Football to conclude season Saturday against Greenville
With a winning season on the line, the Washington University football team will take on the Greenville College, Ill., Panthers in its final game of the season tomorrow at noon on Francis Field. Before kickoff, the University will honor 26 seniors who will be playing the last game of their collegiate careers.
The Red and Green currently has an overall record of 5-4 (2-1 UAA), and look to continue its streak of 14 consecutive winning seasons. Wash. U. has finished the last four seasons 6-4. Greenville, located 50 miles east of Saint Louis, sports a 6-3 overall record and has won four of its last five contests.
“We have made a lot of progress this year,” said the Panther’s head coach Eric Hehman. “We have some young guys, but everyone has showed a lot of improvement.”
The Panthers possess a solid ground and air attack, averaging over 323 yards of total offense per game. Quarterback Dominic Kegel has passed for 1,019 yards and eight touchdowns in the team’s first nine contests. Kegel also anchors the Panther’s rushing game, having run scrambled for a team-leading 607 yards and 10 touchdowns. Greenville will be up against a stingy Bears’ defense, however. The Bears rank fifth in Division III in total defense with 194 yards per game.
“[Bears' Head coach Larry] Kindbom has a great defense and it will be a great challenge for us,” acknowledged Hehman. “We really appreciate the opportunity to go up against such a talented defense.”
The Red and Green will look to exploit a mediocre Greenville rushing defense, which allows over 150 yards per game. Senior running back DaRonne Jenkins leads the Bears with 592 rushing yards and six touchdowns, and could help the squad cover more ground than its season average of 112 yards per contest.
“Our defense looks to just make plays,” said Hehman. “We tell our guys to run around and just go after the ball, though we do make mistakes. We’re young.”
The Bears returns to action two weeks after they fell to Carnegie Mellon 10-7 in overtime in the UAA Championship. Both teams scored a touchdown in the second quarter, but the Tartans were able to convert a 22-yard field goal in overtime to secure the victory. It was the Bears’ only league defeat of the season.
“We have to spend time on fundamentals,” said Kindbom after the loss. “We have a winning season on the line, though, so our players will be motivated against Greenville.”
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