The College of Wooster football team (4-3, 3-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) has its first chance to secure at least a .500 finish this season on Saturday afternoon when the Fighting Scots play host to Kenyon College (0-7, 0-6 NCAC). Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Should Wooster win on Saturday, it'll mark the second straight undefeated October for the Black and Gold. Kenyon is still in search of its first win of the season, and most recently fell to Allegheny College (4-3, 4-2 NCAC) 54-10.
Live Coverage: Fans can watch this week's game online at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/wooster. MCTV will carry this week's game on delay with first replay scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Ch. 22 and 8 p.m. on Ch. 621. Fans can check local listings for additional replay times on Sunday and Monday. Fans can also listen to the game on WKVX 960 AM or online at https://wqkt.com.
All-Time Series: Wooster leads the all-time series 52-23-3, and has won the last five games. The teams first met in 1890, a game won by Wooster 30-0, in what was the fifth-ever varsity football game at the College. Wooster's 52 wins over Kenyon trail the 69 the Scots have over Oberlin College for the most over any team in program history. Kenyon's last win in the series came at John P. Papp Stadium in 2012, a game won by the Lords 21-17.
Last Meeting: A 21-yard touchdown pass from alumnus Gary Muntean to junior Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) just before halftime was responsible for three school records, and it marked the duo's fourth touchdown on the afternoon, as Wooster jumped out to a big lead, and then warded off a late charge by host Kenyon during a 51-41 win. While the Scots continued to tear apart the record book offensively, more importantly, the win marked Wooster's sixth of the year, and guaranteed the team a finish above .500 for the first time since 2013. The 21-yard Muntean-to-Strausbaugh touchdown marked Muntean's 60th of his career and Strausbaugh's 13th of the season, both of which marked program records. Strausbaugh turned eight receptions into 212 yards - the second-most in a game - and became just the second 1,000-yard receiver in program history during the win. Senior Antonio Bailey (Duluth, Ga./Meadowcreek) rushed for a career-high 165 yards on 30 carries.
Offense Notes: Junior Jacob Lewis (Silver Creek, N.Y./Silver Creek Central) turned in a career afternoon with 161 yards on nine catches, the final one of which came in the form of a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown reception with 4:48 remaining in the game. Lewis, who surpassed 100 yards for the second time this season, has a career-high 545 yards on a career-best 34 receptions. Coupled with Strausbaugh's 630 receiving yards, Wooster now has two student-athletes with over 500 receiving yards for the first time since 2001 when Chris Cabot had 873 and Darryl Simmons added 657. Freshman Mateo Renteria (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) scored his first career rushing touchdown on a 10-yard second-quarter scamper during last Saturday's win, and he logged a season-high 72 rushing yards. Renteria surpassed 400 yards of total offense after completing 23-of-39 throws for 329 yards and a pair of scores. The Scots' rookie signal-caller has thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of his four starts, and Wooster is 3-1 during that stretch.
Defense Notes: Junior Christian Santos (Yeadon, Pa./Penn Wood Senior) scored his first career defensive touchdown on a 37-yard pick-six, and that put Wooster up two scores with 2:59 remaining on Saturday. The interception marked Santos' sixth of his career, and it came on a tip-drill play. Sophomore Kea'Shaun Phillips (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic) recorded the initial deflection on the play and jarred the ball loose from a Hiram offensive lineman before senior Marcus Bowers (Roseville, Mich./Fraser) tipped the pigskin toward Santos. Wooster's now at three defensive touchdowns this year. Junior Robert Alvarez (Fort Washington, Md./Riverdale Baptist School) returned a fumble 33 yards in the season-opening win against Bluffton University, and senior Derrick Florence's (Jacksonville, Fla./Paxon School) 3-yard fumble return versus DePauw University counts as a defensive score even though it occurred on special teams. Sophomore Kobe Matesic (Buffalo, N.Y./West Seneca West) recorded a team-high 1.5 sacks in the game, and as a team, the Scots logged four. Wooster's still seventh nationally in sacks per game at 4.11, a total tied with Allegheny College for the most in the NCAC.
Special Teams Notes: Freshman Eric Kraus (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) continues to be one of the standouts on special teams with a team-leading six tackles as part of the Scots' kickoff coverage unit. Classmates Angelo Petracci (Youngstown, Ohio/Canfield) and Cole Hissong (Shreve, Ohio/Triway) are right behind with five each.
This and That: Two quirky trends have emerged this season on the gridiron. Wooster is 4-0 when finishing with a positive turnover margin and 0-3 when ending a game with a negative turnover margin. Also worth noting, Wooster is 4-0 this season when starting the game on defense and 0-3 when opening on offense. The coin toss isn't 100 percent tied into what side of the ball Wooster starts on, as Oberlin College won the toss on Oct. 13 and elected to receive. Wooster is 3-4 this year on the coin toss. Wooster's next sack will mark the team's 30th of the season, and the Scots haven't had over 30 sacks since logging 36 in 2006.