WOOSTER, Ohio-- For the fourth-straight year, The Battle for the Old Red Lantern has gone in Denison's favor. Leading 16-14 entering the final quarter, Denison scored 20-straight points in the fourth to put the game away. After two late scores from Wooster, Denison left John P. Papp Stadium with a 36-26 victory.
Wooster quarterback Gary Muntean entered the game with a conference-best 69 percent completion percentage while boasting an eye-popping 28-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The Big Red defense accepted the challenge and pressured the Poland, Ohio native mercilessly. He was sacked 10 times, breaking the program record for sacks in a game (nine) that was set in last year's game against Wooster. He also threw three, fourth-quarter interceptions, helping fuel the Big Red's run.
In the fourth, Denison didn't need many offensive plays to capitalize. Canaan Gebele was 3-for-3 for 70 yards and two touchdown passes over the final 15 minutes of play. He connected with Mailk Webster on a 56-yard scoring strike with 13:07 to play. He also found Jack Dorenkott on a 5-yard TD pass minutes later after a 42-yard interception return by Ryan Zinkula put the Big Red deep into Fighting Scot territory.
Trailing 29-14, Muntean connected with Russell Boston on a 41-yard pass, advancing the Scots to the 28-yard line. From there, Wooster went backward thanks to a sack and two penalties. Facing 4th-and-27 from midfield, Wooster was forced to punt with just under seven minutes remaining.
Denison's next drive stalled on their own 36-yard line, but on the first play of Wooster's ensuing drive, Muntean was intercepted by senior defensive lineman David Heyer on the 5-yard line. Heyer returned the interception for a touchdown, effectively putting the victory on ice.
Gebele was 12-of-19 for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He moved into third-place on Denison's career passing list, passing Keith Schmidt '99 who threw for 5,264 yards. Alex Minton just missed his third-straight 100-yard rushing game. He toted the ball 20 times for 94 yards and one TD coming on a 7-yard run in the first quarter. Webster led the receivers with three catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Brice Winans led the defense in tackles with 11. Hayden Hatten posted nine tackles and three sacks. Nate Keirn and Will Brady each totaled 2 ½ sacks apiece. Zinkula had two interceptions to go along with eight tackles.
For Wooster, Muntean was 26-of-52 for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Antonio Bailey led all rushers with 24 carries for 122 yards and two scores.
Denison will close out the 2017 season next Saturday, Nov. 11 when they host Kenyon College at 1 p.m.