Denison's late season surge continued on Saturday as the high-flying Big Red rolled to a 45-7 victory over Allegheny College in their regular season home finale from Piper Stadium.
The Big Red's dynamic duo of DuShawn Brown and Brandon Sklenar were up to their old tricks. On the first play of the game, Sklenar went deep to Brown for 41-yards setting the tone for one of the most incredible passer-to-receiver days in NCAA Division III history.
Brown entered the day needing 154 yards to break Denison's single-season receiving record. He had accomplished that feat midway through the second quarter. With their sights set on reaching the rarified air in the Division III record book, Brown became a one-man wrecking crew. He finished the day with 15 catches for 339 yards and four touchdowns. His TD receptions came on grabs of 24-yards, 79-yards, 55-yards and 4-yards. He surpassed the 300-yard receiving mark in the third quarter and played only a handful of snaps in the fourth quarter on his way to the eighth-best receiving day in NCAA Division III history.
Sklenar's line is nothing to sneeze at. He finished 24-of-32 for 406 yards and a career-high 5 touchdown passes. He also rushed for 44 yards and added a touchdown on the ground. He has thrown for 2,523 yards this season while completing 62 percent of his passing attempts. He needs only 46 yards to break DU's single-season record for total offense (3,126). Only three other players in Big Red history have thrown for five TDs in a game.
Four of Sklenar's five touchdown passes went to Brown. His fifth came on an 8-yard pass to Charlie Mueller, capping off the scoring with 8:46 left in the fourth quarter. Senior Matt Puracchio added a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter, running his school record for career field goals made to 23.
While the offense gets the headlines, the defense held Allegheny to 72 yards and two first downs in the first half. They would finish with only 288 yards in the game. Sophomore safety Andrew Baird racked up 15 tackles and one interception while Anthony Sernus added 10 stops. Junior Lucas Romick returned an interception 21 yards in the second half. He also recorded six tackles.
Denison improves to 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference while Allegheny drops to 1-8 and 1-7 in conference play. DU will close out its regular season next Saturday (Nov. 15) when they travel to Gambier, Ohio for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Kenyon Lords.
NOTE: Prior to the game, Denison recognized its 11-member senior class. This group has won 21 games since 2011 which marks the most victories over a four-year period by a Denison class since the late 80s.