Wittenberg (10-1) saw its 2017 season come to a close with a 35-7 home loss against Frostburg State in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Football Championships on Saturday (11/18) in Springfield, Ohio.
After a scoreless first half on a windy day in Springfield, the Bobcats struck for two scores in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead into halftime. After Wittenberg junior QB Jake Kennedy (Bellefontaine, OH/Bellefontaine) threw an interception on the first play of the second half deep in the Tigers' end of the field, the Bobcats needed just two plays to make the score 21-0 on a two-yard plunge from Jamaal Morant.
Wittenberg pulled with 14 at 21-7 on the ensuing drive as the Tigers capped off a nine-play, 73-yard drive with a two-yard TD pass from junior QB Ryan Fallon (Cleveland, OH/St. Edwards) to classmate Liam Duncan (Eugene, OR/South).
With the game still in the balance midway through the fourth quarter, Frostburg State stunned the Tigers by faking a punt on a fourth and seven play from their own seven yard line that Dante Chinnery turned into a 93-yard TD run to put the Bobcats up 28-7. FSU then sealed the victory later in the fourth with a 61-yard TD run from Morant.
Third-down conversions were the difference in the game as the Bobcats converted on 11-of-17 opportunities, while the Tigers were only successful on 2-of-10 attempts. The Bobcats outgained the Tigers by a 501-236 margin, which included racking up 385 yards on the ground on 57 total carries.