DOVER, Del. – Wesley College's third-ranked football team dropped a 32-25 decision to No. 4 Mary Hardin-Baylor at a sold out Scott D. Miller Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines fall to 2-1 on the season while the Crusaders remain unbeaten at 2-0.
The matchup between the two Division III powerhouses lived up to the hype as the game remained in doubt until the closing seconds. Down by a touchdown, Wesley got the ball back with 15 seconds left and after advancing to its own 34-yard line, Justin Sottilare's Hail Mary toss came up short.
Mary Hardin-Baylor outgained the Wesley, 320-290, but the Wolverines held their ground with Cru averaging less than four yards per carry. Wesley's defense held UMHB to just 138 yards through the air.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Mary Hardin-Baylor played virtually mistake free on both sides of the ball and forced a couple of Navy & White turnovers.
After giving up a field goal on the Cru's opening drive, Wesley took its only lead of the game with 5:06 remaining in the first quarter on a 14 yard touchdown pass to Matt Barile.
The extra point try by Wesley was unsuccessful and UMHB responded with 16 unanswered points to take a 19-6 lead before a 22 yard pass to Steven Kodossou with just over a minute left cut the deficit to six before halftime.
Coming out of the break, Chris Cummings scored on a one-yard touchdown run but once again the conversion failed and the score remained tied at 19.
LiDarral Bailey then led the Cru on two-straight touchdown drives in the third quarter, giving UMHB its largest lead of the game at 32-19. The first score came on a 13 yard pass to Darius Wilson before Bailey took the second one himself from one yard out.
Barile grabbed his second touchdown pass of the game midway through the fourth quarter but it was not enough for the Wolverines to pick up the victory.
For the first time since the 2010 playoffs against Muhlenberg, the Wolverines go for over 100 yards as Kodossou had a career-day with eight grabs for 117 yards. Barile went for 115 yards on seven catches. Sottilare finished 27 of 44 passing for 294 yards and three scores.
Wesley was unable to get much of a ground game going as Devar Robinson led the way with 27 yards.
Wilson was the main playmaker for the Cru, gaining 84 yards on the ground while catching a team-high six passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wolverines return to action next Saturday night when they travel to Louisiana College on September 22.