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Football Team Opens Season With a 42-0 Shutout Versus Defiance

Football Team Opens Season With a 42-0 Shutout Versus Defiance

BEREA, Ohio –  Junior running back Austin Smith (Broadview Heights/ North Royalton) ran for 91 yards and three touchdowns as the Baldwin Wallace University football team defeated non-conference foe Defiance College, 42-0, in its season-opener before 3,750 fans on Tressel Field at The George Finnie Stadium in the 39th Annual Lee Tressel Shrine Classic.

BW and Defiance were tied 0-0 after one quarter. BW led 14-0 at halftime and 28-0 after three periods as the Yellow Jackets increased its season series advantage to 3-0. This was the first time the two teams have met on the gridiron in 96 years with the last meeting in 1920.

For his efforts, Smith received the 39th Annual Lee Tressel Shrine Classic Player of the Game Award. Defiance junior defensive back Markell Moncrief received it for his team.

In addition to Smith for BW on offense, senior quarterback Robbie Plagens (Rocky River) completed 12 of 21 passes for 190 yards but threw three interceptions. The receiving corps was led by senior wide receiver Mike Waggoner (Stow) who caught three passes for 47 yards. On defense, the trio of junior tackle Anton Richardson (Chicago, Ill./ Gordon Tech) and junior outside linebackers Sam Groff (Waynesburg/ Sandy Valley) and Sean Nischwitz (Clinton/ Green) each had five tackles.

For Defiance, junior QB Logan Scott completed 18 of 36 passes for 119 yards. The top runners was freshman RB Lamar Dixon with 11 carries for 49 yards. The top receiver was senior WR Cody Wilson with seven catches for 53 yards. The DC defense was led by sophomore LB Jalin Nealy with eight stops.

After a scoreless first period, BW grabbed a 7-0 lead at the 14:00 mark of the second quarter when Smith bulled over from a yard out to complete an 11-play and 61-yard drive. Senior Academic All-OAC placekicker Joe Simonis (Hinckley/ Medina Highland) booted the extra point. The big play in the drive was a 35-yard pass from Plagens to senior WR Tyler Wolf (Fremont/ Ross).

The lead grew to 14-0 at 7:04 when BW sped 60 yards in eight plays with Smith smashing into the end zone from a yard away. Simonis tacked on the PAT boot. The drive followed a fumble recovery by sophomore cornerback Caray Sparrow (St. Augustine, Fla./ St. Augustine).

In the third quarter, Smith scored his third rushing TD of the game when he sped around the right end and scored from nine yards out to cap a 6-play and 61-yard drive. Simonis' PAT kick was his 100thcareer point.

The lead increased to 28-0 at 6:52 when freshman speedster DaJuan Glover (Detroit, Mich./ Consortium College Prep) took a shovel pass from Plagens and bolted 33 yards on the first player after a 39-yard punt return by sophomore WR Rob Wolfington (Rapids City, Mich./ Elk Rapids). Simonis added his fourth straight PAT kick.

In the fourth quarter, BW took a 35-0 lead at 9:45 when backup QB Jake Hudson (east Lake, Fla./ East Lake) ran 15 yards with a QB keeper to the end zone and Simonis made his fifth PAT. The TD was set up when senior safety Jake Carner (Salem) fell ona fumble deep in Defiance territory.

BW's final TD was an 11-yard jaunt to the house by junior RB Bucky Hendershot (Cuyahoga Falls) to make it 42-0 following Simonis' sixth PAT boot. The run capped a seven-play and 49 yard drive..

The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, September 17 when BW travels to University Heights, Ohio to play OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University in its 2016 OhioAthletic Conference opener at Don Shula Stadium. This also is the 28th Annual Cuyahoga Gold Bowl game.