GRANVILLE, OHIO- The Denison football team picked up their fifth win of the season after topping Hiram 45-14 at Deeds Field this past Saturday. This week, it's a rivalry renewed as the Big Red pay a visit to Wooster, Ohio to take on the Wooster Fighting Scots. This Saturday is the 86th meeting between the schools. Wooster leads the all-time series 40-38-7, however, Denison has won the last three meetings. Saturday also marks the 22nd installment of the "Battle for the Old Red Lantern," with Wooster holding an 11-10-1 advantage in the rivalry. The schools have battled for the lantern since 1989, symbolizing the trains that these teams took to play one another in the early 1900s. Denison and Wooster were each other's first opponents when both teams began intercollegiate competition in 1889. The trophy game was created in 1989 in recognition of the 100th anniversary of football between the two programs.
How to Watch: Denison and Wooster are scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff at John P. Papp Stadium. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and children. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. If you can't make it to Wooster, watch the live video stream provided by The College of Wooster beginning at 1 p.m.
To this point: Denison topped Hiram 45-14 last week for their second straight win to up their record to 5-3. The Scots are a hot team as well, with wins in each of the last three weeks to up their record to 6-2. Last week, Wooster topped Kenyon 51-41 on the road in Gambier, Ohio.
Offensive Identity: With a number of injuries in the Big Red receiving corps, Denison has gone to the ground and done so in a big way. Last week against Hiram, Alex Minton ran 21 times for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns, upping his season yardage total to 716, giving him a chance to become the 14th Denison player to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. The junior transfer from Drake has become the featured back in the Denison offense. He will look to continue his success against a Wooster defense that allows 164.5 yards per game on the ground.
Gary is Scary: Wooster senior QB Gary Muntean has compiled impressive totals across the board as a pocket passer this season. The Poland, Ohio native has completed 178 of 259 passes (68.7%) for 2,592 yards. Despite these numbers, the most impressive stat is Muntean's touchdown to interception ratio, sitting at a near perfect 28 to 1. Muntean is coming off his best passing game of the year, passing for 384 yards and four touchdowns against Kenyon. Something has to give this Saturday, as Muntean's 324.0 passing yards per game meets a Denison defense that allows only 180.8 yards per game through the air.
Don't Doubt the D: Last week the Big Red defense held a Hiram offense that averages 33.8 points per game to only 14 points, the Terriers' lowest point total of the season. The Big Red allowed only 320 yards of total offense, well below Hiram's season average of 444. Denison used gang tackling all night as the Big Red finished with six defenders with at least five tackles: Alex Raynor (8), Hayden Hatten (6), TJ Gerhardt (6), Francis Fay (5), Brice Winans (5), and Ben Cross (5).
Share the Wealth: Six different Big Red receivers made at least one catch against Hiram, including Mitch Marston hauling in a 54-yard touchdown strike from Canaan Gebele. It was Marston's first career reception and first career TD. After adding Marston to the list, 14 Big Red receivers have gotten in on the party this season, including nine different receivers catching at least one touchdown.
Climbing the Charts: Junior quarterback Canaan Gebele needs to throw for only 118 yards to move into third place in career passing yardage. Keith Schmidt '99 currently sits in third place with 5,264 yards. Max Paulus' program record of 6,545 yards will be within Gebele's reach baring an injury next season.
By Will Hibbard
Denison Athletics Communications Assistant