On the sporting front, Wabash's football season has come to end after coming up short to Mt. Union, 20-8. That's not a terrible score to begin with, and the game felt even closer than that in the second half. If that sounds familiar, well, there's good reason for that.
Again Tyler Burke came out to start the game, and the offense was completely impotent. The defense was totally on their game, though. That actually didn't change in either half. All but one (possibly two, I'm going off memory here) of Mt. Union's scoring drives started on our side of the field, and two extremely short fields (from an interception and a muffed punt) ended in field goals rather than touchdowns. Their only "sustained" drive came as a result of a 40-yard run up the middle on a drive they started from their own 2. That one did hurt. But, yeah, our defense proved it was as good as anybody in the nation.
In the second half, Chase Belton came back in to quarterback, and the offense sprung to life. They only manage to punch the ball into the endzone once, but the team was finally moving the ball. We did get a touchdown taken away from us, which would have been huge. I was listening to the radio, so obviously I didn't see it for myself, but according to the radio guys, Chase ran into the endzone, and the announcers were celebrating because of course it was a touchdown. But then, the officials had him marked down at the 1. According to the announcers view of the replay, this was inexplicable. Of course, this was also fourth down, so Mt. Union took over and intentionally took a safety, getting us to 20-2. We then took the next kick off and drove down for a touchdown.
This led to a sequence which did leave me scratching my head. We had a complete pass, but ended up short on the two point conversion. You hear people complain that you should never throw a pass shorter than you need on third down, and I agree with that sentiment. I agree even more wholeheartedly when it comes to a two point conversion. If you're going to put the ball in the air, your receiver had darned well better be in the endzone. He wasn't in this case, though, and we were stopped short. 20-8. I suppose you can get an idea of how things went from here.
We attempted an onside kick, and the picture above shows you just how close we came to recovering it. Unfortunatley, Wes Chanblee couldn't fully wrangle it in and Mt. Union ended up with it. We had burned all our time outs in the third quarter, because clearly Chase was not on the same page as the sideline. Mt. Union was able to run out the clock after picking up a couple first downs.
Still, the Little Giants acquitted themselves very well. They showed they could hang with the big boys, which is a lot more than we could say for the last two times we played Mt. Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater (a pair of 30+ point losses). If Chase had played the entire game, who knows how it might have gone. It would have been nice to see what some sustained offensive pressure would have done to their defense. As it was, they weren't the first bit worn down for the second half. Ah well. A wonderful season, Wabash. You showed again this week that, yes, Wabash Always Fights.