Simpson snags two picks, Owls fall on the road

DELAWARE, Ohio – Coming off of the Owls’ highest-scoring outing of the season last week in a convincing homecoming victory over Hiram, the Kenyon College football team (1-5) could not get anything going Saturday, falling to the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops 48-7 on the road for the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) matchup.

The Battling Bishops (3-3) controlled the line of scrimmage, giving no room for the Owls offense to work, generating ten tackles for loss and holding Kenyon to 220 total yards of offense, its lowest of the season. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Dominic Simpson led the Owls with two interceptions,his second and third of the season, and nine tackles, tying Jared Hancock for the most of either team. 

The Owls opened the game with possession and after a three-and-out, it took the Bishops just three plays to punch in the touchdown to gain a 6-0 lead early, after the extra point was blocked by Andy Canonico. 

After another four minute drive from Ohio Wesleyan leading to an impressive one-handed touchdown catch from Josh Hurst, the Owls were down 13-0 but began to create some offense. Two chunk running plays from Benjamin, coming off a NCAC Player of the Week honor, and a 16 yard completion from Henry Wendorf to Dylan Carlquist found the Owls in Bishops territory. However, Sammy Stoner picked off Wendorf on Ohio Wesleyan’s 27-yard line to give the ball back to the hot offense with 2:37 remaining in the quarter. 

Ohio Wesleyan’s drive extended into the second quarter, but ended in a fourth-down stop by way of an endzone pass breakup from Jackson McCullough. 

Two scores later, Ohio Wesleyan began driving again in Kenyon territory after a blocked Park Penrod punt, but Simpson made a great play and intercepted Kaden Buza in the endzone to give the Owls some life in the closing minutes of the half. 

After the interception, five-straight Benjamin rushes and a reception by Max Bryer found the Owls in enemy territory. The drive stalled however and Kenyon was forced to punt, ending the half down 35-0 after another score. 

Out of halftime, the Owls started on defense, and caused a turnover on downs after a seven minute, twelve play drive to try to give Kenyon some offensive momentum. After two Benjamin rushes for 23 yards, Wendorf’s resulting pass was intercepted, but three plays later on defense, Simpson snatched his second INT of the afternoon, returning the ball to the Owls. 

After a Kenyon punt, Ohio Wesleyan added to their lead with a 76 yard screen pass and run from Austin Womack to Tyler Webb, making the score 41-0 after a missed extra point. No more points would be scored from either team in the quarter, and the Bishops began the fourth with the ball. 

In the fourth after a Bishops touchdown, Penrod got the nod at quarterback led the Owls down the field for an eleven play 75-yard drive, dotting passes to David Livingston and Julius Thompson with Benjamin adding rushes in-between, eventually finding the endzone with an eight-yard scamper to make the score 48-7 after a Tyler Bell extra point. 

Offensively for the Owls, Benjamin had a career-high 28 carries for 118 yards, the most yards of any offensive player. Wendorf completed four passes for 34 yards, while Penrod completed three for 47. Livingston also hauled in two receptions for a team-high 30 yards while adding in two kick returns for a total of 31 yards. 

The loss drops the Owls season record to 1-5 and 1-3 in NCAC play. Kenyon is back in action at McBride Field Saturday at 12:00 pm to face the Wabash College Little Giants in another NCAC bout. 

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