Tigers Retain Monon Bell with 36-14 Win
November 15, 2008
November 15, 2008, Crawfordsville, Ind. - DePauw scored the game's first 30 points and retained possession of the Monon Bell with a 36-14 win at second-ranked Wabash. The Tigers evened the all-time series at 53-53-9 and extended their lead in games played for possession of the Monon Bell to 37-34-6.
DePauw finished the regular season at 8-2 with its fourth straight win which snapped the Little Giants' 19-game home win streak dating back to DePauw's 2004 Bell game win. Wabash dropped to 9-1 on the campaign as the Tigers spoiled the hosts undefeated season for a second straight year.
The tone of the game was established early as Wabash took the opening kickoff and marched down the field. DePauw's defense, which ranked ninth in the nation in red zone defense, stopped Wabash at the DePauw 17 and Alex Fitch blocked Drew Oehler's 34-yard field goal attempt. The block was Fitch's sixth of the year.
DePauw took advantage with a 14-play, 66-yard drive that ended with Jordan Havercamp's 25-yard field goal with 2:33 left in the quarter.
On the third play following the score, Steve Valdiserri picked off Matt Hudson's pass and returned it 30 yards down the DePauw sideline to the Wabash 12. It took the Tigers six plays after a pair of penalties before Spud Dick found Chris Gasbarra in the end zone for a 12-yard score with 14:52 left in the second which made it 10-0.
Valdiserri notched his second interception of the afternoon on Wabash's first play after the touchdown and DePauw made it 16-0 on Jon Ellis' 1-yard run with 9:30 left in the half which wrapped up a 10-play, 60-yard drive.
The teams then exchanged punts before Paul Gbur recorded DePauw's third interception of the day at the Wabash 32 and returned it, uncontested, into the end zone for a 23-0 lead with 2:27 left in the half.
DePauw stopped the Little Giants on downs and later Wabash's Spencer Whitehead missed a 33-yard field near the end of the half.
The Tigers opened the second half with an eight-play, 52-yard drive culminating in Dick's 4-yard strike to Alex Koors which made it 30-0 with 11:02 left in the third.
Wabash reached paydirt on its next possession as Hudson scored on a 15-yard run with 7:46 left in the third. On DePauw's ensuing series, Ellis picked up 27 ground yards on the first two plays before Wabash's Rich Lehmann hit Dick and forced a fumble which Lehmann recovered at the DePauw 39.
Evan Sobecki closed the gap to 30-14 on a 2-yard run with 3:03 left in the third after Hudson converted a third down on the previous play.
DePauw pushed the lead to 33-14 on Havercamp's 42-yard field goal with 13:19 remaining.
On their next series, Wabash appeared to be driving for a score, but DePauw's Kyle Sherer sacked Hudson on fourth-and-two from the Tigers' 10.
Havercamp ended the game's scoring with a 28-yard field goal with just 1:10 left which was set up by Ryan Preuss' interception and 38-yard return.
Wabash outgained the Tigers 341-304, but DePauw committed just one turnover to the Little Giants' four which DePauw converted into 23 points.
DePauw totaled 77 rushing yards with Jon Ellis totaling 100 for the first 100-yard rushing game by a DePauw freshman in the Monon Bell game since Terry Dickey totaled 120 in the 1988 game. Wabash finished with 79 yards on the ground led by Sobecki's 58.
Dick completed 24 of 29 passes for 227 yards and two scores with eight going to Bryan Mulligan for 55 yards and five each to Koors and Gasbarra.
Hudson was 25-of-43 for 262 yards with four interceptions. Kody LeMond had eight catches for 73 yards, while Brady Young finished with six grabs for 56 yards.
Preuss paced the DePauw defense with eight tackles including two for losses, while Marc Hoeppner and Valdiserri finished with six each. In additional to his two interceptions, Valdiserri broke up two more passes. Michael McNelis and Kyle Sherer each recorded sacks for the Tigers.
Bryan Watson and Joshua Gangloff each finished with nine stops for the Little Giants with Lehmann and Chad Peterman totaling eight each. Watson and Lehmann each had one sack.
Photos: Alex TurcoBack