GRANVILLE, Ohio-- DePauw took their first lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jake Lasky to Andy Hunt early in the fourth quarter and sealed the win Brooks Hepp's interception of Canaan Gebele's pass with 3:15 remaining. The Tigers added a late touchdown to complete the 26-17 victory over the Big Red at Piper Stadium.
It was all Denison, early-on after a forced fumble by Chase Struewing and a recovery by Nate Keirn on the second play of the game set the Big Red up inside DePauw territory. Six plays later, Alex Minton finished off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run putting DU on top, 7-0.
DePauw got their first break of the game late in the first quarter facing a 4th-and-7. With Hunter Sego lineup up to punt, Lucas Bihl came off the edge and blocked the punt. Sego managed to scoop up the ball and scamper 28 yards down the sideline for the unconventional first down. Facing 3rd-and-1 from the Denison 39, Hayden Hatten stuffed DePauw's Jake Weber for no-gain, forcing the Tigers to punt.
Denison took over on the DePauw 15 and started moving the ball. After a first down pass to Hunter Biddle got them to the 32, Gebele called his own number and sprinted 61 yards for the touchdown, giving his squad a 14-0 lead.
DePauw answered with their longest drive of the day, an 8-play 75-yard sequence that was capped off by a 7-yard TD pass from Lasky to Hunt.
The score remained 14-7 in favor of Denison until five minutes left in the third when Pat Kramer connected on a 31-yard field goal that ended a 9-play 38-yard drive. DePauw struck right back with their first big play offensively when Lasky went up the middle and broke loose for a 56-yard gain on the second play of their drive. Weber finished things off with a 1-yard TD to make it 17-14 in favor of the Big Red.
After a three-and-out by the Denison offense, DePauw took over at midfield and needed only three plays to reach paydirt as Hunt hauled in a 14-yard TD pass from Lasky to jump ahead, 20-17. The point after kick was blocked by Denison's Struewing.
After a seven-play drive by Denison stalled, DePauw took over on its own 20-yard line with 10:26 to play. Facing 3rd-and-6 with just over six minutes to play, Lasky completed a 26-yard pass to Nolan Ayres that momentarily took the air out of the stadium. The Tigers got all the way to the 1-yard line and opted to go for it on fourth down rather than kick a field goal and go up six. Weber took the handoff and went up the middle but was met by Keirn and Alex Raynor who denied the touchdown.
Taking over in the shadows of their own goal posts, Gebele completed a first down pass to Biddle and followed that with a six-yard run for a first down. On first down from the 16, Gebele fired a pass intended for Malik Webster that was picked off by Hepp at the 36. Two minutes later, Lopez punched it in from the five to lock up the victory for the Tigers.
Gebele led the Denison ground attack with 18 carries for 129 yards and one touchdown. Through the air, he was 17-of-27 for 151 yards and two interceptions. Webster led the receivers with four grabs for 53 yards. Minton chipped in 37 yards rushing on 12 carries.
For DePauw, Lasky racked up 22 carries for 134 yards. In all, five DePauw backs totaled at least five carries. As a team, the Tigers held a 257-184 edge in rushing yards. Lasky was 8-of-17 for 119 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Ryan Zinkula led the Denison defense with 11 tackles. Keirn finished with six tackles, 1 ½ sacks and one fumble recovery. Brice Winans and Ryan McKeown also reached double-digits in tackles with 10 apiece.
For DePauw, Matt Crupi led the way with nine stops.
DePauw moves to 6-0 and 5-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference while the Big Red drops to 3-3 and 2-3 in conference play. Next Saturday, Oct. 21, Denison travels to Ohio Wesleyan for a 2 p.m. kickoff against the Battling Bishops.