Senior quarterback Connor Rice threw for a career-high 307 yards and two touchdowns to lead Wa-bash to a 34-24 win over the College of Wooster. The Little Giants improved to 6-1 on a festive Family Day.
Rice was laser-sharp in connecting on 22-of-27 passes and found seven different receivers. Sopho-more Oliver Page caught eight passes for 146 yards, while sophomore Ryan Thomas and senior Sammy Adams each caught first-half touchdown strikes.
Coach Don Morel praised his senior captain for both his passing and his leadership.
"This is the third week in a row that Connor was incredibly efficient, throwing for 300 yards, which is a lot of yards on 22 completions," Morel said. "He's our leader and it's another week when we didn't have a turnover, and that's critical to who we are."
The Wabash defense harassed Wooster quarterback Gary Muntean, forcing the junior to miss almost 60 percent of his throws. Wabash sacked Muntean five times and intercepted him once.
Even so, the Little Giants had a tough time putting away the Scots, who stayed close thanks to a 5-yard screen pass from Muntean to Antonio Bailey, who shook loose down the visitors' sideline for an 87-yard score.
Sophomore running back Matt Penola set the tone early, bulldozing his way through Wooster defend-ers. Penola led all ball carriers with 93 yards and a touchdown, and sealed the win late with a 16-yard carry during which he broke five tackles.
"Matt is a tough kid and I was very pleased with the way he lowered his pads and got after it," Morel said.
Still, it was Rice who starred for Wabash. He hit Page early and often, and Page consistently added yards after the catch. He averaged 18.3 yards on his eight receptions.
Senior kicker Andrew Tutsie continued his remarkable season. He converted all four extra points and slammed a pair of career-best 44-yard field goals. Tutsie is now within three field goals of tying Joe Bevelhimer's all-time mark of 34 set in 1985.
"Those field goals were huge for us because each one made it a two-score game," said Morel. "An-drew is finishing his career in excellent fashion. He's just been a phenomenal kicker for us."
Two senior linebackers paced the defense for Wabash. Connor Ludwig made a team-high 10 tackles, while LV Bowden had a pair of sacks and another tackle for loss. Junior Brian Parks had the game's only interception.
"We have to get more athletic out there on defense, but some of that is because we have some start-ers out," More said. "I am confident that we will get back to health and get our key guys out there in critical moments. But I give credit to all the men who went in there and played well today."
Wabash dominated time of possession and held the Scots almost 100 yards below their season aver-age in passing.
Wabash kept pace in the North Coast Athletic Conference, and stayed in a tie for second place. Next week, the Little Giants travel to Ohio Wesleyan, which beat DePauw 37-15 in Greencastle Saturday. Wabash finishes with a road game at league front-runner Denison before closing with the 123rd Mo-non Bell Classic.