. Ryan's 119 yards pushed his career total to 2,365 yards which broke the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference mark of 2,352 held by Wes Ingram of Millsaps (1995-98). It also marked the third time in as many games this season that he has topped the 100-yard plateau.
Defensively, Mike Laszynski led the Tigers with nine tackles including a sack, while Stahley added eight stops. David Blackburn broke up five passes in the contest. Dustin Hertel led DePauw with two sacks, while Tommy Mitchell added one and another tackle for loss. Evan Rubin led Hanover with 10 tackles followed by Brad Koehler and Shipley with eight each. Stuart Gibson had three sacks, a forced fumble and two batted passes.
DePauw returns to Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday, September 28, when it hosts Trinity at 1 p.m. Hanover opens Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on October 5 when it travels to Manchester.Back