William Penn is 5-4 all-time in its series against Olivet Nazarene, including winning last year’s matchup 27-3.
The Statesmen, who have won three straight in the series, were tied with the Tigers 3-3 at halftime of last year’s matchup, but powered by them in the second stanza.
William Penn held the pigskin for much of the second half with nearly 26 minutes of possession. Shawn Davis rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Taylor Parsons added 77 yards and a score. Parsons also passed for 109 on the day.
The William Penn defense was outstanding, holding Olivet Nazarene to just 185 yards of offense, including only 57 after intermission.
William Penn saw its slim playoff hopes fizzle away with a tough 12-6 loss to No. 14 Saint Xavier in Midwest League play last Saturday.
The defensive battle witnessed just one touchdown — the eventual game-winner in the fourth quarter — as Marcus Kerrigan tallied all of his squad’s points with field goals of 21 and 42 yards. The Statesmen were only outgained 230-199 and forced the Cougars into the game’s two turnovers.
Tyler Hafner passed for 81 yards and Davis rushed for an additional 45.
“I thought our kids played extremely hard to the very last play," Penn coach Todd Hafner said. "That is a very good team and we are right there. Again, we need to do a better job of finishing our offensive drives with touchdowns once we get into the red zone.”
Thus far in 2013, William Penn is averaging 30.1 points and 343.8 yards per game, including 295.8 rushing and 48.0 passing. The Statesmen are fourth in the NAIA in total rushing (2,366) and rushing yards per game.
Evan Ressler leads the team with 557 rushing yards, while Davis is next with 522 yards and nine scores. Two others are also over 300 yards.
Hafner leads the passing game by going 35-for-96 for 305 yards. Aaron Broyles is pacing the receiving corps with 21 catches for 163 yards.
William Penn has committed 13 turnovers so far this fall.
Defensively, the Statesmen are giving up an average of 21.1 points and 297.1 yards, including 158.5 passing and 138.6 rushing. William Penn ranks ninth in the NAIA in yards allowed per game.
Isaac Samek tops William Penn with 60 tackles and three interceptions. Nick DiMarco has a team-best 10 sacks (18 tackles for loss). The junior is second nationally in sacks per game (1.3), third in both total sacks and total tackles for loss and fourth in tackles for loss per game (2.3).
William Penn is seventh in the nation in total sacks (23) and ninth in sacks per game (2.9).
The Statesmen have forced 10 turnovers this year.
Kerrigan is 19-for-22 in extra points and 6-for-14 in field goals. The senior is again pairing up with Jason Johnson to make a strong punting duo. Johnson has punted 17 times for a 38.2 yard clip, while Kerrigan also has 17 attempts for a 37.5 mark.
Jacob Batterson is tops in the kick return game with a 25.2 yard average, including one TD.
The Tigers rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to defeat Lindenwood-Belleville (Mo.) 20-13 in non-conference play last Saturday.
Olivet Nazarene fell behind 13-0 early in the second quarter, but led by 162 passing yards from Ryan Sample, the hosts scored the final 20 points for the win.
The Tigers outgained their foes 301-250 and overcame a 2-1 turnover margin. Andrew Muzljakovich converted on two 26-yard field goals to push Olivet Nazarene
Thus far in 2013, Olivet Nazarene is averaging 15.5 points and 224.8 yards per game, including 123.2 passing and 101.5 rushing.
Sample leads the team by going 83-for-183 for 972 yards and two touchdowns. His top receiver is Aaron Salas with 24 grabs for 354 yards and one TD. Two other players are also over the century mark in receiving yards.
Michael Ho-Lewis is leading the ground attack with 407 yards and five scores. Two of his teammates are over the century mark as well.
Olivet Nazarene has committed 15 turnovers so far this fall.
Defensively, the Tigers are giving up an average of 24.6 points and 418.0 yards, including 256.8 passing and 161.2 rushing.
Mark Kosrow leads Olivet Nazarene with 58 tackles, while Derrick Hosselton has three sacks. Five players have one interception.
The Tigers have forced 11 turnovers this year.
Muzljakovich is a perfect 13-for-13 in extra points and 9-for-13 in field goals. He is also the team’s punter, sending 47 kicks away for a 40.9 average. Muzljakovich leads the NAIA in extra point percentage and is fifth in both total field goals and field goals per game.
Zach Gross guides the return game with a 20.3-yard kick average, while Lucas Nimberg has a 22.8-yard kick average and a 10.1 clip over 12 punt returns.
“Olivet is a team that has already played all of the top teams in the conference and is competing very well," Hafner said. "They are still playing a lot of young players that seem to be getting better every week. We will need to make them one-dimensional on offense by shutting down the run and then try to keep them off balance on defense by taking what they give us in the run and pass game.”
On Senior Day: “This is one of those days that is very bittersweet. We are very proud of this year’s senior class for what they have accomplished throughout the years. They are outstanding young men who are all going to be very successful in whatever they do.”