In the 2012 football season, Waynesburg accomplished something they hadn’t done in almost half a century. The Jackets had double-digit victories for the first time since 1966.
They won the NAIA Championship that season and finished with a perfect 11-0 record. A year earlier, the 2011 season, Waynesburg finished with a 5-5 record and lost to Widener 48-27 in the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl.
“Going into each season, we always set a goal of winning the PAC,” Matt Krause said, who was a defensive lineman and all-conference player on the team. “We knew the talent we had and the type of team we could be.”
To start the 2012 season, Waynesburg opened strong with a 34-23 victory over Muskingum.
Waynesburg dominated on the ground by rushing for 223 yards. Bertrand Ngampa rushed for 92 yards and Tyler Fatigante added 80 yards in the trenches. An efficient running game continued throughout the whole season as the Jackets rushed for 201.9 yards per game.
“The offense was young but so talented,” defensive coordinator Scott Venick said. “Practices were so competitive that you had to get better every single day. We made each other better.”
Krause notes how much the team trusted each other.
“We believed in our team and coaching staff, and that we could compete and accomplish our goals that we set for ourselves,” Krause said.
The Jackets were solid defensively, giving up just 18.1 points per game.
“We had experience and great depth at all 3 levels: defensive line, linebacker and the secondary,” Venick said. “The whole group was unselfish, had great attention to detail and found ways to win.”
Venick wanted his defense to think of each position as a piece to a puzzle according to Krause.
“Our job as a defense was to do our individual assignments and make the pieces all fit together,” Krause said. “We had success because we all trusted each other to where we needed to be.”
Waynesburg had a 9-0 record going into their last game of the regular season and a 7-0 record in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play.
They hadn’t clinched anything yet. The last game against Washington & Jefferson, who came into the matchup with a 6-1 PAC record would decide the PAC championship.
Unfortunately, Waynesburg lost 31-14.
However, Waynesburg had another game to play clinching a berth in the ECAC South West Bowl. They won in dramatic fashion, 28-24 over Carnegie Mellon.
Dominic Moore scored the game winning touchdown with a one-yard run with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter.
“Winning the bowl game was extremely emotional,” Krause said. “It was a great feeling being able to go out with a win on our home field. That memory is something I look back on fondly and something I still talk about with my former teammates.”