DOVER, Del. - The Wesley College football team did not let the change in their schedule affect their play as they earned a 59-6 victory over New Jersey Athletic Conference opponent Southern Virginia University on Monday night at Drass Field.
The game was originally scheduled to be played Saturday, but inclement weather interfered with travel plans. Instead the game was held on Monday, and was the only NCAA Division III football game of the day.
Wesley gained a total of 538 total yards, with 278 yards passing and 260 on the ground. Joe Callahan went 18-for-22 through the air with 278 yards and a season-high six passing touchdowns. James Okike was on the end of four of those scores, recording just four catches for 69 yards, but each one of them went for a score. Bryce Shade caught five passes for 111 yards and a touchdown while Alex Kemp caught five balls for 70 yards and a 39-yard touchdown strike. Jamar Baynard rushed 14 times for 60 yards, leading nine different Wolverine ball-carriers. Dan Kesack rushed for 32 yards and scored the Wolverines' only rushing touchdown of the day.
Defensively, Wesley allowed just 143 yards of total offense, holding Southern Virginia to 95 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. Samer Manna led the team with 10 tackles, including two solo. Isaiah Ingram notched 2.5 tackles for loss including 1.5 sacks. Leroy Cheatham finished with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and Craig Pettit grabbed an interception and returned it 59 yards for the Wolverines' first defensive touchdown of the season.
The Wolverine offense got off to a rough start with Joe Callahan throwing an interception on the opening drive. SVU's Chris Owens stepped in front of a quick out and picked off the Wesley quarterback to open the game. The Wesley defense responded though, allowing just two yards and forcing a three-and-out. Bryce Shade ripped off a 49-yard return to set up the Wolverines with great field position. Five plays later, Callahan found Okike on a 10-yard fade for the team's first points of the day.
Wesley added two more touchdowns in the first quarter, with Callahan finding Alex Kemp on a 39-yard pitch-and-catch for a score to make it 14-0. On the next SVU drive, Isaiah Ingram pressured the Knights' quarterback out of the pocket and got him on the run. The off-balance throw was picked off by Pettit who jumped a route from his safety position and hightailed down the sideline to the end zone for the score. The Wesley captain earned his first career touchdown and the team's first defensive score of the year to make it 21-0.
In the second quarter, Wesley added 21 more points on three more Callahan touchdown passes. The all-american quarterback found Okike for a pair of scores, one on a 38-yard play where Okike did most of the work after the catch, and another on a two-yard goal line fade where the 6-4 wideout was matched up with a linebacker. On the team's next drive, Callahan found Shade coming out of the slot right up the seam for a 59-yard strike, making it 42-0 before the halftime break.
In the second half, the Wesley defense opened the frame with a stop and Callahan drove the squad down the field and found Okike for another touchdown catch to make it 49-0. Later in the third quarter, Dan Kesack added a 32-yard touchdown run on a quarterback power to the right to make it 56-0.
SVU got on the board in the fourth quarter. The Knights capitalized on two Wesley pass interference calls to drive 50 yards on six plays. Lakeith Hopkins punched in a touchdown run from five yards out to make it 56-6. The extra point was no good.
Later in the quarter, Eric Speidel tacked on a 21-yard field goal to go along with his perfect 8-for-8 effort on extra points to make it 59-6 for the Wolverines. SVU fumbled on their final offensive possession and freshman Bert Robinson fell on the ball to seal the victory for the Wolverines, who kneeled out the final seconds of the game.
Wesley improves to 4-0 on the season and maintains their undefeated mark in conference play as well, going to 3-0 in the NJAC. The Wolverines will return to action on Saturday, October 10 on a short week when they travel to The College of New Jersey for another NJAC game.