Wesley Wins Season Opener

Devin Hardy
Devin Hardy

DOVER, Del. - Wesley College used four interceptions to pull away from a pesky East Texas Baptist squad 34-10 at Scott D.Miller Stadium.

The Tigers took the opening kick and moved the ball to the Wesley four over the course of the opening nine minutes.  Three consecutive penalties on the offense, however, moved the ball back to the 14 and Chris Mayes (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) blocked a field goal attempt.

The Wolverines missed a field goal on the ensuing possession and the Tiger offense put up three plays of 20-plus yards over a six play drive capped by a 31-yard catch and run by Jacob Stone on a pass from Sed Harris.

Wesley tied the game on a pass from Shane McSweeny (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) to Sean McAndrew (Lanoka Harbor, N.J./Lacey Township) that finished off a four-play, 55-yard drive with 9:43 left in the half. 

The Wolverines extended the lead when Dakevis Howard (Wilmington, Del./Concord) intercepted Harris at the Wesley 13 and returned it 78 yards to the ETBU nine yardline.  On the next play, McSweeny ran to paydirt for a 14-7 lead.

The Tigers attempted an on sides kick to open the second half, but Wesley recovered at their own 45.  A 37-yard pass to Matt Barile (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) moved the Wolverines deep into ETBU territory before McSweeny plunged in from two yards out for a 20-7 advantage.

Leon Jones (Lindenwold, N.J./Lindenwold) intercepted Harris early in the fourth quarter and on a third and 10, McSweeny tossed a screen pass to Askia Jahad (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), who ran 25 yards for a touchdown and a 27-7 lead.

The Tigers faced third and six on the next possession and Dominique Herald (Newark, N.J./Pennington School) picked off Harris and took it 24 yards into the end zone for a 34-7 lead with 7:30 to play.

ETBU put together a 15-play drive on their next offensive series, but came away with just a 29-yard field goal by Brett Petticord that made it 34-10.

Wide receiver Steven Koudossou (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) led the Wolverines in rushing with 56 yards on a pair of reverses. 

McSweeny, who missed 2010 with an injury, returned to go 11-of-20 for 165 yards and two scores.  He was intercepted once.  He also rushed for 46 yards and two touchdowns. 

The effort put him over 5,000 career passing yards, making him one of just two active Division III signal callers with over 5,000 pass yards and over 1,000 rush yards.

Seven different receivers caught at least one pass for Wesley in the game, including Barile who led the team with 46 yards and was one of four players with two receptions.

Defensively, Mike Asiedu (Yonkers, N.Y./Gorton) made 11 tackles.  Mayes had two tackles for loss, batted down two passes and blocked a kick.  Herald had 1.5 tackles for loss, intercepted a pass and sacked Harris once.

Harris led the Tigers with 61 yards rushing, but was held 50 yards under his average from last season.  Passing, he was 26-of-41 for 259 yards, but threw four picks and was sacked twice. 

Jair Stover caught nine passes for 67 yards, both of which led the Tigers. 

Solahudeen Muhammad led the ETBU defense with nine stops.  Aron Reynolds had three tackles for loss, including one of the Tigers two sacks. 

Wesley outrushed the Tigers, but was outgained overall.  The four turnovers, however, produced by the Wolverine defense left the offense with a short field to work with for most of the afternoon.

Wesley hits the road for the first game of a three-game road trip next week against Kean.  The game will be the season opener for the Cougars.