Jackson Helps Wesley Run Past Muhlenberg, 38-21 - Nov 24, 2007
DOVER, Del. - Aaron Jackson came off the bench for touchdown runs of 41 and 89 yards on his way to a career-high 218 yards as Wesley College defeated Muhlenberg 38-21 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Championships at Miller Stadium.
Jason Schatz completed just 13-of-26 passes for 201 yards, but connected for scores with Jon Lanouette, Michael Clarke and Larry Beavers.
Wesley's 38 points were the most by a Muhlenberg opponent since Cal Lutheran hung 44 on the Mules in 2001. The Wolverines also ran for 290 yards against a defense that entered the day allowing just 67 per game.
Muhlenberg (11-1) got on the board first. John DeLuca took the opening kick 51 yards to the Wesley 31. Seven plays later, Eric Santagato hit Phil Cresta and the Mules led 7-0.
Wesley (11-1) was held off the scoreboard until late in the second half, when Jackson entered the game. On his first carry he took the ball 44 yards to the Wesley 26. On a third and goal from the 11, Schatz hit Clarke to tie things up with 1:19 remaining and the teams entered halftime tied at 7-7.
The Wolverines continued their season-long explosiveness to open the second half, going 65 yards on just two plays to take a 14-7 lead with 14:28 left in the quarter. After a 24-yard pass to Lanouette, Jackson broke off a 41-yard scoring run.
After getting pinned at their own nine after a Muhlenberg punt, Jackson took the ball off the right side on second and eight and went 89 yards untouched to make it a two touchdown game after the extra point, 21-7, with 13:01 to go in the third.
On Wesley's next possession, after a punt by the Mules, Schatz was sacked by Tom Tarsitano and Scott Gavin recovered the fumble at the Wesley 41. After the drive stalled, Jordon Grube lined up for a 27-yard field goal, but Chet Turner came round from the right edge and blocked the kick to give Wesley the ball at its own 20 yard line.
The Wolverines were forced to punt on that possession, but Tim Stewart came up with an interception at the Muhlenberg 42. On the ensuing drive, Wesley elected to go for it on fourth and 13 from its own 33. Schatz avoided a sack all the way back near the 50 and heaved the ball toward Lanouette, who drew a pass interference call to give the Wolverines a first down. After a pair of runs by Jackson, Schatz hit Lanouette for the score and Wesley went up 28-7.
The Mules answered back on their next drive, however. Santagato hit Matt Johnson for 49 yards as Muhlenberg advanced to the Wesley 13. Santagato did the rest with his feet. He converted a fourth and two into a first and goal and scored on a one-yard run one play later as the Mules made it 28-14 with 9:29 left in the contest.
Schatz and Beavers failed to connect on a deep ball on first down on the next possession, but on second down, Schatz hit Beavers streaking down the middle, and the speedy wide receiver finished the 56-yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave Wesley a 35-14 advantage with 9:11 to go.
Santagato scored again for the Mules on the next drive as Muhlenberg attempted to stay in the game with just 7:38 remaining. Wesley's Sean McAndrew recovered the on-side kick and the Wolverines consumed 6:14 on a 30-yard, 10-play drive that resulted in a 24-yard field goal by Blugis with 1:24 to go for the game's final score as Wesley went ahead 38-21.
Jackson, who tallied 173 yards on his first five carries, finished his career day with 218 on 15 carries. As a result of his stellar day, Mike Pennewell's string of nine-straight 100-yard games came to and end as he finished the day with 68 yards on 19 carries.
Lanouette caught six passes for 86 yards. Beavers finished with four receptions for 87 yards. Schatz passed for 201 on the day.
Defensively, Sean Matthews had a big day for Wesley with 14 stops, including 1.5 for loss. Eddie Donisi also reached double figures with 10 tackles. Mike Ward had a big day on the line, with three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Wesley also held DeLuca in check, keeping Muhlenberg season rushing record holder to just 80 yards on 29 carries. Santagato completed 20-of-36 passes for 258 yarda, one touchdown and an interception. Johnson was on the receiving end of seven of those passes for 128 yards.
Cameron Ahouse had 11 tackles to lead the Mules.
The Wolverines outrushed Muhlenberg 290-65 and held a 491-323 advantage in total yards.
With the win, Wesley advances on to host the NCAA South Region Championship in the national quarterfinals for the second year in a row. The Wolverines will host Mary Hardin-Baylor, who romped over North Carolina Wesleyan 64-0 in the other half of the South Region bracket.
Kickoff at Scott D. Miller Stadium will be at noon on December 1.