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DePauw Drops Monon Bell Game, 37-20

DePauw Drops Monon Bell Game, 37-20

November 15, 2003



Greencastle, Ind. - Visiting Wabash retained possession of the Monon Bell for the third straight year after a 37-20 victory over DePauw. DePauw finished the season at 5-5, while the Little Giants wrapped up the campaign at 7-3. Wabash also took the lead in the all-time series, 51-50-9. The game marked the end of an era in Tiger football as Nick Mourouzis finished his 23-year career as DePauw's head coach.


Chris Morris and Aaron Lafitte each rushed for over 100 yards and quarterback Russ Harbaugh completed 15 of 19 passes for 197 yards in the victory. Morris finished with 102 yards in 19 carries to become the Little Giants' all-time rushing leader, while Lafitte finished with 101 yards in 14 tries.


The Tigers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after David Blackburn intercepted a Harbaugh pass on Wabash's second series at the Wabash 30. Jamarcus Shephard completed a 21-yard pass to Ross Wiethoff on the first play and Jackson Rust scored on a 9-yard run with 8:59 left in the first.


The Little Giants knotted the score early in the second after Stu Johnson intercepted an Andy Yoder pass and returned it to the DePauw 34. Three plays later Morris scored his first of three touchdowns on a 9-yard run with 14:48 left. Wabash made it 14-7 after a 9-play, 67-yard drive that culminated with Morris' 21-yard run with 8:15 remaining in the half. The big play in the possession, however, came immediately before the touchdown run. DePauw sacked Harbaugh for a 5-yard loss on fourth down but were whistled for a late hit.


The teams exchanged punts and DePauw took over on its own 40. On the first play from scrimmage, Wiethoff scampered 60 yards for a score with 3:17 left in the half. The extra point kick was blocked and Wabash held a 14-13 advantage.


Another solid Wabash drive that covered seven plays and 77 yards ended with an 11-yard Harbaugh to Morris pass to make it 20-13 with 31 seconds left in the half.


DePauw took the second half kickoff and marched down to the Wabash 20, but couldn't convert on fourth down. Wabash droved to the DePauw 32 on its next series but was forced to punt and Garth Cheek landed the ball at the DePauw 9. The Tigers picked up one first down, but were unable to dig out of that hole and the Little Giants regained possession at their own 35.


After a 5-yard pass play from Harbaugh to Brandon Clifton, Lafitte carried for 13 yards and then scored on a 52-yard run with 13:51 left in the game to push the lead to 26-13. Wabash dealt the final blow to the Tigers when Blair Hammer sacked Yoder to jar the ball loose. Josh Foster picked the ball up at the DePauw 15 and ran it in for the score to extend the lead to 34-13.


DePauw then lost the services of Wiethoff after he was tackled from behind on second-down run and had to leave the field on a stretcher. Yoder came back into the contest, but was picked off on each of the next two series.


Wabash kept the ball primarily on the ground and managed to whittle away nearly six minutes in a 42-yard series that ended in Olmy Olmstead's 36-yard field goal.


The Tigers put their final points on the board when Yoder teamed with Torey Rauch for a 19-yard score with 13 seconds left to make the final 37-20.


Wabash outgained DePauw 407-339, but held a 34-26-minute time of possession advantage despite running two fewer plays.


Josh Bronaugh caght six passes for 81 yards and Clifton added four for 72 yards.


Wiethoff led DePauw with 65 yards in nine carries and completed all three of his pass attempts for 27 yards. Yoder was 16 of 27 for 163 yards, but threw three interceptions. Shephard finished with eight catches for 80 yards and Rauch had four for 43 yards.


Shephard finished with 246 all-purpose yards including 154 on six kickoff returns. He set the DePauw single-season kickoff return yard record in the loss.


Jeremy Legge led the Tigers with 12 tackles, while Joshua Swift had 10 including two sacks. Aaron Selby and Johnson paced Wabash with eight apiece.


Mourouzis finished his storied DePauw career with a 138-87-4 record and an 11-11-1 mark in Monon Bell games.