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Tigers Rally from 21-point Deficit to Topple Panthers, 41-34

Tigers Rally from 21-point Deficit to Topple Panthers, 41-34

October 19, 1996


October 19, 1996, Greencastle, Ind. - Down 28-7 late in the third quarter, the DePauw football team scored 27 points in just over 12 minutes to take a 34-28 lead before Hanover knotted the score at 34. Tiger tight end Jay Pettigrew caught the game-winning pass from Bernie Haskins with just 19 seconds left to give DePauw the 41-34 victory on Old Gold Day. The win raises the Tigers' record to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference. Hanover falls to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in ICAC play.

Hanover jumped out to a 12-0 lead with a pair of touchdowns in the early stages of the first and second quarters. The Tigers' first score came on Jamie Cunha's 81-yard reception from Haskins. Jason Gardner's point-after made it 12-7 Hanover with 3:04 left in the half. The Panthers came right back, driving 87 yards in 12 plays, with Kevin O'Donohue's two-yard catch from Matt Elliott. O'Donohue also caught a two-point conversion pass from Elliott to make it 20-7 Hanover with 12 seconds left in the half.

Hanover expanded the lead to 28-7 with 5:33 left in the third when Josh Habegger caught a six-yard pass from Elliott and Elliott ran in the two-point conversion.

The Tigers then drove 80 yards in five plays and scored on Haskins' five-yard pass to Joe Cheshire with 46 seconds left in the third. After shutting the Panthers down the Tigers got the ball back and drove to the Hanover eight-yard line, but couldn't convert on fourth down. Hanover took over from there, but on the first play of the drive, Bill Wilcox was stripped of the ball by Jon Holloway and DePauw linebacker Tim Cooper picked up the fumble and ran it to the eight-yard line before tossing a lateral to Cassel Truscott who ran in the remaining distance for the score. Gardner's extra-point kick was off the mark and Hanover led 28-20.

On its next series, Hanover picked up a pair of first downs before punting from the DePauw 35. The Tigers took over on their own 18 and drove to the Hanover 39. Faced with fourth-and-one, the Tigers' Bernie Haskins ran the quarterback sneak to keep the drive alive. Two plays later Haskins tossed a touchdown pass to Joe Rogowski for a 38-yard score. The try for two failed, and DePauw still trailed, 28-26 with 3:54 left.

On Hanover's third play of their next possession, Cooper picked off Elliott's pass at the Hanover 31 and returned it to the Hanover seven. A DePauw unsportsmanlike penalty moved the ball back to the 22, but two plays later Haskins tossed a 22 yard pass to Cunha with 3:11 left. Haskins connected with Pettigrew for the two-point conversion to give DePauw a 34-28 lead.

Hanover took the ensuing kickoff and marched right down the field, covering six plays and 65 yards and scoring on Habegger's catch from Elliott which covered 33 yards. The score tied the game at 34 with 1:56 left. Tom Riley's point-after was blocked by Tiger safety Scott Farnham.

An unsportsmanlike penalty on Hanover following the touchdown forced them to kickoff from their own 20-yard line and the extra yardage helped the Tigers as Holloway returned the kick to the Hanover 42.

The Tiger offense could muster just three yards on three plays and faced again with a fourth down play from Hanover's 39, Haskins connected with Pettigrew for a 19-yard completion. Haskins completed three more passes with the last covering seven yards to Pettigrew who caught the ball on his back after it had already bounced off his chest. Gardner's point-after made it 41-34 with only 19 seconds left.

Hanover drove to the DePauw 45, but two long passes into the endzone were broken up by the Tigers.