GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Canaan Gebele set a new Denison single-game mark with six touchdown passes. That helped the Big Red improve to 3-0 on the season after a 45-17 victory over Oberlin College.
Denison entered the game with the nation's top-ranked offense, averaging 640.5 yards per game. The maestro of that offense has been Gebele who is quickly asserting himself into the conversation among the nation's best dual-threat quarterbacks. For the third-straight game, his stat line can't be denied. Gebele accounted for 452 of Denison's 569 yards of total offense. He also completed 71 percent of his passes and did not commit a turnover.
Denison trailed 7-0 midway through the first quarter, but a 17-yard touchdown pass by Gebele to Charlie Mueller tied things up. That also sparked 24 straight points by Denison which allowed the Big Red to take a 24-7 lead into the locker room. In the first half, Gebele threw touchdown passes to Mueller, Matt Iammarino (4-yards) and Hunter Biddle (16-yards). First-year kicker Pat Kramer provided a 37-yard field goal to help the cause.
In the second half, Oberlin rallied, scoring on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Christian Flynn to Ryan Gleeson. With 7:38 left in the third, Michael Leshchyshyn connected on a 33-yard field goal to make it a one-score game at 24-17.
The Big Red responded swiftly with an 8-play 75 yard drive that took only 3:27 and ended on a 7-yard touchdown grab by Weimar. After a three-and-out by the Denison defense, DU took over with excellent field position on the Oberlin 45. On 3rd-and-2 from the 26, Gebele went to his favorite target, Weimar for his second touchdown of the game and the fifth for Gebele.
Gebele's fifth touchdown pass tied a Denison record that was shared by four individuals. Bud Giffin was the first to accomplish the feat against the College of Wooster in 1939. Greg Neuendorf followed in 2000 and Larry Cappetto tossed five TDs in a win over Kenyon in 2004. The most recent player to throw for five touchdowns, before today, was Brandon Sklenar who's five touchdown passes against Allegheny in 2014 helped Denison to a 45-7 win over the Gators.
In the fourth quarter, Gebele got an opportunity to break the record when the offense took over on the Oberlin 41-yard line with 6:46 remaining. It looked as if Gebele broke the record on a 2-yard completion to TJ Oursler but he was ruled down on the half yard line. On the next play, Gebele connected with Weimar on a 1-yard scoring strike for the record.
Gebele was 34-of-48 for 366 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 13 carries for 86 yards. On the season, Gebele is completing 69 percent of his passes and is averaging 323 yards per game. He is also rushing for 103 yards per game on the ground.
Weimar finished with a career-high 13 receptions for 148 yards and three TDs. The 13 grabs tied for third-most in program history. Dushawn Brown holds the record with 15 catches in that same 45-7 win over Allegheny in 2014.
Nine different Denison players had at least one reception as Mueller followed Weimar with four catches for 42 yards and one touchdown. Alex Minton led all running backs with six carries for 54 yards.
For Oberlin, Flynn was 11-of-22 for 155 yards and one touchdown. Gleeson led the Yeomen with five catches for 82 yards. Khalil Rivers ended with 61 yards rushing on 15 carries.
The Big Red travels to Springfield, Ohio next Saturday (Sept. 30) for a 7 p.m. kickoff against Wittenberg. The Tigers are 3-0 and ranked 16th in the most recent D3football.com poll.