Tigers crush Mount St. Joseph 44-23 in season opener

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Senior Running-Back Jason Kirchhoff helped the Tiger’s get the win against Mount St. Joseph with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown. SON LE / THE DEPAUW
Senior Running-Back Jason Kirchhoff helped the Tiger’s get the win against Mount St. Joseph with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown. SON LE / THE DEPAUW
Senior Running-Back Jason Kirchhoff helped the Tiger’s get the win against Mount St. Joseph with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown. SON LE / THE DEPAUW

DePauw University’s football team opened up their season on the right foot, muscling Mount St. Joseph College in a 44-23 victory Saturday. The Tigers are looking to improve upon their 8-2 record last year.

Senior kicker, Marko Adams, put the first points on the board for the Tigers this year, drilling a 45-yard field goal on DePauw’s opening possession. From there, the points kept piling on. In the first quarter alone, the Tigers put up 17 points with 14 of those points coming through the air as senior quarterback Matt Hunt launched touchdown passes on consecutive drives to senior running backs Ian Good and Jason Kirchhoff.

The Tigers had put up 20 unanswered points before the Lions were able to respond with a touchdown in the second quarter. Although they had gotten on the board, they were unable to capitalize on any other opportunities during the quarter.

DePauw’s pace slowed in the second quarter, but a two-yard touchdown run from Kirchhoff allowed the Tigers to end the half with a comfortable 27-6 lead.

DePauw’s offense was not the only side of the ball putting up points on Saturday. Sophomore defensive back, Brooks Hepp was able to convert an interception into six points less than a minute into the third quarter, increasing DePauw’s lead to 28 points.

With four minutes in the quarter, the Lions were able to respond with a touchdown. Before the quarter ended, Hunt found junior wide receiver Ben Wilson in the end-zone to cap off a 91-yard drive.

Adams effectively put the nail in the coffin early in the fourth quarter when he nailed a field goal from 43 yards, to which the Lions would never answer back. When the clock ran out, the Tigers had blown out their opponents by a score of 44-13.

The Tigers’ time of possession was almost five minutes less than their opponent, yet they were able to put up 200 more yards. Hunt finished the game 31-46 and passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Kirchhoff finished the game with 102 yards on the ground and put up both a rushing and receiving touchdown.

Sophomore wide receiver Andy Hunt led the team in receiving with 131 yards on 12 catches, but was never able to find the end-zone on Saturday.

The Tigers’ defense was led by senior defensive back Zachary Reichle, who led the team with nine total tackles. He was followed by Hepp and sophomore linebacker Matt Crupi, who both had eight tackles respectively.

“As the season progresses, I believe we’ll only get better. Now that the season opener is under our belts and we're back in a routine, I think that this team has the ability to have a breakout season,” Kirchhoff said. “We're going to take each week one game at a time, with the ultimate goal being to win the NCAC championship.”

The Tigers will look to continue their winning streak when they travel to Wooster College Saturday to play the Fighting Scots. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and there will be a live stream via the DePauw Athletics website.