Football Wins Shootout in Final Home Game

Thomas Pitney

Sports Editor

 

On Saturday, Nov. 6, the Wooster football team hosted its final home game of the season against its longtime rival: the Allegheny College Gators. Determined to give its seniors a positive final memory at John P. Papp Stadium, the Scots put on an offensive show for its fans, matching the Gators score for score and pulling away late to capture a 59-41 win.

From the opening kickoff, it was clear that the Scots’ offense was in rhythm. After Allegheny went three-and-out on its first offensive drive, captain quarterback Mateo Renteria ’22 capped off a quick Wooster score with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Troy Baughman ’22. Renteria was a standout in this game, completing 74.5% of his passes, tossing for 506 yards and throwing six touchdowns with just one interception. Allegheny’s high-flying offense responded on the second play of its ensuing drive with a 68-yard touchdown strike to tie the game 7-7. Wooster retook the lead at 14-7 on a 36-yard Renteria pass to Douglas Bryant II ’25. A first-year wide receiver who has been a deep threat for the Scots all year, Bryant II had a breakout game, making 13 receptions for 200 yards and one touchdown. However, Allegheny scored again to end the first quarter in a 14-14 stalemate.

Early in the second quarter, it looked as if the tide had turned in Allegheny’s favor. The Gators had quickly scored to take a 21-14 lead and, due to a muffed kickoff, the Scots started their next drive at their own four yard line. However, the Scots made a statement, driving 96 yards in 14 plays and five minutes on an Andrew Yanssens ’23 touchdown run to make it 21 apiece. Captain tight end Cole Hissong ’22 noted the offense’s resiliency. “We faced a lot of adversity in the first half, but we made plays when we needed to.” The Gators, however, again found paydirt to take a 28-21 lead. With just over two minutes remaining in the half, Renteria finished a well-engineered drive himself on a three-yard run to even the game at 28. With under 30 seconds remaining, Langston Williams ’23 forced a crucial fumble that was recovered by Beau Greenwood ’22. The Scots’ offense and special teams took advantage, as a 21-yard Renteria pass to Hissong set up a successful 25-yard field goal from Lake Barrett ’23 to give the Scots a 31-28 edge at halftime.

The Scots and Gators both opened the second half with touchdown drives and Williams blocked an Allegheny extra point attempt to make it a 38-34 game early in the third quarter. A three-and-out, blocked punt and quick 17-yard drive later, Allegheny was suddenly back in front 41-38. On the next Scots’ drive Renteria and Hissong again connected, this time from seven yards out, to give the Scots a 45-41 lead. Hissong said “I had a good one-on-one matchup with the safety rolled down, I was able to get some separation and Teo put in a great spot and I was able to get the toe tap.” Allegheny quickly responded by penetrating deep into Wooster territory. Just when it looked like Allegheny would seize the lead, Williams made another terrific play, tipping a pass to captain linebacker Angelo Petracci ’22, who came up with the interception. Petracci gave credit to Williams for the play. “Langston made a great play on the ball that made my job easy.” From there, the Scots stretched their lead to 52-41 at the third quarter’s end on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Carter Warstler ’24.

The Scots’ defensive opportunism continued. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Williams again terrorized the Gators by intercepting Allegheny to give Wooster a short field. On the very next play, Warstler reeled in a 26-yard pass to give the Scots a 59-41 lead. With Allegheny threatening again at the Wooster 5-yard line on its ensuing drive, Domenic DeMuth ’24 strip-sacked Allegheny’s quarterback and Neil Clayton ’24 recovered the loose ball to snuff out any hope of a Gators’ comeback. Hissong was extremely satisfied with the win, noting that “having not won a game against Allegheny in my four years added a little extra motivation for me, and I just tried to make plays when I could.”

This was not just the final home game and penultimate game of the season for Wooster, but also a celebration of Wooster football’s seniors. Petracci had nothing but good things to say about the experience. “The best word to describe my last home game was grateful. Looking back after four years, I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. Lining the hill for the last time, I thought about how blessed I’ve been to play football at the collegiate level and have Coach Colaprete and staff mentor me through the process.”

The final game for the Scots will take place at Wittenberg University, as they take on the Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 1:00 p.m.