DePauw Tops Ohio Wesleyan in Back-and-Forth Game

Delaware, Ohio - Demarco Henry's 1-yard touchdown run with 6:52 left and Brooks Hepp's interception at the DePauw 1 with 3:16 remaining helped lift the Tigers to a 31-30 North Coast Athletic Conference win at Ohio Wesleyan. DePauw moved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the NCAC, while the Battling Bishops dropped to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

DePauw forced Ohio Wesleyan into turnovers on each of their first two drives and converted them into touchdowns. The Tigers' Zach Williams forced A.J. Jones  to fumble on the game's fourth play and Chandler Nicholson recovered at the DePauw 47. A 52-yard completion from Matt Labus to Nolan Ayres set up the game's first score as Ramon Lopez scored on a 1-yard run with 11:37 left in the first.

The Battling Bishops drove to the DePauw 15 on the next series, but Nicholson intercepted a Brian Perry pass at the DePauw eight to end the threat.

The Tigers extended the lead to 14-0 as Labus capped a 16-play, 90-yard drive with a 20-yard TD run with 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Hunter Baker put the hosts on the board just 51 seconds into the second after hauling in a 70-yard pass from Berry. Berry's 2-yard pass to Mher Tcholakian with 6:12 remaining in the half knotted the score at 14-14. 

Labus was intercepted by Ben Rubel on DePauw's next possession and the Battling Bishops needed just five plays before Berry teamed with Baker for a 26-yard score to give OWU a 21-14 advantage with 2:42 left in the half.

The Tigers drove to the Ohio Wesleyan 11, but a sack moved them back to the 20 and Jake Tanner's 37-yard field goal attempt was short.

DePauw evened the count on their second series of the third quarter as Labus connected with Lopez for an 11-yard score. Ryan Price's interception at the DePauw 2 stopped another Ohio Wesleyan red zone opportunity and, later in the quarter, Tanner booted a 30-yard field goal to give DePauw a 24-21 lead with 1:43 left in the third.

That lead was short-lived as Berry teamed with Jones for a 17-yard score on the final play of the third quarter that capped a 5-play, 64-yard drive.

DePauw linebacker Matt Crupi recovered a fumble from Ohio Wesleyan's Jesse Beachy at the Ohio Wesleyan 39 with 11:03 left and the Tigers put together a 10-play series which included a fourth-down conversion from the Battling Bishops' 11 and Henry's TD run on third down from the 1 to give DePauw a 31-28 lead with 6:52 remaining.

On the ensuing series, Ohio Wesleyan drove to the DePauw 24 before Hepp picked off Berry at the Tigers' 1 with 3:16 left. The Tigers converted a third down and took a knee twice before taking a safety on third down with two seconds left. Following the free kick, DePauw recovered an Ohio Wesleyan fumble after a completed pass to end the game.

Labus completed 15-of-26 passes for 196 yards and led the rushing attack with 85 yards in 17 carries, while Lopez added 63 yards in 17 attempts. Andy Hunt caught seven passes for 102 yards for his third straight 100-yard game. 

Jones rushed for 50 yards for the Battling Bishops, while Berry completed 25-of-44 passes for 376 yards and four touchdowns. Baker and Tcholakian each caught six with Baker totaling 171 receiving yards.

Crupi and David Cory led DePauw's defensive effort with six tackles each, while Brad Brodek had 18 stops for the Battling Bishops.

The Tigers ran 97 plays to Ohio Wesleyan's 65, but the Battling Bishops outgained DePauw, 454-446. DePauw committed just one turnover to Ohio Wesleyan's six and held a 21-7 advantage in points off of turnovers.

The Tigers return home on Saturday, October 7, when they host Oberlin in a 1 p.m. Old Gold Day on Nick Mourouzis Field at Blackstock Stadium.