HANOVER, Ind.. – A game featuring 15 penalties will always be called ugly but there is no such thing as a pretty loss. Instead, Wabash College’s Little Giants will take Saturday’s ugly win, 33-12, at Hanover.

“Clearly the penalties killed us, offensively and defensively,” Coach Erik Raeburn said. “I think we had 400 yards of penalties, probably not quite that bad but I’d guess we’re leading the nation in penalty yards.”

The fifth-year coach had reason to be unhappy after watching his Little Giants get whistled for 15 penalties and 152 yards. But he also had reason to be pleased with a defense that played well in the first half and responded to a challenge in the second. Hanover hung around until the fourth quarter keeping in close.

Wabash quickly put the game away after former Plymouth Rockie Austin Hodges returned an interception 39 yards for the final score. The senior Wabash Captain had two interceptions on the day to go along with 4 solo tackles and 1 assist.

“That one was kind of thrown right to me,” Hodges said of his second pick of the day. He called the pick a stress reliever. “I was getting nervous it was 16-9 or whatever it was but until that play I was nervous out there.”

Former Plymouth Rockie Houston Hodges had had a big day as well opening the game with a 55 yard kick-off return and 10 yard punt return later in the game. Houston had 3 tackles and several pass break ups. The Hodges brothers were kept busy in the secondary as Hanover attempted 51 passes on the day for only 211 yards.

Wabash (1-0) will open NCAC play Saturday at Denison.