The Setup: The steaks have been raised for this week's game between Denison and Wooster. The Big Red will travel to John P. Papp Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 19 for a 2 p.m. kickoff in a game that should have some serious implications on the final North Coast Athletic Conference standings. Wooster (3-2, 2-2 NCAC) is coming off a big win over previous conference unbeaten, Wabash. Denison (4-1, 3-1 NCAC) posted a 49-0 shutout against Oberlin. Denison sits in a four-way tie for second place in the NCAC with Ohio Wesleyan, DePauw, and Wabash who are all 3-1. Wooster is tied for sixth place with Kenyon at 2-2.
How to Watch: The College of Wooster will provide live video of Saturday's game through Stretch Internet beginning at 2 p.m. The gates to John P. Papp Stadium open 90 minutes prior to kickoff. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for youth and senior citizens for general admission. Reserved seating is available at a rate of $8 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and youth tickets.
LANTERN WEEK. pic.twitter.com/iWtEeaMydd— Denison Football (@DUFootball) October 14, 2019
"Old Red Lantern" History: This is the 25th Battle for the Old Red Lantern between Denison and Wooster. Denison leads the series 12-11-1 since the rivalry game was established in 1989 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first meeting between Wooster and Denison. The lantern was selected to symbolize the trains that Denison and Wooster used to travel by to face each other in the early 1900s. In the history of the Old Red Lantern, this series has been all about long runs. Denison won five of the first six meetings with a tie in 1992 mixed in. Wooster went on a 10-game winning streak between 1995 and 2010, but since 2011, the Big Red has come away victorious in seven of the last eight contests and is riding a five-game winning streak against the Scots.
Player of the Week: Junior wide receiver Peyton Vining was named the NCAC Offensive Player of the Week after his four catch, 139-yard receiving day against Oberlin. Vining leads the NCAC with 502 receiving yards and he ranks sixth in Division III with 26.4 yards per catch. This was the first NCAC Player of the Week honor for Vining.
Mr. 3000: Senior running back Alex Minton needs 76 yards to reach 3,000 career rushing yards. He is averaging 111.0 yards per game on the ground this season. He also leads the NCAC in rushing TDs with nine. Minton ranks fifth in career rushing yards at Denison with 2,924. He moved past Sam Fioroni '13 and into fifth place last week against Oberlin.
Fred Mitchell Watch List: Denison junior kicker Pat Kramer was added to September's Fred Mitchell Award Watch List. The Fred Mitchell Award is given annually to the nation's top collegiate placekicker among more than 750 non-FBS football teams. Kramer was 2-for-4 on field goals in the month of September and a perfect 17-for-17 on PATs. Kramer is a perfect 28-for-28 on extra points this season and is 4-of-6 on field goal attempts with a long of 42 yards. Joining Kramer on the Watch List was Wooster kicker Lake Barrett.
Scouting the Fighting Scots: Wooster is coming off a 24-10 win over Wabash on Saturday. It is Wooster's first win over the Little Giants since 2004. Sophomore quarterback Mateo Renteria leads the NCAC in passing yards (1,280) and total offense (276.0 per game). Renteria is in his second season as the Fighting Scots starting QB. He finished fourth in D-III among freshman starting quarterbacks in 2018 with 2,130 yards passing. Wooster head coach Frank Colaprete is in his seventh season leading the Fighting Scots. Wooster closes the season with games against Denison, Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan, Allegheny, and Hiram. Their two losses this season have come on the road against Wittenberg (14-12) and DePauw (31-26).
Sixty and counting: Last Saturday's win over Oberlin was career win No. 60 for Denison head coach Jack Hatem. He is in his 10th season leading the Big Red and boasts a career record of 60-36 (.625). He ranks third in career wins at Denison. He needs 17 wins to pass Walter Livingston (1911-26) for second place.
Pick 6: Sophomore safety Ryan Hallinan had a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown against Oberlin. It is the second pick-six of Hallinan's career. He had a 63-yard return last year against Ohio Wesleyan.
Rookie debuts: A pair of Denison first-year's made their debut in the starting lineup against Oberlin. Kevin Stone got the start at right guard for the injured Sean McCafferty and Malik Ross started at cornerback in place of the injured Cory Swartzmiller. Ross started the year at wide receiver but made the move to cornerback late in the preseason. Ross had three tackles against the Yeomen.
A different kind of shutout: Denison has punted the ball 16 times in five games, and they have not allowed any return yardage so far. Only one of the punts had a return attempted and it was stopped for no yards. Senior punter Calvin Montgomery has five punts inside the 20-yard line this season.
Quick Recovery: The Denison defense leads the nation in fumble recoveries with 11. Andrew Smith leads the team with two fumble recoveries.
Sack Machine: Senior defensive end Nate Keirn entered the season as the program's all-time leader in sacks and has added to his impressive total. Keirn has 4.5 sacks this season and 29 for his career.
Clock Game: Denison leads the NCAC in time of possession at 33:57 per game. Wooster ranks seventh, possessing the ball for an average of 29:03. The Big Red's time of possession ranks 14th in Division III.
Money Down: The Big Red offense continues to come through on third down, converting at a 55 percent clip which is the fourth-best percentage in the nation.
Up Next: The Big Red will travel to Springfield, Ohio on October 26 for a 1 p.m. kickoff against Wittenberg. Denison is looking for some revenge after suffering a 68-66 loss to the Tigers in four overtimes, last season.