The DePauw Tigers football team made history on Saturday in their 33-30 victory at the 129th Monon Bell Classic in Crawfordsville. This win made DePauw the outright champions in the NCAC, making it their third consecutive conference title. The Tigers record improved to 10-0, and they became the first team in program history to win 10 games in a single season. DePauw has only ever been to Wabash two times before as an undefeated team, and in both games the Tigers came up short. For the first time ever, a Monon Bell game went into overtime, but just one extra period wasn’t going to cut it––it took two.
DePauw opened the scoring of the game when McCahill completed a pass to Ballentine for an 8-yard touchdown. Wabash scored on the next drive making it 7-7 with 6:44 left in the first quarter. That’s how most of the game went. It was a back and forth contest with 9 lead changes throughout the entire game, with the biggest point differential only being six at one time in the fourth quarter.
DePauw scored two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter thanks to Baumgartner and McCahill. Wabash scored a touchdown and a field goal also in the second quarter leaving DePauw up 21-17 at the half. After a Wabash field goal in the third quarter and a touchdown in the fourth with 13:41 of regulation play remaining, Wabash took the lead 27-21. Baumgartner scored the game-tying touchdown, but the Little Giants blocked the PAT leaving the score 27-27.
McCahill outdid Thompson as he ended the day with 242 yards after completing 23-of-30 passes and collected two touchdowns and one interception. Thompson completed 11-21 passes for 114 yards with no touchdowns, breaking his 30-game streak of passing for at least one touchdown in every game.
Baumgartner had 18 carries for 97 yards and Caden Whitehead ‘26 also collected 50 yards on 12 carries for the Tigers. As for receiving yards, Gabe Quigley contributed 92 yards from 6 catches and Ballentine had seven catches for 68 yards. DePauw’s defense was led by Luke Marsh with 11 tackles and Jake Comer ‘25 and Jonathon Bruder ‘25 each contributed nine.
After regulation play concluded, the score was 27-27. DePauw got the ball first in overtime. However, after a first down picked up by Gus Baumgartner ‘24, the Tigers turned the ball over with a fumble recovery by Wabash. The Little Giants had no luck getting into the endzone during their turn in overtime and were forced to attempt a 33-yard field goal. Every DePauw fan held their breath, and Ethan Lowry ‘24 became a DePauw hero when he blocked the kick to keep the Tigers alive.
Wabash took the ball first in the second overtime and on the third down quarterback Liam Thompson had no option other than to run, but he came up short of a first down. Brody Rucker came out and kicked a 41-yard field goal putting Wabash up 30-27.
Knowing post-season play, the outright conference title, and the bell was on the line, the Tigers came out firing. After Nathan McCahill’s ‘25 completed passes to Robby Ballentine ‘26 and Gabe Quigley ‘24 to get a first down for the Tigers, McCahill found William Kaster ‘26, and with a leap into the end zone, sealed the victory. DePauw fans erupted and rushed the field to celebrate the back-to-back Monon Bell victory.
The Tigers will advance to postseason play next week, with an opponent and location determined Sunday evening. As for now, all is well in Greencastle because the bell is staying home!