Senior quarterback Kaden Buza connected with sophomore wide receiver Tyler Webb on a 6-yard scoring pass as the Ohio Wesleyan football team wiped out an early deficit, but DePauw scored the final 3 touchdowns of the game to take a 28-7 North Coast Athletic Conference win on Saturday in Greencastle, Ind.
The Tigers scored on the opening possession of the game when Nathan McCahill and Robby Ballentine hooked up on a 50-yard scoring play.
Ohio Wesleyan answered on its first possession of the game, putting together a 10-play, 72-yard drive that culminated in the Buza-to-Webb strike. Buza found sophomore wide receiver Josh Hurst for 17 yards and a first down early in the drive, and moved the chains with a 20-yard pass to sophomore running back Devon Haley before the scoring pass to Webb on the following play. Freshman kicker Sean Putt added the point-after to even the game at 7 midway through the opening quarter.
DePauw put together a 74-yard, 15-play drive on its ensuing possession, but Matthew Berry pushed a 32-yard field goal attempt wide right. In the second quarter, the Tigers manufactured another lengthy drive, marching from their own 3-yard line to the Ohio Wesleyan 31, but on fourth-and-11, McCahill’s pass to Gabe Quigley picked up only 10 yards and the Bishops took over on downs at their own 21-yard line.
The Tigers forced a 3-and-out, and on fourth-and-7 from the OWU 24, senior punter Gabriel Chlebowski punted the ball to the DePauw 35 with about a minute to play. Unfortunately, the Bishops did not get the snap off in time and were penalized for delay of game. This time, the snap was high, and Chlebowski’s punt under heavy pressure carried to the OWU 10-yard line, with Jonathan Bruder returning it 6 yards to the Bishop 4-yard line. On third-and-goal from the 3, McCahill found Cade Whitehead for a 3-yard touchdown pass, and Joseph Sullivan’s PAT gave the hosts a 14-7 lead with :14 before the break.
Ohio Wesleyan drove to the Tiger 21-yard line on the opening possession of the second half, but Putt’s 38-yard field goal try was wide right, and the hosts countered with a 79-yard, 10-play drive, with Gus Baumgartner’s 5-yard touchdown run helping DePauw to a 21-7 lead. The Tigers wrapped up the scoring with a 28-yard connection from Quigley to Ballentine early in the fourth period.
Buza completed 20 of 35 throws for 194 yards and a score. Hurst had 8 catches for 108 yards. Junior free safety Drew Thornton led Ohio Wesleyan with 13 tackles, including 1 for loss.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.