By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you like high scoring offense in college football, then you should absolutely love the Division III Widener Pride.
The Pride improved to 6-0 (5-0 in the MAC) on Saturday with a 56-20 win over Stevenson in Chester. While 56 points is usually an eye popping total for a college football team at any level, it’s really just another day at the office for Widener. The Pride lead the nation (Division III) in scoring, as they hang an average of 59.5 point a game on the board.
Two of the big reasons for this offensive success are Widener senior quarterback Chris Haupt and sophomore wide receiver Anthony Davis.
Haupt threw three touchdown passes in Saturday’s win, two of which went to Davis. The second scoring hook-up between the two put Haupt in the record books with the most career touchdown passes at Widener (he now has 74). Needless to say, Haupt is having a season for the ages in Chester, running a no-huddle, almost frantic, up-tempo attack.
“The tempo’s fun,” Haupt says. “It’s always fun to see defensive lineman tapping out. We had a guy from Wilkes throw-up on the field. That’s what we shoot for, is just to have that up-tempo, tough to get the defensive calls in for them, and that’s big for us. If they’re not lined up, it’s a lot easier to see openings and holes and stuff like that and get off the ball. It’s a lot of fun. Real comfortable with the offense. ”
Haupt, a former minor-league baseball player, is completing 65% of his passes this season for 1,886 yards. He has 24 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions. But to head coach Isaac Collins, Haupt’s most impressive trait can’t be measured in stats.
“The records are great, but I’m most proud of the fact that he has been a tremendous leader,” Collins says.
Davis has emerged as Haupt’s top target. The Chester native has caught 11 touchdown passes this season, and is averaging more than 22 yards a catch on 27 receptions.
“We go out and practice hard every day,” Davis says. “We’re just looking to win. We have a winning season, we have a shot to go far. And we’re taking every advantage that we can get.”
Davis says that his chemistry with his quarterback is a big reason why they are making this look so easy.
“Me and Chris did some time over the summertime, worked together. We know we’ve got a chance to go far and we trying to take advantage of every step.”
Coach Collins says they are very aware of what kind of a playmaker Davis has become.
“We’ve kind of looked at what we’re doing, schematically, to try and move him around a little bit and do some different things and he’s accepted that challenge.”
Davis is also an explosive kick-returner. He actually had an electrifying 69-yard punt return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty on Saturday.
“Returning kicks is my passion,” Davis says. “I love open field and I love making people miss.”
This high-flying Widener offense will be held in check this week, but only because the Pride are on the bye.
They will return to action on Saturday, October 20th at Lycoming.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.