DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College Yellow Jackets fell to the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets, 42-0, to open the 2016 football season at Tressel Field in Berea.
After each team exchanged punts to open the contest, Kenny Jones (Toledo/Bowsher) brought in an interception at the 8:44 mark of the quarter to halt a Baldwin Wallace drive. After another three-and-out from Defiance, Baldwin Wallace QB Robbie Plagens threw his second pick, this one to Markell Moncrief (Farmington Hills, Mich./Southfield Lathrup). BW would get the ball back and get a big 31-yard pass to get the ball inside the five to end the quarter.
Baldwin Wallace would open the scoring just 1:02 into the second stanza with an Austin Smith 1-yard TD run to give the home team a 7-0 advantage. DC would drive the ball for 55 yards before fumbling the ball back to BW at their 32 yard line. BW took the ensuing possession 60 yards in eight plays as Smith recorded his second one-yard TD run of the game to put BW up, 14-0. Defiance rallied for a 40-yard drive that took over five minutes off the clock, but were still forced to punt it away with 1:39 left in the half and, after a sack from Cody Brown (Grass Lake, Mich.), BW ran out the clock holding a 14-0 lead.
Defiance started the third quarter with possession and drove it into BW territory with a 29-yard pass from Logan Scott (Curtice/Genoa) to Cody Wilson (McComb), but the drive would stall from there and a turnover on downs gave it back to Baldwin Wallace, who went 61 yards in six plays with Smith's third scoring run of the game to make it 21-0. After a Defiance three and out, BW returned a punt 38 yards and Plagens found Da'Juan Glover on a screen to expand their lead to 28-0 at the 6:52 mark, where the score would remain through the end of the quarter.
The fourth quarter began with a quick interception by Moncrief, his second of the contest to give Defiance the ball back. After both teams exchanged punts, Defiance fumbled it on the first play of the new drive and BW recovered it at the DC 11-yard line and scored two plays later to extend the lead to 35-0 with 9:45 to play. BW then took their final scoring drive of the game to finish with an 11-yard scoring run to put them up 42-0 with 3:12 to play en route to the 42-point victory.
Baldwin Wallace finished the game with a hefty lead in total yardage, 324-183. Defiance finished with 130 yards passing and 53 rushing, while BW went for 190 in the air and 134 on the ground. Both teams turned the ball over three times in the contest, as DC lost three fumbles and BW threw three interceptions.
Defiance's offense was led by Logan Scott, who finished 18-of-36 for 119 yards. Cody Wilson led the Yellow Jackets with 53 yards on seven catches. Lemar Dixon (Woodmere/Orange) led the rushing attack with 43 markers on nine carries. Baldwin Wallace starter Robbie Plagens finished 12-of-21 for 190 yards with one score and three interceptions. Chad Steinwachs led BW in receiving with 51 yards on two catches, while Austin Smith ran for 91 yards on 24 rushes with three scores in the victory. Smith won the Shrine Classic Player of the Game award for BW thanks to his three scores.
Leading Defiance defensively was Markell Moncrief with his two interceptions to go along with six tackles, all of them solo. His performance won him the Annual Shrince Classic Player of the Game award for the Yellow Jackets. Jalin Nealy (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield) and Keandre Gilmer (Toledo/Rogers) led Defiance with eight tackles apiece.
Defiance will open play at Justin F. Coressel Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10 to do battle with Hope (Mich.) College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.