The DePauw Tigers won with a final score of 26-21 for the Division III college football playoff in Greencastle, IN on November 20, 2021 defeating the Rose-Hulman Fighting Engineers who had a seven game win streak and were champions of the HCAC.
This was their first appearance in the playoffs representing the NCAC since losing to Trine in the first round in 2010. Ultimately, this will be DePauw's third ever appearance in the tournament as they look to bring DePauw its first ever football national championship.
Following the loss against Wabash, special teams members of the Tigers football team sat down prior to the game against Rose-Hulman to discuss their thoughts moving forward in the playoffs. “While the game is at home, I’m hoping to see a whole lot of fans coming to Blackstock and making the most out of this very special game. We’ve had a very successful season so far and hope to prolong it with a win on Saturday,” junior kicker Jack Drake said.
Senior punter Danny Wilkinson claims they prepared for Rose-Hulman “just like they’re any other opponent. We’re fortunate to play at home and hopefully can get some extra juice from the crowd,” he said. Wilkinson has found himself on the field, averaging 38 yards per punt and landing a total of 10 punts inside the 20 yard line.
“It's awesome finally getting to experience something like this, and it's amazing to watch how mine and my teammates' hard work has finally paid off,” Wilkinson said.
In the days leading up to the first round of playoffs, sophomore Joe Sullivan addressed how he deals with the nerves of the game. “I just have to treat it like any other game. Every kick is just another kick to me. I’ve found this mindset has really helped me focus throughout the season and it especially helped me in my first Monon Bell game,” Sullivan said. Tallying nine field goals and 41 PATs this season, Sullivan looks to help the Tigers continue their season.