Small Schools, Big Game

Small Schools, Big Game

     Everyone loves sports. Many people take them as seriously as they would their own life. This causes people to go all out for big games. Rivalries keep fans and the team going throughout the year. As an athlete, there is nothing better than getting ready to play the teams we hate most: Northwestern and Western. The first four weeks of the season are games in preparation for the back to back rivalries on our schedule. But our rivalries seem small compared to the ”Monon Bell Rivalry,” or the rivalry between Wabash College and Depauw University. 

     Many organizations have long standing rivalries, but this is the biggest rivalry in all of small-college football. Going back to its origins in 1888, this is one of the oldest rivalries in the nation. Being the sixth most played d3 rivalry, and twelfth in all of college football, this is one of the biggest games every year in the state of Indiana.

     Wabash enters Saturday’s contest with a record of 6-3 and a 5-3 mark in  North Coast Athletic Conference games. The Little Giants lost their last home game a week ago in a 35-14 contest against Wittenberg University. Wabash was shut out in the second half after matching the Ohio Tigers in scoring throughout most of the first half. A late interception return — one of four turnovers in the game for the Little Giants — put Wittenberg up 21-14 at the half on the way to the win.

     DePauw (8-1, 8-0 NCAC) claimed its first North Coast Athletic Conference title since joining the league in 2012 and first trip to the NCAA DIII playoffs since 2010. The Tigers clinched the berth with a 66-13 home victory against Oberlin. DePauw produced a school-record 502 passing yards with starter Chase Andries completing 16-of-22 passes for 391 yards and five TDs. Andries has thrown 2,190 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 64.5 percent of his passes.

      Although Depauw has a better record this year, wins and losses have not meant much throughout the history of the rivalry. Since 1924, DePauw and Wabash have squared off in each team’s final game 93 times. The team with the better winning percentage entering the game has a 54-33-6 record for a .613 winning percentage. This is not as high as it seems. Both teams are coming into this game ready to make a statement for their school. 

     Not only is this a big rivalry for the two schools, but Lewis Cass as well. We have staff and athletes on both sides of the game. Our head football coach, Clayton Mannering, was a coach at Depauw for many years and his brother continues to coach at the university. On the other side, Lewis Cass football alumni Casey Crozier, playing defensive back, is a team captain for Wabash. Casey’s father, Greg Crozier, coaches alongside Coach Mannering at Lewis Cass, creating a fun rivalry in itself. 

          The two teams will face off against each other this Saturday for the first time since 2019. The teams will play their 127th matchup at 1:07 p.m. at the Little Giant Stadium on the  Wabash campus.

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