ICYMI: Scots’ dumping of Wabash a doozy

ICYMI: Scots’ dumping of Wabash a doozy

The College of Wooster Fighting Scots football team has earned its ICYMI moment. For the puzzled, that’s internet slang for “In Case You Missed It.”

Before moving ahead to the Oct. 23 North Coast Athletic Conference squabble at Denison, a flashback to last Saturday’s classic in Crawfordsville, Indiana, is entirely defensible.

While the 2021 season has been a bit of a carousel ride, the Scots of head coach Frank Colaprete have every reason to sit high in the saddle after outlasting previously unbeaten Wabash, 44-41. Having a week off following a 28-24 victory at Oberlin on Oct. 2 apparently was just what the gridiron gods ordered.

Beating the Little Giants on the road was a significant achievement in and of itself. But it was the way the game – and the statistics — unfolded that was so bizarre. The final numbers were incredible, and not all of them were consistent with the Wooster triumph. The Black and Gold hung the most points on Wabash in a game played at Little Giant Stadium since 2008, and the most in a regular-season contest since 2001.

One of the stats that ended up huge in the final outcome were the passing totals of senior quarterback Mateo Renteria, the COW environmental studies major. The Houston recruit played arguably his best collegiate game, completing 28-of-41 passes for a career-high 408 yards, a total that rates sixth in the program annals.

Renteria’s completions are tied for the eighth-most in program history and one shy of a career-best. Thanks to three aerial touchdowns, Renteria upped his career total to 45, and he is now in the top-five at Wooster in that category.

In addition to his trio of TD connections, Renteria’s 15-yard touchdown run put the Scots up 13-10 with 12:30 left in the first half.

On Monday, the North Coast Athletic Conference selected the senior as its Offensive Player of the Week. On Tuesday, Renteria and teammate Matt Pardi were named to the D3football.com Team of the Week, as announced on the popular website that covers NCAA Div. III football.

Pardi averaged a school-record 55.5 yards over four punts in the Wabash upset. He was instrumental in the closing seconds by handling a high snap and then getting off a 55-yard punt to Wabash’s 20-yard line, when the Little Giants took over with just 25 seconds remaining. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Pardi pinned Wabash at its own 1-yard line, thanks to a career-best 66-yard punt. His other punts in last Saturday’s game covered 59 and 44 yards.

Pardi currently is averaging 46.0 yards per punt on the season, and he has Wooster ranked fifth nationally in net punting average.

Also racking up impressive stats against the Little Giants was senior tight end Cole Hissong, out of Triway High. He logged his third 100-yard game over the last four contests, finishing with 109 yards on six catches. Teammate Mitch Heilman, a Jeromesville native and Ashland High grad, added 100 yards on six grabs and had a 38-yard TD reception.

ICYMI, sophomore Carter Warstler was not to be denied a spot among Wooster’s game-changers. After Wabash tied the score at 27 in the third quarter, Warstler received the ensuing kickoff at the Scots’ 2-yard line, then stepped off a record-tying 98-yard return for a touchdown. Warstler’s kickoff return is tied for the fourth-longest in NCAA Div. III this fall.

Later in the game, New Albany’s Warstler hauled in a 27-yard touchdown. Warstler finished just shy of 100 yards with 92 markers on five receptions.

The multi-talented Warstler and Heilman also will represent the Scots during the upcoming men’s basketball season.

As previously noted, not all of the wild statistics last week were on Wooster’s side of the ledger. Wabash finished with 670 yards of total offense and Wooster had 474. The Little Giants rushed for 391 compared to the Scots’ 66.

The Oct. 23 game — Wooster’s third straight on the road — posed another challenge for the Scots (4-2, 3-2 NCAC). At stake against Denison (4-2, 4-1 NCAC) is the Old Red Lantern prize. The trophy started being awarded to the winner of the game in 1989 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first meeting between Wooster and Denison. The two teams originally traveled to the games by rail, so the lantern was chosen to represent the series’ pastime.

The Big Red have won six straight going into Oct. 23. Looking back, Wooster’s first three varsity intercollegiate games were against Denison, and the Scots shut out the Big Red in all three contests by scores of 48-0 (1889), 50-0 (1889), and 58-0 (1890).

As they say in the popular AWS television commercial, “Stat that!”

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